From plain HTML websites to interactive and responsive ones, we came a long way in this digital journey. But, it wouldn’t have been possible if we never had web standards.
To help you with this jargon “web standards”, let me give you an example. Let’s consider you are building an ecommerce website, and you use a shopping cart as a symbol of the cart. Some other businesses are using a basket, while someone is using a vector image of the building or symbol of the product; will a user be able to understand what you are trying to convey. That would be impossible, as and when customers belong to different locations and speak different dialects. In such a situation, you have to create different websites to target your users in different regions, and that will create a more troublesome state. It will add to the budget as well as the headache of managing these many IPs.
And, it’s not only about the layout and content in the front-end. In the same way, there is a distinction in the pattern of coding, security, responsiveness, web architecture, accessibility, and much more.
In this blog, we will be taking all of these web standards topics one-by-one showing their need in importance for professional web design development.
Web standards are nothing but formal specifications set by standard authorities to ease the usage of the internet for users, visitors, as well as developers. You surely like to know more about these authorities.
Who decides web standards for professional web design development?
The founder of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, led to the creation of W3C. W3C stands for World World Web Consortium. It is created with the mission to improvise the user experience over the web, irrespective of the browser or device it was accessed with.
Back in the old days, when explorers use to work with different technologies, it was a disastrous experience for internet users. As those websites supported on Internet Explorer displayed in the deformed format on other browsers. It wasn’t a pleasing experience for users for sure.
Later, other standard organizations like Ecma, IETF, WHATWG community came in support of W3C to introduce the web-standards that grew with the need of time.
Now, we will walk you through the lane of web standards that every web design agency has to adhere:
Do you know that even your code speaks a lot about your website? Well, as a non-tech person, you may not be aware of it. But, clean and concise code of the website can reduce the risk of getting bugs and make it trouble-free for the QA team to perform testing swiftly.
The coding standards are a set of defined guidelines, code conventions, and programming styles adapted to write the source code of your project. With these guidelines, it will be easier for other professionals in the team to understand and work on the same project. If you are planning to outsource your exisitng project or looking for UI/UX designers, the coding standards can bring clarity.
Even when distinct frameworks are used, language standards are also created to simplify the coding pattern of the website. Irrespective of you working as a freelancer or as a part of an organization, you must have an understanding of these standards to improve the overall performance of your website.
The standards for the graphic designing of your website talks about the front-end designing standards. Since interactive media is much more appealing to the users, in comparison to the static content, the creative mind needs to check with the graphic ideas that are generalized. Your website is created for laymen which is more generalized irrespective of the caste, creed, region, and religion.
The basic standards set W3C include:
- JPEG and PNG file format for images, so that they can open across the web normally.
- WebCGM and Webp format is set for vector graphics in order to manage the quality of the image and optimize the performance of the website.
- For data visualization, SVG is a pre-decided format to ease the editing of pictures in different editing software.
Such recommendations aren’t forcefully set to be followed, but they also improve the performance of designers by promoting device independence.
The standards for the web architecture are specially set to enable interoperability across the devices, browsers, users and user mediums. It helps improve enterprise mobility, technical accessibility, and functionality. The basic set of standards are:
- URL and URI structure of the website.
- Sitemap that needs to be in the XML format.
- Data representation format with HTML/CSS
- Data transmission protocols like HTTP and HTTPS, TCP/IP
- Data encoding and secure payment standards like PCI DSS and so on.
Though the idea of mobile responsiveness came only with the mobile-first approach, now, responsiveness is a more critical factor. The notion of responsiveness is to offer a flawless experience to your users irrespective of the device dimensions. Earlier, the size of the screen was standard. Thus, few of the companies started creating two prototypes of the website: one for mobile and other for the desktop screen.
Now, with the arrival of a wide variety of screen sizes, it has become tricky. Also, Google’s algorithm started considering the responsiveness of the website as one of the key factors to rank the website. This automatically grew the need for standardization and adaptation for the idea of responsiveness.
Accessibility & security:
When you are designing the website to serve the need of every individual accessing the web, you have to think from everyone’s perspective. But, the perspective of all people can not be the same. And, that’s why, W3C created standards that can help all the individuals associated with the project, say, writers, designers, testers, trainers, policy creators, and so on. With a notion of creating “Web for all”, the standards are set for accessibility, internationalization, the privacy of the website, and care about the security of the website.
When you are reading this, we believe that you are a part of the IT industry be it as a professional developer, designer, marketing head, or someone else that is closely related to the worldwide web. We recommend you to connect with the W3C workgroups and community of standard organization to keep yourself updated with the latest changes and give your fair share of advice whenever you feel like change should come.