Situational Design for the Web

During the browser wars, interesting problems presented themselves to the web design community. Many web professionals resorted to drastic measures and built separate websites for IE and Netscape — and later we had wireless markup language (WML) for mobile phones. This was because of inconsistent rendering and poorly implemented standards, and it was a means of avoiding the ugly hacking that was otherwise necessary.

This practice has evolved over the years (take print-friendly pages, for example), but the modern web almost shuns the practice entirely.

Web standards are being developed and adopted at a rapid pace (especially as older browsers retire) but the dawn of a new device-friendly era in which mobile phones, cars, televisions and household appliances can access the web has resulted in an uncontrollable situation.

As a web designer, I’m always on the lookout for good solutions, and as strange as it may sound, the case for having separate, situational websites to deal with different devices is getting stronger by the day.

Here’s why.

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