12 December 2007

What is Interface Development

This is a very very good question. I often get asked what Interface Development really is (other than the obvious answer). Many people will know it as front end development. But its easier to answer the question in the form of a skill set.

I consider the core skills for a Web Interface Developer (or ID) to be:
HTML
CSS
JavaScript
User Agents
Accessibility

So what do these terms mean?

HTML
Fairly self-explanatory really. But an ID should know about HTML and XHTML in all its different forms. That is every widely supported doctype around.

CSS
Also self-explanatory. Everything up to CSS 2.1 is useful at this time.

JavaScript
Another one of those obvious ones. This is not to say that all IDs should be expert in JavaScript, but all IDs should have a good working knowledge

User Agents
This is less obvious. But I think an ID should know all about the most common browsers in use in the market today. How we define common is perhaps not a subject for this post, but once you have decided what is common, an ID should be able to write code to be compatible for all of them and should be able to understand their foibles and quirks

Accessibility
Well here is something that is a bit more contentious! IDs should ultimately be versed in best practice. Accessibility is a large subject and deserves many posts all of its own, but suffice to say that knowing what the WCAG say is not enough. Understanding best practice and why some approaches are good and others bad is far more useful.


So this is what an ID is. Its what we preach and what we practice and these are the topics that this blog will discuss. Enjoy.

3 comments:

Mark said...

Good, first post!

What about usability?!

James Norton said...

I would not consider usability a core skill for an ID. Thats more for an EA!! However, I will cover off the issue of IDs and usability in a later post.

Neil Mosafi said...

Nice first post mate, and thanks for the blogroll!

Looking forward to reading some content on your blog