It's my HTML5, and I Want it Now!, or #FirstWorldProblems

It's my HTML5, and I Want it Now!, or #FirstWorldProblems

Hey everybody!

Friendly neighborhood hybrid here, thinking about the hard questions.

The landscape of the interwebs is fluid, elastic, and ever-evolving. Sites that were designed 2 or 3 years ago can seem stale, outmoded, and boring. For those involved with design and development, and even (especially) for savvy end-users, there are constant additions, tweaks, and features that make the internet a wonderful, beautiful, magical playground. Most recently (as of press time, anyway), the adoption of HTML5 and CSS3 have blown open doors in the area of simple, elegant design and functionality, and people are every day discovering new and ingenious uses for their features, pushing the limits of what is intended, and simplifying complicated issues of yesterday.

My question, therefore, born of experience and frustration, is this:

How do we–a young, fast-paced, forward thinking company, ostensibly living on the fringes of what can be done on the web–continue to flourish and grow, and to be pioneers on the bleeding edge of the state of the art when we are faced with the outmoded and uncooperative technologies (read: IE) that many (read: most) of our clients doggedly cling to?

I read not too long ago (citation needed) that most people use IE because they simply don’t care that much. It comes pre-installed, and the swirly “e” just stands for “internet.” As a professional in this field, that is disheartening, but we can’t disregard something simply because we don’t like the sound of it. So, to build upon my initial question:

Even if it is possible to use the latest technology and still reach the maximum of users…is it financially viable to put in the time and effort to both design for the broken relics of the past that continue to be the baseline to which we cater and to design for the future, utilizing, honing, and developing today’s technologies so that we can be current, relevant, and ahead of our competition? Moreover, if the client cannot see the benefit in having the best of something, where is the incentive (outside of personal pride and curiosity) to grow ahead of our lowet common denominator (again, to clarify, I am specifically talking about Internet Explorer and its unwillingness to be standards-compliant)?

Simply stated:

In a world where IE continues to be king, how and why should we design for the future?

I pose these questions to everyone. Creatives, Tech-Geeks, Businesspeople, Entrepreneurs, Clients, Power Users, and Grandma Wilma (actually my grandma).  Do other people in “the biz” struggle with this? Is it a struggle between art and commerce? Does anyone care? Please respond and discuss in the comments, so that I can get an answer and start sleeping again at night.

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