Instead of attempting to give everyone the same exact thing, we should always find a way to make sure they can use what we build.
Many of my bosses and clients have come to me with the same question, over and over. Why does this website look so much better on Chrome than it does on Internet Explorer 8? The answer is usually a simple one, IE simply doesn’t support all of the slick new technology that modern browsers like Chrome and Safari do.
We as makers of of the web, know its a fool’s errand to try and replicate every design element or feature to look the same in a modern browser as well as older versions. It’s an outdated, shortsighted and infuriating idea, that really needs to stop. It limits our ability to take full advantage of the wonderful, interactive and multimedia features and additions that HTML 5 has made reality. Making these experiences backwards compatible to environments that lack even basic support for video?
We need to rethink our approach, and build interfaces that are not just resized, but tailored to the context which they are displayed in. We need to anticipate what our users will want to do, on their respective devices and tailor their experiences to match. Load only what is needed, when it is needed. Faster is always better.