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In praise of vanilla HTML

software opinion

I Recently started to follow a lot of people using blogs. I found that it was a sane way to learn stuff from trusted sources, and free from algorithm working to get my attention. One of the blog I stumbled upon Brad Taunt’s, a UX designer “Passionate about open source software, usability, privacy, and minimal design”. He is the author of the simple yet clever vanilla.css , the only css I feel confortable to use on this blog !

What does HTML have to do with that ?

Glad you asked me, me ! The part about that blog that hit me was his nav menu. At the time of writing, he has removed it (surely it was too much styling), but it was eye opening to me. It was a plain html checkbox and the word “menu” next to it. This checkbox made me understand the “less is more” part of UX on a whole other level. The design what clear, responsive out of the box and the lightest you could go to pass the information (right behind his new design).

HTML is accessible

On this Part, you might want to read Drew DeVault’s blog post on the subject if you want to read someone more informed on the subject. In this article, he paints accessibility as much more than screen readers. It is also about (but not limited to) performances. Not all people have a good internet access or enough CPU to checkout every site. Plain html, or at least very minimaly styled html makes a difference. HTML is also almost plain text, which might be the most responsive solution.

Why not just go plain text

Now that I put it to text, i think that nothing is stopping you. I suggest you checkout Bradley Taunt’s shinobi website which pushes the idea of plain text website to the max, just plain text and nothing more. But that’s where i would draw a line personally, I think that too much information is lost and the gain is too minimal to make the switch. But thats for you to decide.