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Browser and device support

Support the browsers and devices your visitors use so they can access core content and functionality.

Progressive enhancement

Building with progressive enhancement means:

  • essential content and functionality is provided to as many users as possible
  • the best possible experience is provided only to users of the most modern browsers that can run all the required code.

Case study: Why we use progressive enhancement to build GOV.UK

Gov.UK service manual: Building a resilient frontend using progressive enhancement

Progressive enhancement does take more time. You can do a cost/benefit analysis to understand if the effort is worthwhile for the number of users affected, by looking at analytics to see which browsers and devices your visitors are using.

For browsers and devices with fewer users, decide if it is acceptable for that number of people to not get the best possible experience, or be unable to complete core tasks.

Progressive enhancement and JavaScript

If JavaScript fails for a visitor, but your site is built using progressive enhancement, the core functionality of the site will still be available.

Blog post: How many people are missing out on JavaScript enhancement?

Browser testing

The following case study covers goals and challenges with cross-browser testing. It also includes tools you can use to test.

Case study: Techniques for mobile and responsive cross-browser testing

Messages to users of older browsers

If your site does not support an older browser, you can include a message that tells users of that browser they will not be able to access all functionality.

Historic web standard

In 2013, the New Zealand Government Web Standards were replaced with the Web Accessibility Standard and the Web Usability Standard.

In the new standards, it is no longer a requirement to test in specific browsers.

You can read about the historic standard, and the change, in the following blog post.

Blog post: Meeting Web Standard 2.4 on browser testing

Utility links and page information

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