The first couple of expectations and assumptions regarding HTML5. Please let me have your comments and see whether these ring true …
1 – HTML5 works the same in all browsers
Alternatively if cross-browser support is less important you could target a single browser, or choose a couple which are widely used across your target user base. Chrome and Firefox might be the two, Opera could be a consideration, Safari if you have Mac users, while Internet Explorer – in any incarnation still considered something of an outsider – will probably pickup with the spread of Windows 8 and IE 10.
There’s a great score card for all browsers here, showing that Maxthon 4 is the winner in the HTML5 stakes right now (and I’ve got to admit I’ve never heard of it)
*There are several other lesser-used technologies included and referenced by HTML5, such as SVG, MathML, Ruby …
2 – HTML5 works the same on all devices
A common statement from a client who is looking to build an app or web-app is
“We only want to build one thing, and we want it to work the same on everything”
This question is driven from the clients (usually anecdotal) understanding that native apps need to be written explicitly for a given single device, and the following expectation that simply building it in HTML(5) will magically make it work on everything, everywhere.
If you think about it for a moment, it’s actually a big ask for a web page (and all of its embedded media and images) that are designed for a 15″ screen to shrink down to a 2.5″ screen, and every other screen size in between, without some serious considerations about the effect on the usability and features per device, not to mention the fact that the smartphone user almost definitely wants different things from a website when they are walking around town vs. in front of their laptop in the office, and would want a different experience again on their web TV.
A simple way to think about this usability difference per-device is to consider ‘hover’; A common bit of design fluff is that some parts of a web page change when you hover your mouse pointer over them – maybe the colour changes or something animates …
Now think about how hover works on a tablet – that’s right, there’s no mouse pointer and no hovering – when your finger is not on the screen, the browser doesn’t know where it is – therefore your designers and developers need to cater for this when building the web app. Either they don’t use ‘hover’ at all for any device, or you design and code to cater for the devices where the concept of ‘hover’ exists, and those where it doesn’t.
More to come on this topic over the next few days.