Are we relying too much on JavaScript?

As you know, we are big proponents of accessibility. We believe that content should be available to anyone at any time on any device. As 2016 draws to a close, it has become apparent that many web pages rely heavily on JavaScript (and associated frameworks). It would appear the pendulum has swung away from semantic markup towards dynamic/ generated content.

Concerns

One nagging question keeps coming to my mind – are we preventing access for some (because of reliance on these frameworks)? Although anecdotal, I ran various websites I use on a daily basis through the Functional Accessibility Evaluator (and similar tools). Some received scores as low as 29 (out of 100) resulting in automated comments such as “accessibility was not considered in the design of the website.”

Taking this one step further, I turned off JavaScript in my browser (Chrome in this case). Some of the sites I use on a daily basis (for example my school email) were rendered useless (I did receive a message that JavaScript needed to be activated and if I had problems, I could always use Internet Explorer). Similarly, the learning management system used predominantly at my school was not functional without JavaScript. As I understand, not all assistive technologies fully embrace JavaScript. This would seem to be a problem.

Let’s discuss further

I am not trying to point a finger at specific sites, I seek a broader understanding of the current state of web development. This begs the question – what has happened to graceful degradation? Are we relying too much on JavaScript? As we support web professionals (and aspiring web professionals), we seek to begin a discussion on this topic. Are we making the WWW less inclusive as we rely more on frameworks and content management systems? Have we overlooked something important? We look forward to your comments and insights.

Best always,

Mark DuBois

Community Evangelist and Executive Director

The post Are we relying too much on JavaScript? appeared first on Web Professionals.

View full post on Web Professional Minute

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Tagged on: , ,

Leave a Reply