The UX of HTML

Somehow my students are allergic to semantics and shit. And they’re not alone. If you look at 99% of all websites in the wild, everybody who worked on them seems to be allergic to semantics and shit. On most websites heading levels are just random numbers, loosely based on font-size. Form fields have no labels. Links and buttons are divs. It’s really pretty bad. So it’s not just my students, the whole industry doesn’t understand semantics and shit.

I feel this… deeply. And I 100% agree with where Vasilis is coming from here. I do take a bit of umbrage with the idea that heading levels don’t matter—they really do—but his point about getting folks excited about the stuff they get for free by paying attention to their markup is something I’ve been pushing for years as well.

If you’re interested in a related deep dive into HTML’s lack of dependencies, check out this piece I wrote for Smashing Magazine. If you’d like to dive deeper into forms, I have this talk you might like.