Presentation User Interface Standards


#1

I am having some difficulty in ascertaining the delineation of W3C standards. It seems that the scope is quite broad.

The specific area of concern that I am currently experiencing some difficulty understanding is the user interface recommendations by the standards body. For example, setting up a report, I attempt to implement standard based user interface elements. I currently have two types of elements in the report; a multiple enabled select element and a date range. Pursuant to standards, I have implemented the date range by means of defining an input type of “date”.

Here is the difficulty I am experiencing. I do not believe the elements to be natural in interaction. For example, even with preexisting knowledge of the functionality, I am hesitant to put a multiple enable select element in front of users as is. Predictability is an important aspect of application, yet there is no indicator whether the element is enabled for selection of multiple options as is. It leaves the user to guess, perhaps experiencing some dismay in finding that they have committed an incorrect assumption or that they may be limited in how they are utilizing the interface.

With the date type of the input element, it seems Internet Explorer and Firefox are seemingly disregarding this specification, or at least leaving an opportunity open for the members of their technological ecosystem, leaving the influence of the standards body in question. With this, it seems that the lack of presentation layer specification of the element, and the implementation of the element by the, perhaps more progressive, organization, creates a vacuum of work to be performed by end users of the specification. Specifically, the format is varied from the communication medium, forcing reconciliation if implemented for use in other browsers.

Is the best practice being communicated here that standards should encourage the use of a single browser? Should the specifications be circumvented as far as best practices in presentation is concerned? Is it that the body is building an ecosystem of based upon the best practices developed by private organizations? Or perhaps just keeping people going with busy work?

I am not certain of the intent and effect here.