We asked some of the leading design companies around the country what their biggest design challenge was in 2008. We would have never guessed that we would receive such an overwhelming consensus. The biggest challenge of 2008 was cross-browser compatibility. Making sure that an application or website looks great on every major browser engine (Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari…) and all of the various versions and platforms.

Sean Colombo, developer of LyricWiki.org said, “hands down the most severe web-design challenge of 2008 was cross-browser compatibility.” Katie Haney of McMurry located in Phoenix, AZ mentioned browser compatibility at the top of their list that also contains: client wants/needs, streaming flash video, presenting old technologies, and using new untested technology. It is also one of the more common problems that I hear about from designers.

Next week we will explore this issue in more detail based on the feedback we have received from media companies, web developers we work with, and two organizations that provide tools to assist developers in identifying problems. Here are some of the topics we will cover.

1. Browser compatibility issues of 2008 aren’t going away in 2009 – What are they and why is it getting worse.
2. Going to Battle with the Web Browser– There isn’t a clear winner anymore, but lets try to make sure your web app comes out on top.
3. Identifying browser compatibility issues before your client does – Tools and techniques to streamline your testing process and identify problems.
4. Tools and tips to solve browser compatibility issues – What to do once you identify them.
5. Looking under the hood: how browsers render pages and how they differ – Including upcoming browser versions.
6. Keeping user generated content from ruining your design – Allowing people to contribute content without contributing problems.
7. Identify ongoing web application compatibility issues through testing and monitoring – Making sure that great new feature works on every browser and that a browser update doesn’t break everything.

There is a lot of great stuff here and I think you’ll enjoy the insight that our contributors have provided.

Special thanks goes to Ruth Anne Wood for sending out queries for these contributions. If you are interested in contributing a future article, review, series, or advertising please contact her at ruth@365webapps.com.