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原文链接: The real responsive design challenge? RSS.


The web is a diverse place, just check your server logs. You’ll see bots and fringe mobile devices, user agents on all kinds of screens and operating systems. It’s easy to get used to the way that you use the web and neglect the user experience for the world at large.

For instance I noticed that a chunk of my own traffic are the feed readers accessing my Atom feed. Out of curiousity I decided to investigate what it’s like to use these Atom readers to read my content. It wasn’t pretty. The feed problems uncovered deeper usability problems whose solution is applicable to web design in general.

Before reading on you might like to try this for yourself. If you host an RSS or Atom feed then load it in a variety of readers and see how it looks. Here are ones I’ve noticed who hit my site: Newsbeuter, Newsflow, Sismics reader, Tiny Tiny RSS, Feedly, Feedbin, Akregator, Feed Wrangler, NewsBlur, FeedHQ, Feed Spot, Livedoor reader, Miniflux, Liferea, Readerrr, and Mozilla reader.

The first thing you’ll notice is that they disregard Javascript and CSS but preserve images. Sometimes they add their own CSS, other times they leave the document completely unstyled. Taking control of the style allows these programs to offer adjustible line spacing and switchable themes like a darkened night browsing mode. You may not have seen your site without any CSS clothes for a while, and may realize it needs to go to the markup gym.

Here are tips to make your site work better for everyone.

This experiment opened my eyes to the spectrum of user agent capabilities. It’s not as black and white as full browsers vs text based browsers or screen readers. People access web sites with all permutations of JS, CSS, and graphics enabled, and you can make easy changes to help everyone enjoy your site.