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Why is a good HTML5 interface important for a business project?

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Q:

Why is a good HTML5 interface important for a business project?

A:

HTML5 is a common foundation for a business interface for various reasons. Businesses can really benefit from building an interface with HTML5 rather than going with native code solutions.

On the broadest level, HTML5 is important because of the utility and centrality of the world wide web. With the cloud phenomena driving so huge a volume of web-delivered services, HTML5 functions as a reliable way to deliver those services with an end-user interface.

When talking about the utility of an HTML5 interface, many experts simply point out that as the preeminent markup language, HTML5 is universal – it works on any device, in any browser. It's an open-source language that is still the standard for both desktop and mobile interfaces. Although many mobile apps are made with native code, many others rely on HTML5. A hybrid approach is also possible, but this doesn't detract from the popularity of HTML5 as the main foundation for web projects.

It's also important to point out that certain development trends have supported HTML use. One such trend is the limitation of the use of plug-ins. A 2013 piece from JavaWorld talks about “the significance of HTML5” and contends that the importance of HTML5 starts with the restriction of browser plug-ins and the philosophy that many functional code modules should instead be built with HTML. The article goes through some of the landmark events that kept development focused on HTML code – for example, the involvement of top entrepreneur Steve Jobs in promoting effective use of HTML5 over other options. Contending that other tech giants like Google have “followed suit” Andrew Glover points out that HTML5 has the support of all browsers and so is effectively “browser agnostic,” supported by all major vendors.

The above idea also supports the argument that HTML5 interfaces can help with time to market. Rather than trying to reengineer for different environments, developers can build an HTML5 interface that is directly usable across a broad range of environments. There is also less of a burden to submit application designs to “walled gardens” such as the Apple Store, again, because of the open-source nature and platform-agnostic nature of HTML5. There is also the familiarity that developers have with HTML5, because of its broad utility. Having this easy interoperability can be important for complex interfaces that need to handle a wide array of information. Developers generally understand how to use visual dashboard components to build a useful tool and a user-friendly interface. But many would argue that using HTML5 supports that goal, just because it's more of a common use tool and a broadly popular standard.

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Written by Justin Stoltzfus
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Justin Stoltzfus is a freelance writer for various Web and print publications. His work has appeared in online magazines including Preservation Online, a project of the National Historic Trust, and many other venues.
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