Graceful degradation.

Graceful degradation is an engineering concept that has been in use in web development since 1994. It places the focus of development work on the best browser features and provides a path for lesser browsers to provide the same essence of experience but with diminished effect. Since the feature-poor browsers are handled reactively, little thought is consequentially placed on how to provide the best possible experience in them, instead only striving for the least bad facsimile of the intended experience.rG3

While an important principle to apply to some problems, progressive enhancement works with the core experience first and refines for specific technology from there.

  1. Aaron Gustafson, “Understanding Progressive Enhancement,” A List Apart, October 7, 2008, (See notes.)