Most websites, now, seem to be comfortable designing their UI in a way that acknowledges that the user’s experience in IE is going to be inferior to the modern browsers. To use a simple example, this simple effect on the LinkedIn menubar uses a CSS dropshadow style that IE doesn’t support.
The other day, I was asked to implement a common feature that often appears on HTML forms — “ghosted” text in some of the text fields that disappears once the user starts typing. Like this example.
Now, it turns out that this ghost text is actually part of the HTML5 standard: it’s called “placeholder” text, and I can specify it like so:
<input name="myName" value="" placeholder="Your name please" >
It’s pretty slick. It lets me write for HTML5-compliant browsers, and gives me a nice fall-back behaviour for yesterday’s browsers.
Afterward: One last thought: you can style HTML5 placeholder text in Firefox, Safari and Chrome. The above script applies a .placeholder class to the backported case.