It’s mind-boggling how many times I’ve heard designers say something like “I can’t wait until CSS3 is supported across all browsers so I can start using it!” If that sounds like a reasonable claim to you, don’t worry, you’re not alone–even I used to think that way. But that perspective is a real problem.
If/When CSS3 is finally supported across all browsers, there will be browsers with CSS4 support. It’s a never-ending cycle. Some browsers will live on the bleeding edge of technology, and some will take years to catch up. That’s the way it will always be, so it doesn’t make sense to design by the least common denominator, hanging on to false hope, dreaming of the day when you’ll implement a design once. Your life as a designer is too short for that! You should be using the cool stuff as fast as it comes out (where applicable, of course).
Cross-browser support for CSS3 and similar technologies is often said to be the greatest day in a designer’s life. “Can you imagine the day when all browsers are the same?” Back to reality. I say the greatest day in a designers life is when clients begin to realize and understand that their design simply cannot look the same in every browser. That’s the breakthrough I’m waiting for, and that’s what will give designers more freedom to truly be creative.
Browses are different, we (designers and clients alike) need to accept that so we can move on and create awesomeness.