Random thoughts of a digital web weaver

Normalize (CSS) No More.

Like many web developers, I have used a reset/normalize style sheet in a variety of projects with the intention of having a common starting point for all browsers when it comes to styling CSS. It’s been useful. It works great for setting a baseline to create web pages that are pixel-perfect reproductions of mockups from designs.

However, as I work with building responsive websites where the widening array of devices has changed the way that we design websites, I have fallen back to the age-old statement that answers the question of whether a website needs to look exactly the same in every browser. With the answer to that question, I have found that the reset/normalize stylesheet has become unnecessary.

As a designer, I have come to accept that there may be minor differences from browser to browser. If I can accept that my sites will look different (sometimes significantly) on different devices, there is no reason to get upset if my site does not look the same pixel-for-pixel in different browsers.

This doesn’t mean that I don’t make adjustments to things like margins and padding on a paragraph or list. I choose to embrace the defaults a browser gives me and work off of them instead of stripping them out and starting from scratch every time. I find that this approach makes my code cleaner and more robust without adding any extra overhead.