A good reset

Posted on in Web

In a recent post, Jeremy discussed a possible reason for developers not reaching for native HTML elements like button or select, and instead recreating them with divs, JavaScript and ARIA:

But I now understand that someone else might hear that there’s a native HTML element—like button or select—that comes with built-in behaviours around interaction and accessibility, and think “Uh-oh! What if there unexpected side-effects of these built-in behaviours that might bite me on the ass?

But I wonder if there’s a simpler explanation.

The one common feature between every codebase I’ve encountered on that doesn’t use buttons well, is a bad CSS reset. Developers try to use a button, and find that it still looks like a native browser button, so they grab a plain old, blank canvas div, and build from there.

Adding a good CSS reset to an established codebase is tricky; the side effects of changing very global element styles can be unknown and far-reaching. But if you can get your buttons looking as plain as a div from the start of a project, there’s very little reason not to use the proper element.

I tend to reset my buttons to look like any other text element, then layer on styling with classes. But by having the blank canvas to begin with, you won’t be fighting against yourself when additional button variants come along.

button {
  -webkit-appearance: none;
  border-radius: 0;
  text-align: inherit;
  background: none;
  box-shadow: none;
  padding: 0;
  cursor: pointer;
  border: none;
  color: inherit;
  font: inherit;

Posted on in Web