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State of CSS 2022 now open!

Take State of CSS 2022 survey

A while ago I posted a call for feedback to inform the design of the State of CSS 2022 survey. The response has been overwhelming and it was glorious. We got quite a lot of proposals, feedback, votes. But that also meant we had to make some tough decisions about what gets in the survey and what doesn’t, otherwise we’d end up with a survey so long nobody would want to finish it!

In the end we added questions about 15 new CSS features based on proposals in that repo, and decided against adding 9. Overall, there are 30 new CSS features the 2022 survey asks about. To make space for all of that, we also removed a few that were not really shining much light into what developers do anymore, and also a couple others that were not actually about CSS.

However, CSS features are not the only — or even the most important questions being asked.

Last year, some of the freeform questions about pain points were particularly useful to browser vendors for prioritizing implementation and standards work, and we expect this to be true this year as well. We put considerable effort into redesigning these freeform questions to make them more intuitive, while maintaining their helpfulness for browser vendors:

We hope the new wording makes it more clear that these are mutually exclusive, so that respondents do not feel they need to duplicate their answers.

One of the new questions I’m excited about is this question to gauge whether the respondent spends more time writing JS or CSS:

A focus of this year’s State of CSS survey is to reach a broader range of developers; a majority of respondents of past surveys has been JS developers who also write CSS, rather than developers that focus on CSS equally or even primarily. This is a natural consequence of this having been spun off the State of JS survey. To truly see what the State of CSS is in 2022, we need input from all types of developers, as developers with different focus have different needs and priorities. This question will allow us to evaluate how well we have reached this goal, and going forward, whether we are improving every year.

Another thing I’m excited about in this year’s survey is the ability to add freeform comments to any question.

Adding freeform comments to a question

It’s often hard to tell what the background is behind each of the three answers: are people not using a given feature due to poor browser support, poor ergonomics, or some other reason? When people do use a feature, was their experience good or bad? Would they use it again?

We went back and forth many times about having a more structured followup question there, but in the end settled on a simple freeform field for this first iteration. Maybe next year it will be more structured, depending on how people use it this year.

So, without further ado, the survey is finally open for responses:

Take State of CSS 2022 survey

This survey is not just for fun: the results actually inform what browsers prioritize for implementation. So by spending a few minutes on a thoughtful and comprehensive response, you can actually make both your and other developers’ lives better! What are you waiting for?

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Help design the State of CSS Survey 2022!

Since 2019, the annual State of CSS survey has collected feedback from web developers from across the world to try and take the pulse of the CSS ecosystem, and it’s become a valuable resource not only for CSS developers, but also for browser vendors. This summer, one of my side projects is helping out with survey design and outreach for the State of CSS survey, thanks to a generous Google UI fund grant.

The target is for the survey to launch in mid September, and we are currently working on the outline. So far we have created a preliminary outline based on last year’s survey and early research. All our work happens is in the open, in this repo. Here are some of the changes from last year’s survey:

  • Removed the Pre-processors category as it feels like there isn’t too much debate around that area.
  • Got rid of “which browser do you primarily develop in?” question as we already ask which browsers people test in.
  • Merged “Opinions” and “Environments” sections into new “Usage” section.
  • Moved browsers question to “Other Tools”.
  • New features:
    • currentcolor
    • color-mix()
    • Wide gamut colors
    • scroll-behavior
    • scroll-padding
    • font-palette
    • :focus-visible
    • :has() pseudo-class
    • :where() pseudo-class
    • Cascade Layers
    • Houdini Paint API
    • and there are several others we are considering

We are currently looking for feedback from the community, including suggesting CSS features to ask about, libraries and tools, or even new questions altogether.

There are also some design issues to flesh out, you’re welcome to weigh in there too.

If you want to quickly vote on which features are most important for you to make it into the survey, you can do that either via GitHub 👍🏼reactions, or here (which uses GitHub reactions behind the scenes). Do note that reactions are only one metric among many we will use to consider items.

The feedback period will be open until August 20, then we will start working on launching the survey.

Do note that browser makers are looking at this and similar surveys to prioritize what to implement. This is why Google is sponsoring this project. So any effort you put into survey outline feedback, and on responding to the survey when it’s ready, could come back to you tenfold when your favorite CSS features get implemented faster!