Teaching Examples

Those browser wars (or, what about IE 7?)
February 18, 2007, 2:57 pm
Filed under: design, online, usability

This post is an answer to all those students who whine about testing CSS (and Web design in general) in multiple Web browsers. To save time, they would like to simply design for their own browser and their own computer monitor. Ha, as if that would work!

My FeedBurner stats from 16 Feb 2007

So you don’t need to put on your reading glasses, here is the breakdown from the chart above:

  • Internet Explorer 6: 113 (30 percent)
  • Firefox 2: 82 (22 percent)
  • Internet Explorer 7: 80 (21 percent)
  • Firefox 1.5: 48 (13 percent)
  • Safari 419: 38 (10 percent)
  • Safari 312: 7 (2 percent)
  • Other Web browsers: 13 (3 percent)

The numbers come from the FeedBurner stats for this blog on Feb. 16, 2007, when 407 people clicked on at least one page.

As you may know, IE 7 renders various Web page design elements differently from IE 6. So if you’re testing in IE 7 and not IE 6, watch out. All those people who are continuing to use IE 6 (please note, they are in the majority) are seeing something different — sometimes VERY different — from what you’re seeing.

The worst thing you could possibly do is design only for one browser.

Here is some helpful background information from the free Yahoo! UI Library.

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1 Comment so far
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The worst thing you could possibly do is design only for one browser.

This is indeed becoming more true as browser use fractures. It also shows how important it is to collect and examine your user data on a consistent basis (good job, btw).

New designers should also take note to produce Web pages that degrade nicely with browsers that might not be up to snuff (ahem, IE 6). They should also learn to let go of the pixel-perfect design notion for every browser — it will drive you mad, and create far too many hacks than is necessary.

Comment by Patrick

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