There’s a great deal of people who dislike IE6 and I’m amongst them, it’s an absolute pain in the arse to fix for and I agree that it should be done away with but I’m here to appeal to your sensible side. We need to be reasonable about it and I think it would be a different story if it were an Apple browser that was dragging it’s heels (I know, I know if it were an Apple browser it wouldn’t have sucked in the first place).
But why am I bothering to write about it when everyone else already has? Well it’s the attitude that some people seem to present to the problem and more so when I’ve seen people apply blanket bans on IE6 users on client sites.
Let users choose
I read a post somewhere (if someone can find it please comment it below) saying that it’s like your mechanic telling you not to drive Fords because he prefers you to drive Toyotas. You’re likely to change mechanics. I think it’s a good analogy but I don’t think it’s quite on that scale. People don’t put the same thought into buying a car as they do their browser. It’s more like your local newsagent telling you to stop buying the Daily Star because it’s rubbish. It’s the same news as in The Times and The Guardian but let’s face it, it’s just not as well written or as in depth.
But people aren’t going to stop buying the Star and as designers we aren’t readers. Let’s say we stopped letting our news show up in the Daily Star, we only let people read news about us in the Times and the Guardian and maybe the Mirror. Then we miss out on the readers from the Star and they don’t really care, they’ll just read what’s in their paper.
You may be happy to lose the readers, but are your clients? At the end of the day as long as the Daily Star is around there will always be other people willing to publish for it.
Some users can’t choose
There’s also the fact that many users of IE6 are in corporate enviroments and can’t choose to use anything else. These people are simply going to go elsewhere for there information.
Meanwhile in the real world
Let’s take this to the real world, someone is looking for a toad supplier and they visit toadsupplies.com but they get a great big notice saying they’re using IE6 and they can’t go any further. They’re on a work machine, they can’t upgrade so what do they do? They go somewhere else and find someone who does let them use IE6. Simple as that.
So what do we do then smartarse?
Yep I know that’s what you’re all asking. Well there’s obviously Google Frame, but as far as I know that can still come up against admin installation issues in corporate environments. My personal choice is simply to stick a notice at top of the page telling users that the site isn’t going to work well in IE6 so if they can upgrade, in short educate the user.
And those stick in the mud corporates? Well they aren’t going to change until Microsoft tell them to, so I guess we need to give Microsoft a hard time, I’m sure they’ll listen!
If you wish to educate yourself on some more anti IE resources head over to Cats who code. Although I personally would say IE8 isn’t that bad a browser and Firefox is appearing slow at the moment, if Google Chrome gets developer tools sorted I may be off there myself.