This is a bit old - you may or may not notice the date on this post but it's over a year old. That doesn't mean it's not useful but we all know how fast things chance on the web so there's a chance that techniques and technologies described here could be a little dated.

Who are you designing for?

browser iconsWhen I started writing on this blog I thought to myself “don’t churn out loads of IE6 posts”, well, I let myself get a little indulgent and wrote one and since then one thought has occurred to me reading people’s anti IE6 comments and all the bring down IE6 websites. A lot of them have quite simply missed the point of the whole thing.

I’m sure we can all agree that IE6 is not a good browser, that it should be gotten rid of and that until Microsoft unplug support it will still be around, but you shouldn’t stop supporting it because YOU don’t like it. According to browser statistics from October Firefox has surpassed IE6 in terms of users but a quick scroll down shows a whopping 23.30% of the market share still sits with IE6! That’s nearly a quarter of internet users still using IE6, sad and annoying – yes, but can you really turn away that many users simply for using a rubbish browser?

So you should really be asking who are you designing for? Are you designing for you and all your colleagues using Safari on the Mac or are you designing for the rest of the world? To reach as many people as possible?

Another comment that brought this home was posted by Paul Boag and labelled “Possibly the dumbest statement I have ever read” and goes a little something like this:

According to Whistles’ Jane Sheperdson, ‘We spent a lot of time researching best practice online. We then threw out everything we had learned, and just designed something that pleased us visually.’

The title is possibly a little harsh but it again begs the question, who are you designing for? If you’re designing an eCommerce site then you should most certainly be designing for the customer!

The site thankfully isn’t that bad, they have a rather unusual, slightly confusing homepage but once you get into the site it appears normal service is resumed, but can you really afford to just say sod you lot out their I’m designing for me?

As I’ve said before simply making everything accesible for people using IE6 will do (see Andy Clarke’s post but you really should remember that the internet isn’t all about you, it’s about the visitors to your site, the people who make everything tick.