Why are you browser testing last?


We always seem to leave browser testing till the end, open up Internet Explorer and within about 10 seconds of page load there’s a variety of swear words and we go off to hack our CSS or put in IE only style sheets. God help you if you go crazy and open up IE6, you’re sure to find some form of mess awaiting you.

Recently though my work habits have changed and I’ve decided to stop leaving it until the end, this has been prompted by a few things such as approaching the end of a project having not checked in IE7 and sending a colleague off to show the site to a client who, you guessed it uses IE7. (Sorry Andrew!)

Coupled with that I’ve started to develop sites in Google Chrome. I was impressed with Google Chrome when it first came out and apart from a few too many crashes with flash content it was pretty slick. However the lack of developer tools left me developing in Firefox and using two different browsers seemed a bit impractical.
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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? Continue reading

We all dislike IE6 but lets not be childish


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. Continue reading