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Internet Explorer 6: the support dilemna

Microsoft will officially retire Internet Explorer 6 in July of 2010. The browser was originally released in late 2001. 9 years is not a bad run for a piece of software.

In the last year, there has been a growing movement to stop supporting IE6 for websites and web applications. There's a good reason for that: IE6 creates a lot of extra work for web designers and impose limits on application developers. With AceProject, since a good portion of our users still use IE6, we need to keep supporting it. However, we're thinking about our strategy next summer, when Microsoft will drop support for IE6.

  • One one side, if the manufacturer does not support its own product, should we support it?
  • On the other side, can we force our clients to upgrade their browsers? Organizations that use IE6 tend to be on the large side, with strict IT policies that are difficult to bend.

What are your thoughts?

By |2009-11-24T15:27:00-05:002009-11-24|

To know your user, surf in his browser for a day

With AceProject, we support 5 browsers: Internet Explorer, FireFox, Safari, Opera and Google Chrome.

At Websystems, most of us use FireFox or Internet Explorer. Hence, we tend to want to test AceProject with our preferred browser, in our preferred language.

But we still support all the other ones

To make sure all browsers and languages are used to test AceProject, we’ve decided to rotate browsers throughout the development cycle. Right now, I’m testing on Opera. I poersonnaly use FireFox and Chrome as my primary Web browsers. Opera is a different animal. Everything looks a little bit different in this browser. To the point where, as I am testing, I wonder: “is this an AceProject bug, or is it one of Opera’s quirks?”

Suffice to say, the way someone experiences a web site can be significantly different from browser to browser. It’s worth trying out other browsers, to surf the web though someone else’s browser.

By |2009-03-27T14:45:00-04:002009-03-27|

Websites should work on all browsers

I keep finding websites that NEED Internet Explorer to work correctly. On the last website I visited, a government directory, the search function would only work with Internet Explorer.  This is inexcusable. While Michel, our graphic designer, keeps telling me how hard it is to make AceProject look the same across five browsers (Internet Explorer, FireFox, Safari, Opera, Chrome), it can be done.

It doesn’t have to be perfect. But it has to work.

Forcing your visitors to stick to a specific browser or a specific screen resolution will only increase your bounce rate.

On AceProject’s website, only 49% of all visitors use Internet Explorer, while 40% use FireFox, 4.75% use Chrome and another 4% uses Safari. If we only support Internet Explorer,  we would turn our backs on more than half our visitors.

By |2009-03-09T17:35:00-04:002009-03-09|

The downfall of Internet Explorer

It seems to me it’s only a few years ago that Internet Explorer took 80%+ of the browser share from my website visitors.

How things have changed. Internet Explorer is now used by only 49% of AceProject’s visitors, while FireFox is preferred by 40% of them. FireFox and Internet Explorer are now nose-to-nose.

By |2009-01-22T18:50:00-05:002009-01-22|
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