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When can we stop designing with IE6 in mind?

  • # May 1, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    I know that the "real" answer to this question is to look at the site’s statistics and determine whether the amount of users visiting your site is enough to worry about. My question is how many people design with IE6 in mind, and how many people totally disregard it.

    Is it safe to say when a browser is two generations old we can then think about disregarding its limitations? Hopefully IE8 will be popular soon so we can get everyone upgraded to IE7 in time for it to be ancient. woo hoo.

    Let me know how you guys/gals approach your designs in regards to browser compatibility…

    # May 1, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    Well most of my clients still have IE6 on their computer just like way to much people here in the Netherlands. So for now I still design with IE6 in my mind… Although with everybody I talk about browsers, I advice to use Firefox, but most people are just so used to their browser that they don’t want something new, something different…

    box
    # May 1, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    It is a statistics question. Jacob Nielsen believes that web designers should design for the last two browsers in any given brand. But IE is a curious egg. I’ve been working at a local university of late and have been shocked to see that the entire system (therefore a few thousand students) is still running win2k with IE6! When IE8 makes it out of beta, I can’t see this university updating their server system so they will still be using IE6. If this is replicated in the majority of UK universities then that would be tens of thousands of students – a very important market for many of us, will be viewing our websites on IE6. Then there’s the plethora of companies out there who also refuse or can’t update their aging intranet. I think we’ll be designing for IE6 for some time yet alas.

    # May 2, 2008 at 5:03 am

    If Youtube, Myspace and Facebook got together and stopped serving IE6 it would probably be gone within a month! But that’s unfortunately not going to happen. :( Wouldn’t that be great though!

    # May 2, 2008 at 5:05 am

    I think we will have to keep designing for IE6 as there will still be lots of people using IE 6 when IE 8 comes out.

    There will be too high a percentage of companies and universities that can’t afford to upgrade their systems, especially in the current climate.

    But as always it depends on your target audience and you have to take in to account what they are going to be using.

    # May 4, 2008 at 1:12 am

    its unfortunately going to be at least 2 years, minimum before we can forget about it. i never wory about 5 or less thats for sure.

    the majority of users are still on 6, 7′s much better and theyre already coming out with 8. realizing that to me means most pc users dont care or know better so they have no reason to switch until they get a new comp.

    # June 1, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    I don’t think that we’ll ever be able to truly stop designing for IE6. I know too many people who ignore Windows upgrades who are still using Windows Media Player 9 and IE6, not to mention the sheer number of people who are using bootlegged WinXP systems who can’t upgrade properly without hacking their systems. I’m really glad I stumbled upon CSS-Tricks, because I can now learn how to optimize for cross-browser use…

    # June 3, 2008 at 11:19 am

    If I’d been asked to guess, I’d say not untill 2010, maybe. Then Microsoft would’ve at least made IE7 obligatory update to all users of Windows (legit and illegal copies).

    But as it looks now, I bet the next few years will still be under the IE6 userbase’s whip.

    # June 3, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    Not anytime soon. About 75% of people use some version of Internet Explorer, and of those, IE6 is still the most popular (although, not by much). At least Firefox managed to eat a big chunk out of IE’s total share (I think it used to be like 98% or something at one point).

    Looking at the current adoption rate, I would guess that IE7′s share will equal that of IE6 sometime around October – just about when it’s 2 years old. That’s just to equal it. Then we’re going to have the same cycle when IE8 comes out to displace IE7. IE8 doesn’t even have a set release date yet, as far as I know (Beta 2 is scheduled for Q308).

    So, in summary…it’s going to be a while. I would guess maybe four to six years from now we’ll be able to safely discard IE6.

    # June 4, 2008 at 4:22 am

    Eehm… those 75% where you are talking about, that are numbers out of 1998 ;)

    .V1
    # June 4, 2008 at 9:02 am

    if(this.is.ie && this.is.version = 6)
    {
    window.location = ‘http://www.microsoft.com/windows/downloads/ie/getitnow.mspx’;
    }

    ^_^

    box
    # June 4, 2008 at 9:35 am
    ".V1" wrote:
    if(this.is.ie && this.is.version = 6)
    {
    window.location = ‘http://www.microsoft.com/windows/downloads/ie/getitnow.mspx’;
    }

    ^_^

    This is no use if you’re one of the countless thousands of people who are accessing websites from within an educational institution that refuses to upgrade their entire Intranet infrastructure from Win2kServer (or even NT server) to something more recent. IE7 doesn’t run on win2k (not officially) so a redirect script to its download isn’t helpful. It would be better to have a specific IE6 stylesheet which resets all styling, offering a plain or much simplified version that provides a perfectly functional page containing all of the information available to everyone else – but in a more boring way.

    .V1
    # June 4, 2008 at 2:33 pm
    "box" wrote:
    ".V1" wrote:
    if(this.is.ie && this.is.version = 6)
    {
    window.location = ‘http://www.microsoft.com/windows/downloads/ie/getitnow.mspx’;
    }

    ^_^

    This is no use if you’re one of the countless thousands of people who are accessing websites from within an educational institution that refuses to upgrade their entire Intranet infrastructure from Win2kServer (or even NT server) to something more recent. IE7 doesn’t run on win2k (not officially) so a redirect script to its download isn’t helpful. It would be better to have a specific IE6 stylesheet which resets all styling, offering a plain or much simplified version that provides a perfectly functional page containing all of the information available to everyone else – but in a more boring way.

    My point with that code is.. If u want people to stop using IE take the steps your self. In my new webdesign im starting with this kind of targetting. We as developers know the pain to create good working websites for IE6, but allot of IE6 users ARE NOT DEVELOPERS, they dont understand / are willing to understand that thier browser is stopping us from building better and more advanced websites.

    box
    # June 4, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    Indeed – but not everyone has a choice of which browser they use – so redirecting them to a download site is contrary to good accessibility practice. I feel your pain but I don’t think this is the answer.

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