Alright, I’ve posted before about issues with transparent PNG files, and how I was thinking of using a separate IE stylesheet with transparent GIF files in place of the PNGs. I’ve really started to work on the project, and although it would be a simple task to do use the separate IE stylesheet, the GIFs don’t really look nearly as nice as the PNGs do. After seeing other sites post notes saying that they’d no longer be coding for IE6, I’ve thought about doing the same. I’m thinking of using IE’s conditional comments to put the following text on the site, below the header but before the content:
I just wanted to get the opinions of other designers before actually going through with it, as I’d read somewhere before that it’s bad netiquette to ask your visitors to upgrade their browsers. The message will only appear if the site is viewed with IE6 or below, as the site looks fine in IE 7.
According to http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp , 26% of users are still on IE6, a dwindling number, but not a segment to dismiss just yet. But it depends on your audience. If you’re designing a site for users who most likely have the latest and greatest and are early adopters, you might be able to assume they are on IE7. If you’re designing a site for students, you might not be able to make that leap. Our local library is still using IE6.
Just use IE PNG Fix. This way, the PNGs will show up correctly in IE 6 and you don’t have to worry about making two sets of graphics (and having the GIFs look worse).
Average web users don’t know or care about the nuances of cross-browser web design (especially if they’re still using IE 6!), and they shouldn’t have to. If they go to your site and it looks bad, they’re not going to care why; they’re just going to think "this is a crummy looking site." If they dislike it that much, they’ll sooner find a different site that gives them the information they want, rather than upgrade their browser because you told them to.
I have tried it, and it didn’t work for me. I think it looks fine the way it does in IE6 even with poor PNG transparency – a lot better than it will with GIFs in place of them, in my opinion.
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