5 levels of IE6 support - which do you provide?

Unfortunately there are still a lot of ie6 users. Most of my sites are a 1 without making a major effort. If the site uses Alpha transparencies, I write a separate style-sheet to swap out those images for flat ones. Most of the problems I’ve had with IE6 also occur with IE7.

I’m the same as Karpie. All my sites for the company I work for work 100% in IE6 but for my personal site which I am currently designing it will look ugly in IE6 due to lack of alpha transparency etc. I’m not supporting a 9 year old browser for my personal site anymore.

@andrew it’s not a question of caring about a browser. It’s about your care for the users of that browser.

Well I don’t know what any of you will think of me regarding my support for IE6 but here it goes anyway…

When I design / develop a new Website I only aim to give 100% support to the following Web browsers:

  • Internet Explorer 7
  • Internet Explorer 8
  • Mozilla Firefox 3.x
  • Google Chrome 4
  • Opera 10.x
  • Safari 4

Did you notice something missing? Internet Explorer 6. I don’t have access to any computer that has Internet Explorer 6 installed so I can’t even view any Websites in IE6 however, even if I did have access to IE6 I wouldn’t bother supporting or testing any Websites in IE6. I have absolute 0% support for IE6 and however stupid, ignorant, and down-right silly it might be, this is the statement I’ll make right now: I don’t care about Internet Explorer 6.

I will say that the Websites I do create are HTML 4.01 Strict valid and CSS 2.1 valid and I don’t usually do any funny business with CSS or anything. Because I never support IE6 I’ve never once used a single CSS hack, I don’t use any and don’t intend to in the future. I only use one conditional comment to include an IE7 specialist CSS document.

I would think that it is possible that the Websites I design / develop would come close to #2 / #3 although it looks more like #4 because I never test in IE6 - That isn’t to say the design is completely out of whack in IE6 though. Who knows? I don’t! :smiley:

Andrew Cooper

What it all boils down to is who the intended audience of the site is. If it’s the general internet community them you might/possibly be able to get away with partial or no support for IE6 but if a large chunk of the site’s intended audience is commercial/educational then you can’t get away with not supporting IE6 as many of them will probably still be using IE6.

It should be at least 3), preferabbly 2), ideally 1).

You need to look at the intended market of the site. If the intended market is made up of corporate/business or schools/educational institutes then like as already been said chances are they are stuck with IE6 and have no choice, probably in some cases due to the use of legacy web apps.

You should start with a base layer of basic HTML and CSS (granted you might have to have specific css hacks in place) which all browsers will be able to view and add the various layers on top. Remember any site should not rely on any specific tech being available, ie Javascript, Flash, etc.

Exactly - I’ve created enough browser specific stylesheets in my day to know how to avoid IE6 inconsistencies so I imagine that my sites perform well but I stopped testing in IE6 so I really have no idea…

It’s an old IE6 joke Alex, it was not meant to be taken seriously! :wink:

After everything I have said in this thread about supporting IE6/7 do you really think I would be advocating that. :slight_smile:

Yeah, I noticed that IE use in general had dropped to the mid 50’s on the sites I manage as well. IE6 was still in double digits for the most part but well below 20% of total IE use. It’s good news. I don’t mind IE8 at all so I’m not perturbed by IE use but IE6 definitely throw a wrench in things.

I personally aim for 1 however that isn’t always possible due to the browser quirks or lack of support for certain stuff (like fixed positioning in IE6). On my own website I think my site qualifies as a 2 as while it doesn’t have all the cool effects and all the panels stack at once, the way I produced the site allows it to gracefully degrade so the navigation menus simply jump to the right section of the page in preference to hiding and loading the CSS panels. :slight_smile:

As not everyone has scripting, we simply cannot expect this kind of support as standard, if the website is unique or goes beyond the basics.

This is the best possible outcome for websites that degrade gracefully. A few small inconsistencies but nothing that breaks the experience. :slight_smile:

This is probably the lowest level of support I would say is acceptable, it will look unprofessional but as long as the site works, little harm is done.

There’s NO excuse for this level of support, it’s the designers responsibility to ensure their stuff works for the general population of visitors.

Why anyone would do this is beyond me, if your design is that poor, why not just show the HTML and disable the CSS using conditional comments?

THAT code is hideous, not only will it block people using the website (as you stated) but screen reader users who CAN see the website will be unable to use the website (as some screen readers refuse to read content hidden using display:none or visibility:hidden). What you just stated there would violate WCAG and accessibility legislation. By using that code you’re directly doing something which is going to cause serious harm to disabled visitors ability to use your sites. :frowning:

Isn’t that the code number for take a shotgun and start hunting the IE6 development team? :smiley:

According to the most reliable data we have (ironically it’s on Wikipedia - the data is accurate from independent sources) as of April 2010, Internet Explorer usage is down to a record low of 53.26%. IE6’s overall usage is still pretty high (in double figure percent’s of the overall IE usage) but it’s going down all the time. :slight_smile:

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_web_browsers

I disagree entirely, people who use Internet Explorer 6 aren’t as ignorant as you might make them out to be, as we’ve already established… the overwhelming majority of IE6 users have NO ability to change browsers as their locked into corporate or government networks with strict upgrade policies. Giving them a message which repeatedly tells them what is more than likely they already know is not just annoying, it’s patronising and shows a general lack of intelligence on behalf of the person throwing the message around like it’s some kind of simple situation people can get out of. There’s no defence for targeted “attacks”, those who CAN upgrade have already done so, posting a message which is outright unnecessary has no logic or genuine justification for existing. :slight_smile:

That’s a good post. I never understand this “sod IE6” mentality.

Is it really that hard to do things properly?

Not exactly, but I once came across a site that had quite some color in it, and a drawing of a bike in the center, with all kind of artifacts and a man sitting on it looking happy.
When you visited this website in IE6 everything was grayscale, most of the artifacts of the bike were gone, and the man sitting on the bike looked sad.

Can’t remember which site it was, and also can’t find it on google, but I thought it was rather funny :slight_smile:

Thanks for your replies everyone. I probably shouldn’t have stated how I support IE6 - I didn’t want to start a war! I’m more interested in what others do, which of course will be influenced by the type of site in question. (So please, before getting stuck in to me, remember that I might be doing sites where legacy support is not a priority :))

In any case, I think it’s defensible to draw a line in the sand and tell visitors “your browser is more than 5 years old, so this site might not look as good as it could, but come on in”. An annoyance to visitors? Sure. Sadistic and arrogant? No.

By the way, has anyone come across a 5, i.e. total denial? Outside of ‘death the ie6’ sites, that is.

I always do my best to get near 2. I dream of a day when 5 would be acceptable!

I have the luxury of now two jobs where IE 6 is off the support list, and if the client does hit the site with that browser it’s gulag time :smiley:

But in both cases the sites in question are not available to the general public so we don’t have to (nor want to) test for every browser. At the new place I do test for IE 7 though (and had to point out that IE 7 != IE 8 compat mode)

I make heavy use of box shadows, rounded corners and now css transitions (which for the moment only work in chrome and safari). The site looks acceptable in IE 7 and 8, but I’m not going to cry or use wacky javascript workarounds to make it work. Substandard browser == substandard experience.

If I do have to work on a public site though I will test and make sure the site is usable in IE 6 (Windows 7 ultimate is a God send for this).

The most extreme case I’ve seen was a site redesign front end wise where the designers used the <if IE> tags to lock IE 6 users to the old layout.

Well I just looked at the analytics reports for some high volume and/or internationally visited websites and the lever of IE6 visitors is still dropping. Not enough for me to abandon it but there is hope one day we can shut the book on IE6. Most sites I looked at show about 5% - 8% IE6 visitors. A couple showed more… Just above 10% visitors.

Surprise, another question where you are supposed to generalize every project you do into one simple answer. Seriously, do people act the same way, take the same approach and do the same thing the same way on every project with every client?

I provide the level of support that is most suitable for the solution I’m creating. The approach I take in a project isn’t set in stone, it’s not part of the foundation of my company. Being flexible and listening to clients and requirements is.

None of the options will give an accurate answer.

Oh IE6… The thorn in my side :rolleyes:

I aim for #1 and most of the time I can pull it off but sometimes I have to make some slight changes to deal with IE6 depending on the site and it becomes a #2. My goal is still for #1 though.

What do you think your site visitors using IE6 would prefer???

The correct answer is 2).

And no-one likes being told to change their browser! It’s an arrogance on the part of the designer that goes back to the browser wars of the late 1990s, if you can remember them. YOU don’t dictate MY software.

Posted using Firefox.

With the current age and usage level of IE6 and how much more all the modern browsers can do the correct answer is nearer to 3 than to 2. Visitors don’t necessarily see everything the same as those using more modern browser do but nothing actually looks broken. It might be a plain text vertically stacked version rather than the fully interactive multi column layout that the more modern browsers display but all of the content is still there and the site appears to work even though those using IE6 can’t take advantage of any of the features their antique browser doesn’t support.