Why to design for IE users in the first place?

Well, I’m thinking a lot about IE lately and here are my thoughts.

Who uses Internet Explorer? I mean, I see a lot of sites for advanced users or even geeks which are heavily optimized for Internet Explorer (even IE6!). And I don’t mean extremely popular sites.

I know that’s a good practice, but after developing sites with ieX.css for years I’m not sure what (mostly) for? Will I feel comfortable in a Ferrari if I’m a 6 feet 5 inches tall? NEVER. Do you find Ferraris crappy because of that?

Sites’ target is always a group of people and in some cases a group of people who “own” something (iPod, an island, sickness, long hair etc.). Why even the best webdevs in the world support IE on their sites full of articles that even a geek is not able to catch?

I know a few people using IE, but 99% of them don’t even know what antivirus is or how to power on pc if the power connector got unplugged. Why should we care about them? And how many IE-visitors on our sites are our front-end friends testing our skills in I-garbage-E coding? 80%?

Not to name drop :blush: , but I interviewed Eric Meyer recently and he said flatly (paraphrasing), “The only stats that mean anything are the ones for your site.” If Eric says it that bluntly, I listen to it.

More generally, unless you have a specific reason NOT to code with IE in mind, you should go ahead and do it, I don’t care whose stats show what. We may hate it, but it’s still the big dog in the yard.

I wouldn’t turn it down, nor I would hold it as the answer… earlier in this thread somebody catered to older people. If we say that everbody over 60 doesnn’t know anything about computers, use IE. Let’s be nice and say they manage to do auto update. That means their default search is probably bing.com. So there are always things you could miss in stats.

dave-I clarified the w3 thing already, but yes I see how you got the impression.

I’d imagine it’s tough getting an exact number, I wouldn’t want that job. Luckily if you’re just trying to get a feel feel for which browsers are the major players, an estimate from about 3 statistic sites seems reasonable to me. thanks for the wiki link, nice and comprehensive

It has nothing to do with being a colleague or not (and for the record, I’ve never met him nor is he SPF staff so I don’t know why you’re calling him a colleague), it’s a response to a perceived opinion you put out.

and then

It’s easy to make the assumption that you’re equating these stats to coming from the W3C (which w3schools has nothing in common with) and that the stats are indicative of ALL sites, not just theirs.

As it is, browser stats are nearly impossible to really get a good gauge on. This wikipedia article - though it does throw some stats out (which I would expect to be closer to being accurate) - explains why it’s hard to gauge better than I can.

Logic Earth: Care to offer better statistic sources then? Generally when one shoots down a source of information as untrustworthy, there’s an obligation to provide better ones unless you don’t know of any.

How about http://marketshare.hitslink.com/browser-market-share.aspx?qprid=1? this still places Ie7/8 as the #1 most used browser.

Then there’s also http://gs.statcounter.com/, which also places ie as #1

Hey, I’m not a fan of IE, but the facts are facts. IE is widely used, so you’d best make your sites compatible. I don’t know of many web designers or developers who have good things to say about IE, but we’re not the majority of web visitors out there. It doesn’t matter what we think, the general public is going to use what they feel like using. While we don’t have to like the statistics we do have to deal with it, and design for it- it’s all part of the job (unfortunately).

Since getting the page to work correctly in Firfox, Opera, Safari, Chrome, and IE8+ doesn’t usually involve any special processing and you only then need minor tweaks for IE7 and perhaps a few more for IE6, it makes sense to set it up to work in all the standard compliant browsers such as IE8 first. Any minor differences you get in Firefox you’ll also get in IE8 so starting by designing for IE7 or earlier is just making it harder for yourself.

Since those NOT using IE are still the minority it really depends on just what fraction of your potential audience you want to discard. If you want to ignore 65 out of every 100 potential visitors to your site then you can ignore IE. If you want to make sure your site will work for at least 90 out of ever 100 potential visitors then you need to cater for IE versions back to IE6.

Most of the non technical users go with what is available on their machine. IE comes pre-installed on any Wintel machine. Firefox and Chrome must be downloaded. Non techie users know that they click on this icon and they can surf the web. They do not know that FF or Chrome is far superior to IE. They know this icon is how to get online.

At the University where I work, all of upper management use IE. Why? Because that is what they know. Our analytics tell us that IE users still exceed 70% of all people browsing our sites.

Good web design should cover as large an audience as possible and that includes coding for all the basic browsers (IE,FF, Opera, Safari, Chrome) or you stand a good chance of leading potential clients directly to your competition.

Is it right? No. Do any of us like coding for IE? No. But until the IE marketshare dries up it is wise to develop for that particular browser as well.

There are other pages. All sites have different audiences and thus different statistics. I bet Sitepoint has a high majority of it’s users not using IE.

However, go to something general like Disney.com and I they probably are nearing 50% IE users.

Though, making sites for IE isn’t that difficult. 4 out of 5 times I make a site, I don’t have to make a single change to accommodate for IE. You just have to use best practices and not what little things to avoid. Also, if you use graceful degradation approaches you don’t have to worry about rewriting your Javascript for IE6, if you don’t want, since the general functionality will still be there.

One of the sites I’m working on has a demographic of women in their 60’s and they love safari :slight_smile: Probably mac users.

He didn’t shoot it down as untrustworthy - he shot down the fact that you implied the stats were from the W3C, when they’re not since the two organizations are totally unrelated and the w3school stats are simply those for their site.

At no point did he disregard that ie still holds a significant marketshare - the percentage varies depending on your market and clientelle. Tech based are going to be less IE centric than those used by most older clientelle.

I felt the link was self evident so I didn’t bother typing in the whole name of the site, call me lazy. Dave, very noble of you to defend your colleague but if he considers the stats meaningless it begs the question: what does he think are more reliable sources? Heck, I’d love to hear it, I’m sure we all would. It’s great having a list of good places to find this sort of info so why not share it?

Those stats are meaningless. First off w3schools is not part of or affiliated with World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), further those stats only detail the traffic that w3schools.com receives. Nothing more. Honestly, I wish people would stop using that page as gospel.

The best statistic sources are individual sites for individual site usage only. If the world browser market says 1% belong to X browser but on say Website A 75% of users use X browser, do you disregard it because that browser only has 1% of the world market?

Do not base your support for X browser based on its world usage. Every site is different and every site has different audience. You need to tailor the site to that audience. Statistics from Website B has no relation to Website A, thus its statistics cannot be used to determine how to tailor Website A. (This applies with world figures as well)

Here’s a handy link to web browser popularity from w3:

Roughly one third of all web browsers used to view the web are IE. If you don’t support ie, you’re making it difficult for 1/3 of all general web visitors to view your site. I can understand not wanting to support ie6 since that’s a dinosaur, but IMHO you must make sure it works in IE 7/8. Provided your html and CSS is good and clean, your display problems should be minimal (with some exceptions of course) and adding another stylesheet for IE browsers isn’t difficult.

I don’t like it either, but dealing with browser quirks is part of the job.

an audience whether its small crowd or just fair…its important to consider :slight_smile: and a dynamic design would be good in any browser available…

Oh yes that’s so right. Even my mom can’t make a difference. She once said to the IE icon that: “that’s the internet right? I don’t know what’s the fox about…” (referring to firefox icon)

I always check if my site looks good in IE. Still many users and still many potential customer. Also you can put a link/banner in your sidebar for ‘GetFireFox’ and you can make a few bucks (if they are still paying for new downloads) :slight_smile:

The whole argument roots back to ie 6 and 7 being nothing but a pain in the butt. Although we have hope because those versions can only linger around for so long before they become extinct or not allowed. Until then we have to tweak our lives around them.