October 26th, 2005
One of the most frustrating experiences for me as a web user is when I’m happily browsing the Web and I come to a site that is designed for IE-only, meaning that it doesn’t work quite right in the browser that I’m using (Safari or Firefox). It could be a dropdown that doesn’t work, or an input box that doesn’t submit. Sometimes the issue is so subtle that I don’t recognize it at first, and I struggle for several minutes (it seems like several minutes) before switching browsers.
As you may or may not know, we develop the UIE web sites with the goal of developing equally for all major web browsers: IE, Firefox, Safari, and Opera.
On this note, I recently checked up on the browser statistics for the Brain Sparks blog. The result was surprising:
As you can see, Firefox is the browser of choice among the Brain Sparks crowd. This is interesting because Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is so well-entrenched in the overall web picture, with estimates of its share running from 55 to 95%, according to Chuck Upsdell’s Browser News, a long running yardstick of the industry.
For those designers out there who are struggling with whether or not to develop for IE-only (a strategy for many banking sites, it seems), let this be another data point on your radar. Not only is Firefox growing (albeit not as fast as they were), in some circles (like ours) it is the most-used browser.
Thankfully, Firefox is not a closed platform, nor do they try to be. As a result, I believe the growth of Firefox and other browsers is a great step forward in how we design, because it helps make the “IE-only?” question meaningless. And that is a good thing.Tweet