About a year ago, I created a blog aggregator, or sometimes also called Planet. This planet display all the blog posts from my registered friends. At first, I did it alone. I maintained and designed it by myself. And then, my friend Andreas wanna help me maintaining the site. So I gave him a role as administrator. Some days ago, he sent me this email:
Do you have opened the website in IE6? The layout and the design looks screwed :(
IE6 or Internet Explorer version 6 is a browser shipped with Windows XP. It was released in 2001. It has better CSS support than the previous version, at that time. The problem with the browser is it’s lacking support on the web standard. If you’re a web designer, you must know the designing problems in IE6 . This browser has bad reputation among web designers.
I got my first designing experience in 2007. At that time, me and my three other friends got an internships in a research organization. We helped them creating a site to maintain journal submissions. In this research organization, almost all of the computers still using standard programs that the operating system provided. The operating system was Windows XP and the browser is, you can guess, IE6. I think the default browser for many organizations, especially in government and public administration, is IE6. Yeah, we spent some times to create the design, but we can handle it.
I didn’t do any design again until 2008. At that time, I was interested in designing WordPress. I played around and found some excitements. But one thing that I forgot is, I never tried my design in IE6. I just tested my design in other browsers, such as Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Opera. These browser follow web standards, so the design mostly looked alike in them.
In the path of my design odyssey, I found some anti IE6 movements. Some designers try to kill IE6 by encouraging their visitors to upgrade their browsers. Well, I think that’s a good idea. By encouraging the user to upgrade their browser, then the designers didn’t have to worry about supporting IE6 anymore, at least for the near future. The problem is, sometimes user just didn’t care.
The decisions about supporting IE6 or not depends on you. If you think your user use IE6 badly, then you should consider designing on IE6. If not, then it’s up to you if you want to design for IE6 or not. Considering this, I looked at my aggregator’s viewers. The aggregator’s viewer is my friends, which is computer literated and able to upgrade their browser. So I designed this aggregator to be best viewed in the other standard browser.
So I decided to reply his email:
Oh yeah, I forgot to install the non-IE6 plugin. :)
P.S. If you wanna know The Life, Times (and Death?) of Internet Explorer 6, you must see this comic from Smashing Magazine.
Credits: Flat Monitor image by Mysid and florisla licensed Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported.