Web Design 101: A Correlation between Web Browsers and Web Design

The web, as we know it, is littered with so many websites and is figuratively teeming to the brim with all sorts of information. The information in its raw form are all codes; but once it is being translated behind the web, we are given the finished product of diverse and information rich websites which users like you and I peruse on a daily basis. With this, it can be surmised that no two websites are alike. Each website is crafted differently and in its own way which is why web designers really have their job cut out for them. Aside from the obvious coding skills they must possess, they must find a way to make sure these web pages are navigable and user-friendly.

Throughout the globe, web designers work their hardest to make their websites and web pages top notch, offer information-rich content and current search engine optimization techniques. If web design Philippines were to match this, they have to be competent in doing so. But unlike any other design occupations, web designers do not make designs that stay stagnant especially if they want web browsers to continue showing their content in a way that would make it readable and comprehensible to their readers.

It is known for a fact, that the Internet is a technological behemoth that caters to the current demands of its users. And with this online juggernaut evolving and progressing day to day, it is only logical that web browsers would progress too. So it is only logical that web pages would keep themselves updated as well lest they are rendered obsolete and invaluable. In relation to that, it is readily apparent how far certain Web Technologies such as HTML5 and CSS3 have brought us. This goes without saying (though a bit clichéd) that from a Web platform perspective, the future is now.  A bit of a long stretch but at the very least, it feels like the future is starting to bubble up to the surface…but we are not just quite there yet.

The new DOM features (HTML5, APIS, and the latest CSS3) when used provide an array of possibilities that are astounding to say the least. These relatively new technologies can help designers easily build Web applications without having to rely on hacks, images plugins, and bloated scripts. This makes everything tad bit easier not only for Web Developers, for both building and maintaining these projects, but also for end users who would get a faster and stronger overall experience.

However, an enormous obstacle is blocking the road to this supposed “future”, and this would prevent it from becoming the now. This roadblock is none other than old browsers themselves. You might be surprised at this summation but this article aims to show you how and why. Let us dig a little deeper into this topic so that we can all be well aware why this is a problem and what should be done to help it.

INTERNET EXPLORER’S USAGE SHARE

Even with the recent mobile explosion, desktop usage still trumps mobile by a large margin according to StatCounter estimates. In fact, ninety percent of Internet activity worldwide is done through the desktop. Of course, some reports have mobile shares higher than the current ten percent shown by the same statistic. Whichever the case may be, the fact remains that people are accessing most websites and Web Applications using a desktop browser.

Fact is, among the web browsers, Google Chrome had the highest number of users. However, it is also shown by this statistical study that worldwide statistics for versions of Internet Explorer prior to IE8 are very low with IE6 very low that it did not even show up in the statistical chart anymore. In fact, IE8 and IE9 rank significantly higher. It is clear that IE9 is a step forward from the previous versions of Internet explorer. However, it is over a year old and does not auto update like other more popular browsers do. Though one might argue that it is a more stable and feature rich browser, its age is already starting to show. And with Firefox and Chrome continuously rolling out new features automatically, IE9 is getting closer and closer to becoming obsolete.

WHY IS THIS SUCH A BIG DEAL?

Perhaps some of you would not understand the fuss and your thinking might be in the lines that should progressive enhancement be a thing, the old browsers will just experience less and that the users would not know what they are missing. This might necessarily be true with CSS3 and HTML5 features but other more complex features are not those simple. To give you a brief overview of this, let me enumerate some of what a developer may gain should he or she decide to stop supporting IE8 (Media Queries, opacity, box shadow and etc.) And that alone barely scratches the surface. So when you put all those into consideration along with bugs and performance issues, a substantial number of IE8 users will have a major roadblock in making progress on the web.

So what can you do?

Should your browser be outdated, the first step would be to update. And if you have any friends or colleagues using an older version of Internet Explorer (or any browser at all), assist them in upgrading to the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox or Opera. In fact, you might want to show them a CSS3-rich or HTML5 rich website in a much more modern browser and have them compare it to their current outdated browser. You might even go a step further and show them why non-IE browsers are superior and better.

HAVE A MESSAGE DISPLAY FOR USERS ON OLD BROWSERS

This is a rather crafty and smart way to get your users to notice that they are using an outdated version of their chosen web browser. Should they be visiting your website on an older browser, then display a message to them stating that should they continue utilizing the very same browser, they run the risk of having most websites unsupported on their current browser.

This is not at all intrusive, but the best way you could go about this would be to post or displace a subtle yet noticeable message to encourage users to install or upgrade their web browsers. Additionally, make sure to include the necessary code that will enable the browsers to work properly.

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