Internet Explorer: Begone from my sight!

March 28th, 2011

Web designers have struggled with Internet Explorer 6 for years. It seemed like it was the web browser that refused to die. When it came out 10 years ago, it wasn’t the greatest, for that was a time when Microsoft thought they could reinvent the Internet.

As a result, we had sites that only worked with IE 6. More recently the issue has been that sites that are standards compliant and work fine in a range of browsers and on multiple platforms, all of a sudden display random quirks and oddities, or refuse to work, when viewed in Internet Explorer 6.

screencapture of Internet Explorer 6 Countdown websiteSo as a web designer, I have to first create the website and then fix it to work the way it is designed in Internet Explorer 6, just to ensure a good viewing experience. Well, finally that can stop. Microsoft says so. In fact, they have started a campaign to get use of IE 6 to under 1% and are asking websites to insert a banner on their sites that will only display when the site is viewed in IE 6, hopefully helping to prompt the last holdouts to make the upgrade.

For private users, there is no reason not to upgrade. There are several excellent web browsers, available as free downloads. Since an up-to-date browser is safer, it’s a no-brainer to upgrade.

For corporate users, the argument against upgrading is sometimes that they invested in some application that relies on IE 6 and IE 6 only. To those IT departments I can only say: Really?! Who, in their right mind, installs anything computer and then lets it run for 10 years with no upgrades? Really? Didn’t Y2K teach us anything?

Anyway, I am thankful that my job as a web designer just got a little more fun. Because as of right now, I am not worrying about compatibility with IE 6 any more. That tedious time can now get spent on creative designs for the client that give the site visitor a better experience at the website. Everyone wins.

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