Use a better browser

A month ago, I wrote about the shortcomings of Internet Explorer and how this might stop innovation on the Internet in the coming years.

All over the web, people have expressed their worries, and a lot of web designers are afraid to have to deal with an obsolete browser for many many years. And of course, an action has been started to convince users to switch to another browser: Use a Better Browser. They ask site owners to place a button on their site, linked to a page explaining why other browsers are better than IE.

Use a better browser

Although I agree with them that IE is quickly becoming a dinosaur, I don’t think that a button will let many users change their browser. However, they will change because of (lack of) features. If other browsers have features IE does not have, users might switch.

Therefore, the best way to convince IE-users to show them the tabbed browser interface and pop-up blocking of Mozilla and create sites using code that is not supported by IE.

Of course, degrade gracefully. Something as the position:fixed CSS property can serve for this purpose, for example for creating a floating navigation bar which will always be visible on the top of the screen. IE users will simply have to scroll up to navigate (as always), while visitors with newer browsers will have the benefits of having the navigation always at hand.

Other features that can be used to create better sites, are described in Eric Meyer’s css/edge. These won’t work on IE, but won’t make the page unusable.

So go ahead, design your pages using the latest coding possibilities, but degrade gracefully!!

Jeroen Sangers @jeroensangers