(Seriously people, it’s 2009)
ie6 is now 7 years old and according to the new activist in my corner, stoplivinginthepast.com, older than East Timor. It’s older than a country. And we are not in the tumultuous nation-breakup days of the nineties (Eastern Europe, I’m looking at you).
But to my endless frustration, I am still getting complaints from Clients who use this dinosaur. To be fair, most of my clients who use it are the silver-surfer type, or locked in by corporate IT policy. Here at Icon (day job) I work on a lovely, fast and modern Mac. I use Firefox and everything is beautiful. My co-worker has a PC on her desk that I pop over to to test on ie7 every now and again. I think I have gotten a handle on ie7 issues, and can usually solve them without too much strife.
But ie6 only exists on one computer, the one that the owner uses for Quickbooks and other simple tasks. (her primary is a Mac). So to ie test, I have to squeeze in when she’s not on the phone, not using that machine, and once there, I have no diagnostic tools. So I have to glare and guess.
The worst part is that I KNOW I have created this lovely, valid code, yet my clients see a mess. They don’t know that ie6 treats my code like a reality star treats his dignity, they just see mistakes. That takes away from my perceived professionalism, and leaves me apologizing and vainly trying to shift the blame, while I promise to “do what I can” to fix it.
Of course, I can ask my clients to upgrade, but what about their customers (they inevitably ask). As somebody who is helping to make the web, I feel I have a responsibility to make it a better place, and I ask other designers to join me. Let’s sway Internet users gently, with all the magical tools we have at our disposal.
So for 2009, I am going to install an ie conditional on all my new sites that will show up in a horizontal bar on top of the screen (in a complimentary color, of course). It will merrily explain that their browser is old and dangerous and why don’t they hop on the 20th century bandwagon of standards-compliance, and upgrade? What could be more fun? I am going to include a link to ie7 and my Firefox affiliate banner, so I can track the amount of FF installs directly related to my experiment!
So we’ll see how it goes. It may just annoy my clients or their users, but I think the cost is worth the eventual reward!