Recently, web developers around the world have pushed hard to end support for Internet Explorer 6.0 (often going toe-to-toe with clients who insist on developing alternate versions of their sites for this small segment of their audience). One glance at Browser Statistics from W3schools.com shows how much IE6 usage has dropped off over the past several years. In February 2010, the percentage of world-wide users on IE6 dropped below 10% for the first time (down from more than 30% just two years earlier). However, our theory is that this number is skewed by an army of developers who are using the browser for development testing. The actual percentage of end-users who are still on IE6 is likely a lot lower.
One creative solution we often recommend to our clients is to feature a warning message to IE6 users and invite them to upgrade their browser. We’ve seen some creative ways to present this warning, but our favorite has to be the blunt message displayed in the footer of Tyler Thompson’s newtoyork.com web blog. With the frank honesty you can only find on a personal soapbox site, Tyler speaks on behalf of all web developers who wish they had the balls to be as direct:
“Hi, if you are coming to this site via Internet Explorer 6, you might not be getting the best experience possible. Honestly, I can’t even begin to think about what your entire experience on the internet must be like? (…probably like riding a bike on the highway while cars blow by you on their way to Costco to get gallons of mayonnaise and 60-inch plasma TV’s). How will you ever be able to use this website?????? You wont. You’re an asshole and your browser is an asshole. So look, I’m going to be honest: I kind of hate you. BUT we c-a-n make this work. Here is what I am going to need you to do: fire up your Toshiba ShitBook© that weighs about 45 pounds, wipe the Cheeto dust off the screen, download Safari, delete Internet Explorer from your computer, punch yourself in the face, and get me a pulled pork sandwich.”
Pulled pork? Perhaps. Pulled punches? Nope.