updated: September 27th, 2006 / Ross Johnson / 7 Comments

“Best viewed in 800×600 on IE” returns…

I see it more and more, a bad habbit that is rearing it’s ugly head on the web again… only this time under the guise of web standards.

“Site best viewed in FireFox – download FireFox + Google toolbar for better browsing!”

While I understand the frustration many designers have when dealing with making a site IE compatable, and I absolutely love the idea of more users browsing with FireFox, we have an obligation to make sure the IE version of a site looks just as good as it’s gecko counter-part. It is, after all, the most common browser in use hand’s down.

It wasn’t until I saw this “ie incompatible site” that I realized how bad this trend has spread. If one browses said page in IE, you would quickly see this…

The designers outright do not let you browse their site if you are on IE. They shut out 80% of the Internet with out batting an eye.

This is no different than the painful old trend of stating how the web page should be viewed, IE: “Best viewed in 800×600 on IE 3.2”.

While the encouragement of using a standard browser is desirable, we can’t start valuing the appearance on a browser used predominantly by techies and designers.

As web designers, we really must quietly spend the extra hours to make sure your site is cross-browser compatible. In time web standards will be wider spread, so all we can do is wait for better adoption of FireFox, or adoption of future IE releases. Telling users that you are too lazy or not versed enough in CSS to make a site render properly in IE (even though the rest of the world can) – is beyond unprofessional.

7 thoughts “Best viewed in 800×600 on IE” returns…

  1. It’s sad but oh-so-true. I’ve come across a few of the IE-blocker sites. It was a little trend that was quickly stomped out for the reasons you state, but there are some stragglers. I agree that there is an obligation. For the same reason that I don’t require people to have Flash player to view a site properly, they shouldn’t have to change their browser.

  2. What is worst than problem you are writing about? In year 2006 I come to web page, and I see:

    This web page is optimised to work best under Internet Explorer with latest Flash and QuickTime plugins installed. Best viewed with resolution 1024×768 and more.
    Click to enter the site.

    THIS is what I am afraid off. By the way it was page of some very good and creative press designer.

  3. I couldn’t agree more Jan – It’s one thing to optimize for a browser, and then to optimize for a resolution that 15% of people can’t browse with… but to required two plug-in’s on top of that??? YIKES!

  4. Pingback: Architectures of Control in Design » Locking out IE users

  5. I’m sorry but I have to disagree. While we should design our sites to try and allow any browser, the simple fact of the matter is Internet Explorer does a very horrible job of implementing the standards, personaly I’m tired of hacking up my CSS files and XHTML to accomadate one stubborn browser. While I would not condone blocking IE users, I would encourge people to do as I do, IE users simply view my site with no style whatso ever, you can get at the content just fine, but I don’t even attempt to try and style for IE anymore. While firefox, opera, whatever are not perfect, at least the development teams have an interest in ** trying ** to make their browser standards compliant.

  6. Luckily there has been a large step forward with the release of IE7 – however I can’t say ignoring IE because it sucks (and it does) sounds like a good idea in my mind.

    The people who use IE are not going to have the first clue on how to turn off the style sheets – and the amount of people who use IE are way too large to ignore.

    Unless you are sure your target audience is a tech savy Mac/Firefox/Opera using audience its just asking for trouble.

  7. Personally, I don’t hack for Internet Explorer. I don’t hack for Microsoft. I don’t even hack for Firefox, and I love Firefox. I hack for the users who come to my sites, because I have the knowledge, capability, and responsibility to do so. That is my job.

    No other business or industry that I know of would even think about treating their clients the way that many web developers do. The concept doesn’t even occur to them. The idea of locking out or punishing clients for lacking web knowledge and expertise is ridiculous. Web developers who do so punish themselves and the customers who paid them.

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