The Pain Of IE6 And Application Development

The Pain Of IE6 And Application Development

Yesterday, a vendor advised my client the new feature requested to be implemented doesn’t work quite right with Internet Explorer (IE)6.  The feature works fine with all “modern” browsers but IE6 is a major pain point.  You may ask yourself why we’re even having this conversation.  Well, because we’re talking about the Federal Government.  There are legacy applications out there that were built on IE6 and it’s not an easy migration.  There are some Agencies which ONLY use IE6 and the users don’t have permissions to install a new browser.  So, what do you do?  Do you embed a browser check in your code and advise the users they need to use a different browser?  Do you “fix” what would otherwise be a clean implementation by making it work with IE6?  I’ve seen issues with IE6 happen over and over again.  Even with my website(s), I pay attention to legacy Internet Explorer traffic.  I’m happy to report my IE6 traffic is 11% of my overall traffic, down from 21% a year ago.  Still, I will continue to test IE6 until it falls below 10%.

What lesson can we take away from this?  Do your homework!  The vendor should have done an analysis (or known stakeholder system requirements) before implementing the new feature.  Catching it in QA is too late.  A little due diligence or prototyping could have saved a lot of time and money.  Knowing the current customer base, the vendor should have known this feature would not be accessible by all and advised the customer.  What would you do?

I would love to read your comments or feedback.  Please post them below.

Regards,

Derek

4 Replies to “The Pain Of IE6 And Application Development”

  1. I do web design for work as well as side projects for fun, and us designers feel the pain of IE6 as well. It is my inclination to be somewhat slack about making stylesheets for IE6 users, but if it turns out that my client’s audience is filled with them, then I will have to do so. Perhaps finding this out would be best done in the requirements gathering stage?

    1. Andy, you nailed it. The vendor should have reviewed the design constraints before starting the work. They failed to consider those requirements and ensure the solution they were proposing met baseline criteria. We all know it’s cheaper to resolve issues like this, the earlier in the process they are discovered. According to the Microsoft Lifecycle support site, 13-Jul-2010 is the last day IE6 is supported. Let’s hope the end is truly near.

  2. I do web design for work as well as side projects for fun, and us designers feel the pain of IE6 as well. It is my inclination to be somewhat slack about making stylesheets for IE6 users, but if it turns out that my client’s audience is filled with them, then I will have to do so. Perhaps finding this out would be best done in the requirements gathering stage?

    1. Andy, you nailed it. The vendor should have reviewed the design constraints before starting the work. They failed to consider those requirements and ensure the solution they were proposing met baseline criteria. We all know it’s cheaper to resolve issues like this, the earlier in the process they are discovered. According to the Microsoft Lifecycle support site, 13-Jul-2010 is the last day IE6 is supported. Let’s hope the end is truly near.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *