Update or Be Left Behind

I find supporting IE6 to be pointless. The market share that use it need to update or be left behind, like all matters of technology.

That is a comment I saw left on a Google+ post about a CSS trick that wasn’t IE6 friendly. It’s the kind of comment I see a lot. As a level-headed developer, I disagree entirely with the sentiment, though the frustration is real and I certainly understand.

For those of you who don’t know why IE6 (or any old browser) can still be important in 2014 and beyond, here’s a quick summary‚Ķ

Why Is IE6 Relevant?

Corporate decisions might require IE6 (or any old browser) support, but in all honesty, that’s not what makes it important. Many developers, frustrated by the limitations and bugs in old browsers, think: users need to update or be left behind. This is a very cold way to approach the web.

You would be hard-pressed to find many people who use IE6 willingly. You’ll find plenty who wish they didn’t have to. The same goes for old versions and old devices of any software or manufacturer. And don’t forget Grandma – she can’t be expected to know what version of Internet Explorer she’s running. Especially since she doesn’t know what Internet Explorer is.

If you’re sharing photos or comments on your blog, for fun, sure. But if you’re trying to sell something or make money in some capacity by using the web, you need to use it as best you can. A banner on the page of an e-commerce site that says “Update or be Left Behind” wouldn’t help you sell your products, and neither would designing with that mindset.