UX Magazine

Defining and Informing the Complex Field of User Experience (UX)
Article No. 473 February 1, 2010

Google kills IE6

Google is officially phasing out their support for IE6. This means we can all start working on more important things rather than debugging for old and quirky browsers.

I think champagne is in order!

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Constantinos is employed as a Creative Director for Tribal DDB Athens. In his ever dwindling spare time he works on the development of UX Magazine and Joblet. You can find out more about him here of follow him on twitter.

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Comments

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I understand the sentiment that users define what's necessary but Google is going to change user's and company's decisions because they are a very influential force. Since upgrading to a more recent IE browser is free, there is no reason not to from a user standpoint. From a business standpoint, if your whole company runs IE6, depending on external factors it may be more cost effective to start converting to a browser that is more standardized with the modern world.

It's called evolution. If you don't evolve, you don't survive.

I commend a step in the right direction for anyone, especially an influential force such as Google.

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I think whether or not google supports it is irrelevant. I agree with the people that say support your users, not a browser, but most people just use whatever browser came with their computer, or is the corporate image at work. If its IE6, they use it. If its firefox, they use that. They dont necessarily want to use IE6, so i don't think its a valid argument to say you're supporting your users by supporting IE6. If you are in charge of tech at your company, its your job to upgrade the corporate image to at least IE7 if not IE8 or Firefox (or personally, chrome). We as designers don't "owe" it to the internet, or to a browser. We owe it to whatever is the best solution that will allow standards based design, flexibility, and ease of use.

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I disagree with those that think that Google can't drive the migration.

Do you really think that if Google pointed IE6 users to a page that said "We no longer support IE 6 for all of these reasons {list}. Please download one of these browsers {list}." that people would switch to a different search engine rather than spending a few minutes downloading a new browser?

The same goes for YouTube. Take away people's cat videos and they'll download a new browser in a second.

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I wish this were true. The reality is, as others have pointed out, customers drive this decision, not service providers like Google. For example, I'm currently doing a project for the US Navy. They are standardized and locked-down on IE6. It sucks, I wish I could change it, but I can't. Anything Google or anyone else does is not going to change that.

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I can understand why Google, who develop very complex web apps like they do, would move in this direction. For the rest of us, it's not an option (and never will be). There is no such thing as "supporting a browser". Support your users rather.

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People need to be educated.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4MwTvtyrUQ

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OMG! Finally! This is a really cool date for all us! Let's Party and a lot of shitty work is stoped now, a lot of free time too developofe for the future browsers.

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@Brad, @Sean

I feel a responsibility to the internet in general, to give my IE6 users a shove in the right direction... I praise the move, it will help expedite much needed progress.

IE6 is a side-effect of ignorance, and as the professionals, we SHOULD let the user know they are doing it wrong.

Also, I don't think its valid to compare IE6 usage to screen resolution limitations of the past. IE6 is not a hardware limitation.

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Agreed with Brad. Some of the websites that are run from my office still have IE6 in the high teens in terms of percentage. I really can't justify abandoning that much of our audience, no matter how crappy the browser.

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Hardly.

Our customers determine when IE6 is unsupported, not Google. If they choose to not support it, that's fine, I doubt their search interface will suddenly stop working.

When the web logs show IE6 at a level that can be "sold" to the clients as no longer important (it was 10% for 800x600 resolution) then we're done with it.

Not before.

-- Brad Einarsen
-- Klick Communications