Should we give Legacy Users less Features?

Found this interesting read over at ExpressionEngine.com and their forums. It’s about legacy browsers and how to compensate for the time it takes to develop sites for them.

Working with Legacy Browsers and Reduced Functionality

I also had my own little say in the argument.

I don’t fully agree with you, after reading the whole post (a very interesting read, nonetheless). Giving legacy users less functionality just because they are using an old browser (which could be due to lower privileges) just does not sound right in my ears. If there was such a thing as “browser racism” I believe it would fall into that category.

Fixing IE-bugs is annoying, but in the end it does almost always pay off. The perfect site is a site where you (as a developer) avoid building two different sites (one legacy and one regular). The perfect site is a site where all features are available to all users, regardless of browser or operating system.

In my opinion, of course =) !

After some more argumenting:

I think the difference between “less features for old browsers” and “more features for newer browsers” is very much the same thing. It all narrows down to not giving older browsers better goods because of either laziness or lack of time. Most often, also, removing the bells and whistles is the same as removing a good reason to like a certain site.

I just want to say that I would rather develop a site thoroughly and add features that risk bugging out in a step-by-step manner, making sure everything works in the end. It is a lot of work, but it is rewarding!

Agreed, but when developing smart features for say, an e-shop website, and not sharing these with IE users will leave them frustrated.

2 Comments

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  1. Agent Smith says:

    Support for dinosaur browsers has, and will most likely always be, be the hair-ripping part of web development. While gracefully degrading web sites based on browser feature-completeness is optimal (i.e. compromising visual goodies, not functionality), I think that from a business perspective this is not feasible. For instance, YouTube has decided to drop support for IE6. Since they have millions of visitors every day, that ought to count for something.

    I can’t even test my pages in IE6 because I have no computer which supports it, and browsershots.org doesn’t make the cut. What am I to do? And what puzzles me the most is, why haven’t these people upgraded yet, when IE8 has been out for months?

    In fact, I even think it serves as a good wake-up call for someone to find that their favourite website doesn’t work in legacy browsers. Perhaps it’ll prompt them to update.

    By the way, I really like the design over here, and the photographs are really cool. I just couldn’t resist going here, see you in physics tomorrow ๐Ÿ˜›

  2. Douglas says: (Author)

    Ah, Martin, are you afraid of sharing your real name ๐Ÿ˜‰ ?

    I agree with you on all but one issue – the design over here is not good. I can’t stress how much it is in need of a renaissance – but fear not for I shall in due time address this!

    As you mentioned, let’s see each other in physics tomorrow!

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