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Oct 22, 2008 | Never Say “People Should Upgrade Their Browsers”

In the design of the new layout for the Swarthmore Daily Gazette, there have been a fair number of good things, like a more condensed layout and a overall “news-y” feel to it. But I’m not here to applaud, because design would not progress were it not for the harsh criticisms that force change.

Before the change to the Daily Gazette
Above, how the site appeared before the launch of the new design, shown below, on Monday, October 20, 2008

Current Daily Gazette

One of the cardinal rules of design is to make it accessible to everyone. If you’re the web designer, you are the one responsible for making a site compatible with all browsers and all types of users. I believe it is wrong to suggest that if a site does not appear correctly under a certain configuration for a particular user then the user is at fault for not being up to date with “what most people use”. The above screenshot of what the site “should” look like was obtained using Firefox 3, which, despite taking a 11.35% share of the user market, still means 90% use some other browser, including Firefox 2, which renders the site as follows:

Firefox2 view of Daily Gazette

Internet Explorer 6, with still 28.22% of the market share, renders the page as shown.

Firefox2 view of Daily Gazette

Even if some of us can consider ourselves to be tech-savvy enough to appreciate the power of Firefox and to update our browsers accordingly, it is imperative to realize that the majority of users still go with what is installed on their computers – and as such it is important to design with them in mind.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008 at 11:29 am, EST under the category of Coding, Web design. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.