I’ve been holding back on writing this for some time. It’s hard to know where to start with the subject of internet explorer, but I’m not the first, nor will I be the last to vent my frustrations at this fundamentally flawed browser.
From a design and development point of view IE presents an entirely new set of problems that cost businesses like us a serious amount of time and money just to get a site working. For instance I have been wrestling with a drop down menu that displays fine in every other browser, across every other platform and including mobile devices. The code is sound, it passes strict validation. Yet internet explorer appears to have it’s own way of ruining (rendering) the site. Is it really that much to ask Microsoft to use a webkit engine similar to that of say Firefox or Chrome? With every IE update seems to come a new set of problems, surely the very nature of an update should be to fix bugs, not add yet more to the mix.
I’ve been trying for the last 2 years to engineer my code so it doesn’t require conditional IE code, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But again this can take an entire day just to fix a site, a whole day dedicated to forcing a site to work on one particular browser. There is no way that the majority of the industry are wrong. We develop for it as we have no choice, but we pay for it in the long run, not just financially but also mentally.
The other major problem is the many many different versions, all of which have different behaviors, something that is fine in 7, doesn’t work in 8, but is fine again in 9!!! How are we as developers and designers supposed to work with that?? The goal posts are moving all the time and it seems that the user community have also finally had enough of the obvious flaws this browser presents to everyday internet use. 5 years ago IE had a fairly strong grasp on the market and over 70% of online users were using IE. Thankfully the world has woken up and seen the light, and in comparison IE now holds 21% of the browser market usage. That’s almost a drop of 50%!!! and quite frankly that’s music to my ears. Should IE cease to exist tomorrow the world would breath a sigh of relief and parties would break out in design studios worldwide. It really is that hated, and rightly so.
I can blame my general stress levels and ever worsening baldness to spending the last 2 years pulling out my hair out just fighting with IE. It shouldn’t be like this, the industry is a fun place. I have a feeling it would be an even better if IE ceased to exist.