Internet Explorer 6 and library web pages.

I mentioned recently that we needed to think about IE6 when designing and creating library web pages. There is an assertion that this is ridiculous, and we need to move away from catering to a browser that’s over ten years old. However, I think we in HE (and probably lots of other areas) need to pay careful consideration, and that our users have particular needs that have to be addressed.

Google Analytics tells us that in Feb 2012, we had 258,000 visits to the library websites. Of this amount, only 0.4% of visits used IE6. So that sounds good, right? Only 0.4% actually equates to around 1,000 visits! (plus six visits from a machine running IE 4!)

Microsoft pegs worldwide, overall use of IE6 to around 7 IE6 Countdown but this figure is slightly swayed by the circa 23% figure from China. We have students studying in China, so I figured this was probably what made our figures higher than I expected.




However, analytics is clever in that it will let us know additional details, so we can check what browser against the doman that people are coming from, and we see that a large portion of these visits are coming from – i.e. students working on placement. There’s no way we can abandon these guys! But also zero chance of us being able to influence hospitals into upgrading their machines. I’ll stick a message on the new website asking people using IE6 to consider upgrading, and we might catch a few, but in the meantime we have to keep using workarounds to accomodate these page views.