Archive for the ‘Web Browsers’ Category

I love browsers. Hey, it’s the reason we surf the web. But lately they have thrown up more issues than need be required. Let’s take a closer look at why I love and hate web browsers.

People use different web browsers for different reasons. These reasons range from ‘I have no choice, my company has not upgraded my Internet Explorer 6 from 2001’ to a ‘Firefox plug-in connoisseur whose quest it is to maximise their web experience by finding the best and most useful plug ins’. Their options are wider then ever with there being a multitude of web browsers available for download.

This presents two key problems. First for the users, their web experience is altered slightly from browser to browser if a site has not been tested fully, maybe the website does not take into account the user’s browser type, or that the user needs to download RIA technologies like Flash etc. Secondly for businesses, this means having to spend more money developing their web applications to work across all browsers at all times.

But where do you draw the line, between the good browsers and the bad. Unfortunately it’s not that simple, because different browsers can be good for different reasons. For example Flock is built on Firefox, but is targeted towards users in social media. Those web browsers that offer cross-platform compatibility are at least trying to give users a fair choice. So when Microsoft stopped offering Internet Explorer for Apple users back in the day, it was seen by some as a strange move.

Currently a majority of users would use only a few of the industry’s leading browsers, like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera & Chrome. However since each of these alone are available in different versions this can also create further issues for both the user and the designer and/or developer.

Personally I use various browsers for different reasons, so as to separate my browsing history. I would use one browser for my favourites, another for social media etc. It helps me get the best from each browser because I get to test and play each one continuously. I am not your average user, therefore my reasoning for picking various browsers may not might sense to some people.

As the digital channels of communication continue to expand, we will start to experience the Internet from a variety of new web browsers like those on your mobile to the ones on your OLED television. That means even more setting up time required for users, designers and developers, that’s just great. Didn’t someone once say ‘what ever you do KEEP IT SIMPLE?’

Let’s hope HTML 5 helps simplify things, but I got a funny feeling it’s not going to be that simple.

Find out more about the history of Web Browsers and HTML 5 at :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_web_browsers

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML_5

Advertisements