Is your site designed for one particular browser?

At first, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing:

“It has been detected that you are not using Microsoft Internet Explorer as your browser. Please use Internet Explorer as some features may not work as expected. Thank you!”

Are you serious? In 2010?

I could understand a message like that if the site were showcasing some advanced features of the browser or exist to promote its use, but this was an industrial company’s recruitment site. As far as I have understood, one of the tenets of good website design is that your site should work equally in all browsers.

Let me be quite clear about my message: If you don’t give me an acceptable reason why I should use a particular browser to view your company’s site, I have no other possibility than to suppose your web design is substandard. Also, I’m not going to change my tools of traveling the net just because of one site. I have great difficulty in understanding why you consider yourselves so important that people should change their working habits and tools for you.

Dear reader, what is your view about this?



  1. Anonymous - 2010-11-29 @ 17:10

    This thought is very organized Kimmo ;-). I too have seen websites that are IE only and as I’m using a MAC, I roll my eyes that my Safari or Firefox are left out. Then laugh at the irony when sometimes using someone’s older PC, I get the “You are using an old version of IE, it is unsafe, update now” message.

    This issue underscores a flaw in marketing in general, one I shall have to blog about: the struggles of niche, targeted vs. general marketing. You’re product may not be for everyone, but your website should. It’s like limiting brochure readers to ones with X type of glasses, or the type of cars that can park in front of the store. Ridiculous, right?

  2. Kimmo Linkama - 2010-11-29 @ 18:51

    You’re right, Davina. What made this particular incident even stranger was that it was a recruitment site. It should stand to reason that such a site of all sites will be visited through every possible browser on earth. The design and the underlying technology must be really twisted if the site is relying on IE’s notorious ignorance of web standards to “work as expected”.

    BTW, loved your glasses/cars parallels… That’s exactly what it is.

  3. Anonymous - 2010-11-30 @ 19:12

    Heh, wasn’t sure those analogies would make sense. I do see not worrying about very old versions of browsers, but I don’t get making sites for IE only. Possibly my MAC bias showing 😉

  4. Kimmo Linkama - 2010-11-30 @ 19:52

    No bias, rest assured. During my working life, I’ve worked with both Macs and PCs, and it’s always a pain when you see that something isn’t working as expected just because you’re in “the wrong camp”. Defined by whom?

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