Why do web designers test with multiple browsers?

Programming, Tech, Web No Comments

Related to my post yesterday, friends and family members often ask me why I recommend Firefox as their primary browser. I am frequently asked questions like, “What’s wrong with Internet Explorer?” Despite the fact that alternative browsers are gaining market share, the vast majority of users still use IE, simply because they don’t feel they are advanced enough to use something else.

In addition to the added security and features, I use Firefox for one other very important reason. Believe it or not, other programmers have actually asked me why I test webpages in multiple browsers! I know this is hard to believe, but the logic is that since the overwhelming majority still uses Internet Explorer, why worry about the last 10%. Obviously there are flaws in this logic which brings me to the other important reason I use Firefox. Standards Compliance.

While, no browser is fully standard compliant, Firefox and Opera are much closer than IE6. Microsoft promises that IE7 will be more standards compliant, actually stating that some pages hacked to work with IE6 will have to be rewritten/fixed to work with IE7. Thankfully, as an ASP.NET developer, I was delighted to hear that ASP.NET 2.0 produces standards compliant code!

The problem is, writing code for IE6 is a bit like Black Magic. It will cause a programmer to rip their hair out, which I will use as an excuse for my receding hairline :). Therefore supporting standards compliance is the battle cry of most web designers.

This brings me to this hilarious, yet truthful graph from Poisoned Minds which shows how web designers divide their time.

Web Design Time Pie Chart

*Note: I have slightly modified the image to keep the site family-friendly.