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CHI-WEB  February 1999, Week 2

CHI-WEB February 1999, Week 2

Subject:

Re: Browserversion-surveys - COMPILED FI

From:

Richard Whitehand <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Fri, 12 Feb 1999 21:59:42 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (56 lines)

[log in to unmask] writes:
> Well this may be UI but I'm just unable to grok in what respect. I
> don't want to sound harsh, but what benefit do you[0] gain from knowing
> the percentages of users of a certain browser wrt to a certain site?
>
> Firstly the sample is selfselecting at best and secondly: who
> cares? HTML and the "WEB" were conceived as system independent
> devices of desemination of information. So the question seems (at
> least to me, call me an idealist) to be, what do you gain by
> catering for specific browsers[1] and thereby leaving the
> 100% audience of standards-conforming HTML?

Ummm, which version of the HTML standard? There are a few now...and the   
early browsers don't support some of the later versions of HTML.

> Please, don't take this as a charge against anything you[0] do, I'm
> just seeking enlightenment: What is to be gained by excluding
> minorities from access to sites? Is it worthwhile? If so, why?

Firstly, I'm not sure whether anyone has specifically talked about   
*excluding* minorities. Designing for later browser versions doesn't   
necessarily mean a site cannot be used at all by earlier browser   
versions.

Secondly, designing for later browser versions can have huge advantages   
for those users who have them. A simple example:
The earliest browsers didn't support tables - there are still a tiny   
minority of users who might occasionally use such an old browser version,   
should we thus avoid formatting text/data in tables when it is   
appropriate to do so and present the information in a less readable   
non-table format?

Okay, this is perhaps an extreme example, and the minority is incredibly   
small. However, this thread is about finding out what the size of these   
different minorities is, thus giving interface designers some form of   
basis for design decisions. Similar issues arise in the traditional field   
of ergonomics - e.g. car manufacturers do a pretty good job of designing   
cars in which the vast majority of us can fit, unfortunately I cannot   
comfortably drive many cars as I am over 2 metres tall... but perhaps all   
cars should be larger (and more expensive) so that I can fit in?

Regards,

Richard.

============================================================
RICHARD WHITEHAND (Human Factors Consultant and Researcher)
============================================================
ADR: Nomos Management AB, Box 119, S-182 12 Danderyd, Sweden
TEL: +46  8 753 6220
MBL: +46 70 491 6594
FAX: +46  8 753 6793
EML: [log in to unmask]
WWW: http://www.nomos.se/
============================================================

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