Alert: RescueTime is no longer supporting Internet Explorer 6

ie6For those of you who aren’t web geeks, this might not make a lot of sense, so let me give you a bit of background.  Web pages are made up of all sorts of arcane bits of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript which result in what you see across the web.  Sadly, each browser interprets these bits differently.  Sometimes it’s just a little different– resulting in something being off by a pixel here or a pixel there.  That’s fine.  A big part of a web developer’s job is to make sure their creation performs adequately in most/all major browsers.  As you work your way the list of browsers in terms of market share, you have to make a judgement call about what should be considered a “major” browser.

Deciding which browsers to test and support is a gut-wrenching affair.  Every browser that you do support adds hours (lots of hours) to the work you have to do.  To determine whether we support a given browser (and version #!) we evaluate the percentage of our users who use that browser, the prospects of the browser (is the browsers usage advancing or declining), and how painful it is for us to support.  When we choose to not support a browser, it’s not because we’re lazy– it’s because we’d really rather spend our time making RescueTime work better and do more cool stuff for the majority of our users.  It’s about Time Management! 🙂

As we evaluated Internet Explorer 6, we’ve realized that:

  • only a tiny percentage of our visitors every day use it.  Still, this can be hundreds or thousands of visitors per day.  Happily, we’re in better shape here than most sites.
  • It’s a declining audience.  It may take 6 months or it could take a year– but any effort we put forth today to make our site happy in IE6 is someday going to be wasted effort.  Work today gives us very little leverage for future success.
  • It’s an awful lot of work and frustration for us to make the site happy in Internet Explorer 6.  This makes us love our jobs less and keeps us from being able to make the product even better for the VAST majority of folks who use more current browsers.

So, we are (as of this release) going to stop testing IE6.  The site should still largely function for IE6 users, but you might see some issues.  Some features might look funny.  Some might not even work at all.  If you’re using IE6, we strongly encourage you to upgrade ASAP to Internet Explorer 7 or Firefox 3 – both are exceptional browsers and will improve your browser experience in a myriad of ways (in RescueTime and beyond)!

We invite your thoughts in the comments.

One Comment on “Alert: RescueTime is no longer supporting Internet Explorer 6”

  1. Qrystal says:

    I am curious about what percentage of your users access the site using Google Chrome. I am one of them, and I’ve never struggled with anything on your site. Indeed, like many other sites, Chrome makes the experience faster and smoother. Is it something you test, or is it working well because of its own design? Just curious. 🙂