Previously in this four-part series about older browser versions: We discussed the parallels between how we choose our vehicles and how we can use the same criteria when choosing to update to modern browsers. In Part I and Part II, we looked specifically at the criteria Reliability and Security as well as Performance and Advanced Technology. Last but not least, and because we all like to have our cake and eat it too, let’s look just for a moment at Comfort and Style.
As I’ve mentioned before, there are many modern web browsers available and they come in a variety of colors and options, and (any corporate or enterprise requirements aside) you aren’t really limited to just one and there really isn’t a best. Modern browsers, while they all offer unique options and features, perform light years ahead of their older counterparts. Chrome, Firefox, Safari and even Internet Explorer, just to name a few, all have modern browsers worth looking at and it will really just come down to your personal preference (or as mentioned before, any corporate or enterprise requirements at work). Maybe you’re a Microsoft loyalist and prefer to keep your OS and browser in the same family; maybe you prefer all of Chrome’s additional features like Mail, Hangouts, Calendar and Play; or maybe you own a Mac and prefer Safari, with its cloud syncing. Regardless of your preference, all modern browsers provide the things you need to care about: Ease of updates, performance and speed; security; and desktop and mobile consistency. Yes, mobile consistency. Let’s look at that a little more closely.
Recent reports show that nearly 30 percent of all web traffic originates on some kind of mobile phone or tablet and we can expect that number to increase with advances in mobile technology as well as in devices that are meant to get you connected anywhere, anytime. But with that comes the challenge to web developers and technology providers to serve up consistent experiences across all of those devices as well in your desktop environments. Don’t you want your desktop experience to be consistent with your mobile experience? Of course you do. A main part of that solution is browsers, and modern browsers are being made to work the same across desktops and devices. We’ve discussed the difficulties and inefficiencies of having to maintain sites and applications for both modern and older browsers; now just compound that task if we have to also take devices into consideration.
With advances in rendering technology such as HTML5 and responsive design solutions, providers can build and deploy a single codebase that works the same across all your browsers. The functionality, the experience, the look and feel — it can all be consistent by using modern development technology and modern browsers. Even some of your favorite mobile apps use embedded modern browsers to help render their information. What does it say that your tablet or phone renders a site faster and with more functionality than your desktop browser? It says you need to update your desktop browser to a modern version. Phones and tablets aren’t as old as our computers may be, so they’ve come to the showroom floor fully equipped to handle the speed and performance of technologically advanced websites. Unfortunately, on your older desktop or laptop, the power to upgrade your browser, and in some instances your OS, is completely up to you or your enterprise teams.
In summary, the bottom line is that web technology changes faster than you can imagine (daily in some instances) and the vehicles we use to access that technology also needs to evolve. Just as the vehicles we physically drive need to evolve to our demands for better performance, safety and comfort, so do the tools we use to reach our web destinations. So the next time you complain about a site loading too slowly, or functionality not working properly, or your information isn’t secure, or you simply don’t have some of those cool features like tabbed browsing, don’t blame your technology provider or a website owner — check out the browser recall notices. There is a free, modern browser out there designed to work with the sites and tools you use every day that’s perfect and waiting for you. And leave that jalopy to the junkyard.
Recapping just the facts:
• Modern browsers provide a better, more feature-rich and more consistent user experience.
• Modern browsers offer much better performance and security.
• Modern browsers essentially update themselves.
• Technology providers can deploy new products, functionality, and features more quickly and with greater confidence when not having to concern themselves with coding and testing for outdated browser compatibility.
• Technology providers can use techniques that work well not only in a computer browser, but also on mobile devices.
• Older browsers do not work with modern technologies and functionality.
• Some older browser and operating systems are no longer supported by their creators.
• Some older operating systems do not support modern browsers.
Coming soon: Don’t forget to check out the summary of this series, where we’ll break down some modern browser options, some pros and cons, some usage statistics, some links for more information and how to easily get up and running with a modern browser or two.
About the author: Jason Verlangieri, Creative Director, Web & Graphic Designer, UX Thought Leader
I’m focused on creative direction, brand identity and print, web and user experience design. I have spent more than 20 years designing and am still driven by new challenges every day. The technological canvas we work with changes daily, and so must the design solutions we create. I’m inspired by creative innovation and the users we solve problems for.