Why Browsers Matter to Your Users + How to Build for the Future

February 1, 2012

Anecdotal evidence suggests that plenty of people couldn’t tell you the definition of a web browser — much less the difference between one browser and another. We suspect most folks really don’t care, either.

Typical Internet users simply want to turn on their computer and get content from the web without thinking about how they get it. And, really, who can blame them? To many users, the browser that came pre-installed on their computer may as well be called “the Internet.”

Well, the Crux Collaborative team cares about browsers more than most people. For our designers and web developers, browsers shape (and often limit) the experiences we are able to deliver to our users.


The Rickety Rowboat

With such little understanding out there about browsers, it is incumbent upon developers to educate their teams before decisions are made regarding browser support.

You could think of the browser landscape like this: Imagine web users as passengers cruising the open water (the Internet) in the boat (web browser) of their choice. They are focused on the glorious mountain vistas (content), not on the boat. To many, an old rickety rowboat seems fine since they have never been aboard a fully equipped powerboat.

Internet Explorer has long represented that rickety rowboat – slow and leaking water. IE has consistently been out of step with its competition. Nonetheless, it has held a grip on the market for more than a decade.

Some users may not realize that browser updates are free, and usually take less than 5 minutes to complete. Others ignore prompts to update. Whatever the reason, those who choose to remain plodding along in their decrepit rowboats, rather than update to the latest version, will never experience the web in all its glory.


By Tony Johnson
Senior Front-end Developer

Tony has spent well over a decade building interactive applications. He collaborates in the full life cycle of projects – bringing a unique blend of technical savvy, creativity and strategic thinking to our user experience consulting services.

View Tony's Bio

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