Can you afford to blow off a part of your audience?

posted by Jeff | Monday, June 1, 2009, 11:45 PM | comments: 0

The other day, me and Diana were talking about the concept of "supported" browsers, and how big corporations often restrict their online applications for use only with certain browsers. This is a throwback to the days when you needed ActiveX or certain IE-only features, and is rooted in old school corporate IT nonsense.

But there are still a lot of financial institutions in particular that keep telling you what browser to use, and that's just stupid. I was looking at the stats for my sites today, and it shows that 15% of visitors are Mac users, and only about 55% are IE users. Even the iPhone is closing in on 1%, which is crazy.

That's the world we live in. If you blow off 15% of your audience, can you afford that? Imagine if Amazon did this. Their holiday quarter did $225 million in profit. Do you think they'd be OK with leaving $33 million on the table?

I ran into another support issue today, when trying to view the video clips for the Halo prequel and the body control stuff for Xbox. I'd love to watch them, but they use some goofy stream that's presumably Windows Media based and I can't watch them on the Mac. Technologist apologists seem hell bent on declaring that this kind of thing is OK, but especially for marketing intent, why would you exclude any percentage of your audience?

I'm not suggesting we all need to test for IE6 at this point, but come on man... with the standards and frameworks we have, it isn't that hard to reach 99% of your audience.


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