We’re winding down IE8 support, and this is how we’re doing it.
I’ve mentioned it in conversations, online, and promised it to the development team at Cord Media Company: IE8 support is on it’s way out with a quickness. Right now we’re working on building the new Cord Media Company website, it’s our flagship project where we’re not limited by client budgets and billable hour overages, design restrictions, branding constraints, client design modifications, etc. Basically- we are the client and we’re big spenders that want the most forward thinking methods in design and development.
Because it’s our site, you’ll hear us saying things like “we definitely need to get this on the new site,” and “I’ve never seen it done like that, let’s do it,” and “wait, what if it did this? Hell yeah. let’s do it” during the design and development conversation.
The first thing a developer does when this kind of excitement hits, or one of the first few things is, “where are we with browser compatibly on this?” because we’ve been trained by the industry and our clients to aim for pixel perfection across all browsers- including legacy browsers like IE8 because they don’t get it. We have to immediately start weighing out how it’s all actually going to happen in practice.
Most often our hands are forced by the analytics. The browser share of a site’s visitors. Who will we be leaving behind if we move too far forward?
How do you transition and who’s job is that?
Because it’s our site, we write more rules. We get to do things that we may not be able to consider on a client site. We’re going to implement an alert bar at the top of the screen that informs the visitor that their legacy browser does not support some of the advanced features that the site uses and gives a link to browsehappy.com.
This was implemented a while back in HTML5 Boilerplate under an IE8 conditional- but we always deleted it because it’s not our client’s job to tell visitors what browser to use or inform them of some of the decisions in life they could be making better. It’s worth mentioning that IE8 has a zero day vulnerability found last year by a third party company which was communicated to Microsoft October of 2013 and as of May 2014 when it was disclosed to the public they said that a patch was forthcoming but no timeline was given- as of September 2014 I’m not aware of a release by Microsoft. We’re not going for scare tactics here, so we’ll stick to the “upgrade so your internet isn’t ugly” message.
Take a moment to consider the code, friends.
On top of all the client side considerations, let’s not forget that the technology and frameworks we use are running away from IE8 like it’s a zombie out to eat brains (an analogy with depth if you think about it). Google Apps walked away from IE8 in 2012 (and IE9 in 2013). The Foundation responsive framework kicked IE8 to the curb with Foundation 5 (yeah, we’re using that on cordmedia.com v3). jQuery set IE8 on fire and pushed it off a cliff with version 2.x in early 2013. We don’t even need to talk about CSS3.
In our humble opinion, it’s time to move away from making the internet pretty for a browser released in 2009 with 3 versions having been released since then.
Personal motto: “Never be bored.”
The best thing of all is that it’s incredibly fun. We get to stretch our imaginations and implement things (within good taste, UI/UX considerations, and not abuse) that set us apart- and every advertising agency and web development firm wants that. We think that walking away from the past means walking towards the future and it can only beget an accelerated process of innovation on the web design side as well as the browser application development side.
Let’s get the party started, more so than before. Let’s start anticipating the day we don’t have to support IE9. Since I brought web design in-house to Cord Media Company, and since starting the full web department, we are on a schedule that makes yearly full redesigns, rebuilds, and launches of the de facto showcase of our talent and abilities: cordmedia.com and that site says we’re about the future of web.