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I have seen many sites like browser-update.org that provide small bits of JavaScript & CSS to implement in a page that inform a user through a yellow bar at the top of the page that their browser is out of date. While I see how this is productive in that it helps raise people's browsers to higher standards, but I also feel that it may be a slight bit intrusive and annoying.

Would this kind of notification be more appropriate on a personal website instead of a business website? Are there any general guidelines to where this kind of notification should and shouldn't be used?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 11 down vote accepted

For non-personal sites this should only be done if (for some reason) the site will not perform well in the out-of-date browser. Non-personal sites (be they business, governmental etc.) are not typically there to serve an agenda, so if the site works (mostly) in IE 6 (or any outdated) browser, let it be. Your users aren't there to be lectured on their choice of browser (even if that choice is bad).

For personal sites this is, of course, a matter of personal taste and conviction.

If you feel a notification is warranted you should be make it reasonably unobtrusive. The top ribbons that stackexchange sites use for notifications are quite suitable. Redirecting to another page altogether is over the top. Make it easy to dismiss (maybe your user-agent code is getting it wrong) and once dismissed it shouldn't pop up again (at least for some time).

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Exactly what I was looking for. Thanks! –  squircle Jul 10 '10 at 21:11
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I find it incredibly, incredibly rude when I'm using a browser on a corporate network and I go to say, the AWStats homepage, and I'm presented with an incredibly condasending "Your browser sucks balls" page and I can't continue to their software without hunting for the "Continue Anyway" link (as if I'm about to do something dangerous). It's just unprofessional. –  Mark Henderson Jul 10 '10 at 22:44
    
pisses me off when they outright block Opera (a more capable browser) even though, odds are, it will work just fine. –  corymathews Jul 12 '10 at 12:37

I would only ever do this in the case of extreme failures, like if I had a <canvas> based page and someone visited it with Internet Explorer. The best thing is to test the browser's capabilities and apologize to the user if the page can't be displayed. The same theory also applies to <noscript> sections for users whose browser's JavaScript is turned off.

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