Dropping support for Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) / by Mike Takahashi


It’s been a long time coming, but support is finally being dropped for Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) on many high profile sites I manage at UCLA such as http://ucla.edu. You might be asking what took so long since sites like Google dropped support for IE6 long ago. For us, it was because of our users, and it’s something that you should always consider.

Up until recently, we still had a high percentage of users using IE6.  A while back I wrote that one of the main reasons was that most users had no choice. Often times it’s due to a technical or workplace related issue because many departments and organizations at UCLA are slow to upgrade their systems.  As a result, users are confined to the environment they’re given with no administrative rights to upgrade their browsers even if they wanted to.

All of our sites are still compatible with IE6, but going forward any new projects or updates we work on will no longer support it.  To help notify our users of this transition, we’ve implemented a notification message that only appears in IE6 browsers.

Internet Explorer (IE6) notification message

Instead of just turning the lights off and immediately dropping support, we're letting our users know ahead of time. If you're still supporting IE6 and are wondering whether or not to continue, the first thing you should do is look at your users. If you still have a high percentage of users and critical functions of your website will not function correctly, now may not be the time. As always, context is key.