Who’s Your Audience?

Striking graphics at Ars Technica… go take a peek. By these piecharts, two-thirds of The Web uses Internet Explorer, but one-half of people visiting ArsTechnica.com are using Firefox.

The numbers may not mean much (the top graphic didn’t even cite its source, much less its methodology!), but I think most people would agree on the trend — delivering as Ajax really means “Let’s Use Microsoft Runtimes!”, and some sites may have significant audiences who use other browsers.

Should ArsTechnica.com ignore visitors using Internet Explorer? That’s their decision to make. But if they did, the IE-using 20% of their audience would be ghettoized like a mainstream website which barred Firefox users. Not pretty, not kind.

HTML design, if it’s not elitist, needs to work atop the various HTML browser brands that people on the Internet are currently using. The functionality available is the functionality these browsers all share.

But almost all these different browser brands and versions already have Adobe Flash Player 10 installed. That’s a lot more functionality, right there at your fingertips.

The minor fluctuations in “browser market share” mean a lot less, in the long run, than what you can do in those browsers, today.