At a project recently we’ve had to cater for IE7 and IE8 (yes, still, as our client is worldwide and can’t ignore corporate customers — and the Chinese market is important for them) yet the designs were responsive and had been customized for wider screens (wider like 1920px).
So we had to take a step back and decide on the strategy. We had a quick mental ninja adjustment that went like this :
- we have to be responsive
- we have 6 breakpoints – it’s a fairly design-intensive website, going from 768px up to 1920px
- but we cannot serve wide designs to IE7 and IE8 considering most of them are by nature certainly on older computers, so we expect them to have smaller viewports than more modern user agents (we cannot back it up with research, agreed, but let’s go with it)
- also, we cannot serve crammed pages for the simple reason that IE7 and IE8 don’t understand media queries and we wouldn’t care, so we had to target a smaller viewport than 1920px as our starting point
- luckily, we have a separate set of mobile designs and pages (big site, intensive design, user experience optimization) so we won’t rely on mobile-first content and cannot serve ‘dumb’ mobile-like pages to such a large group of users
- of course we need to minimize the number of HTTP requests as we’re going to have a whole lot of other assets to download (think rich imagery)
So we ended up deciding to neither go mobile-first nor desktop-first, but middle-way-first, so to speak. Or IE-first as it is easier to pronouce.
We’ll provide the site with a defaut 1024px design, assuming IE7/8 will be on screens around these sizes, and media queries for below 1024 and above 1280.
IE-first. What do you think? Would you have the same approach?
PS: thanks to Marie for the feedback