How we’re using browser data to improve the Continuum platform

We recently added the automated collection of browser statistics to the Continuum CMS product and started to use the data to guide the development of the Pulsar User Interface and improve the experience of the Continuum Platform.

The anonymised data has been crunched to show us which browsers are most used, and then broken down by specific version numbers. Remember, this is only for administrators using the Continuum CMS Control Centre and not visits to a customer’s public website.

Browser usage

Chart showing browser usage, ordered: Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and others

Version breakdown for top browsers

Table showing percentage use of different browser versions

The highlights

Google Chrome is the most popular browser among our customers and over 70% of Chrome users run the ‘latest’ version (by that we mean the most recent release plus one version back).

Internet Explorer is next, fairly close to Chrome in user numbers, around half of which use IE9 and the newer IE11 is gaining ground with over 20%. 

Firefox is less popular but an somewhat interesting observation is that the number of people running recent versions has a slower uptake than Chrome.

The most surprising thing for me was the extremely low number of users on IE7, I think there’s a common stereotype with public sector organisations where we assume they’re still using old computers with IE6 or 7 and it’s fantastic to be able to see our own data prove otherwise! Microsoft recently announced the end of support for older versions of Internet Explorer and it will be interesting to see if this has an effect on the numbers through 2016.

So what are we doing with this information? 

Having a documented list of ‘verified browsers’ means that we reduce the time we spend designing, testing and debugging in legacy browsers that simply aren’t being used and have a better idea of which features we’re able to use within javascript, jQuery or CSS based on their browser support. At the end of 2015, if IE7 use is still at rock bottom then I’m going to remove it from our list of verified browsers entirely, it’s an easy decision based on hard data. We’re also more than happy to share our browser data with any customers who may find it useful when doing their own custom developments.

While this gives us greater insight into the operating systems and browsers our customers are using, we’re not able to find out if anyone is using assistive technology to use the Continuum platform. Making our software accessible is extremely important to us and I’d love to hear from anyone who uses devices like screen readers, alternative input devices or text-to-speech software and anyone who may require their software to provide extra adjustments to suit specialist needs. Please contact me (paul.stanton@jadu.net) if you’d like to chat about your specific experiences.

Finally, to the very small number of you using IE7, and the one person using Windows Vista, you have our sympathies!

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