When (At first access, or periodically during session)? and how (Modal view or those floating messages)? should I advise users they are using browsers not supported by my website. Basically I want to indicate that the site may not operate correctly with their browser. They should be instructed to upgrade or change their browser to utilize the site to its fullest.

I would appreciate if you can give me more advises.


  • How "not supported" is your site? Will it just look slightly better in some browsers or is it likely to crash and burn if you're not using the right one? Is it only for certain features like HTML5 video or is the whole website likely to display issues?
    – DasBeasto
    Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 21:15
  • Silghtly better in some browsers, but for older versions of IE, some flows cannot be completed due UI issues.
    – Amapola
    Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 14:12

4 Answers 4


On load

Most users surfing on archaic browsers have faced this situation not once, but many times. So chances are they're fully aware of what's going on. Whether they don't change it for being stubborn, lack of knowledge or being forced to it (some enterprise level software still uses IE8), is not your problem.

However, it's your problem to serve the best possible experience on YOUR site.

So, first, try to accommodate your site to the broadest possible array of browsers, and test your site. After this, assuming there are issues with any specific browser (which is very understandable, you can't go back to stone ages just because someone didn't upgrade), just let the user know BEFORE they embark into a journey they won't be able to complete.

Additionally, it would be a good idea if your site has good mobile support since some of your users will be able to use your site on mobile/tablets

  • Warning a user before they embark on some flow you know they won't be able to complete (as OP's comment to question says) is paramount ("This feature will [almost certainly] not work on your browser"). Whether I'd stop them trying is trickier, and depends on how it fails. For general "This site would look better if you upgraded your browser" issues, I'd show something prominent the first time they visit, with a more passive reminder (something like a banner below the top menu) on subsequent visits).
    – TripeHound
    Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 13:04

To me, this should be a "global" behavior meaning that it should sit outside of the visual scope of the UI. Perhaps a warning bar that is affixed at the bottom of the browser window.

Another option - only display the warning message within then certain features that don't work correctly in the browser.

But, honestly, your product or website should be fully functional in all widely used browsers.

  • "But, honestly, your product or website should be fully functional in all widely used browsers" I'm sure the OP is trying for this, but the question is about what to do when someone does use a non-widely used browser.
    – TripeHound
    Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 13:06

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Take a look at data re: browser version and market share. In terms of a good UX experience your site should be accessible to the majority of users.

I would look into data and see how important it is to retain users of old browsers. If they are an important segment to your site I would suggest providing them a link to upgrade their browser the moment they reach your site. Part of a good experience is learning and growing. So if you can get a dinosaur to drop IE7 and upgrade to IE11 all the better because their overall web browsing experience (outside your site as well) should improve.


TL;DR Make a data-driven, business decision

To be pragmatic, this is more of a business question than a UX question. The UX aspect is clear- ideally, fully support and hide the quirks of ALL browsers. Barring that, only alert users for particular flows that will have problems. Barring that, a static/always visible message on your site. Barring that, do nothing and just watch some of your users get frustrated and potentially churn. What you are able to accomplish along that spectrum is a question of time and resources and risks associated with losing certain segments of users.

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