I've been designing web sites in a kind of amateur way for a few years now, and I only have one big gripe in other people's designs.
The features available in web pages are evolving all the time, and new browsers are required in order to interpret the code that people are putting in to their pages. Web design is big business, and companies are always pushing for their web sites to be the best and the snazziest. So I'm not blaming web designers for upgrade nags, but I am blaming their clients and the design process.
What do I mean by an upgrade nag anyway?
Well, there's a certain site that I visit occasionally that has a big banner along the top telling me, over four lines of text, that I am using an unsupported browser and that I need to update. It's got some pretty icons on it that link to download pages for browsers. It's on every page of the web site. I have no idea what in the site I can't see, but I see this big red message. A lot.
Now, yes - there will be some features on the site that the people behind the site want me to see, and that I won't be able to. Probably advertising, but possibly content, or interaction, or a tedious facebook login. But the main reason I now don't want to use the site is the annoying banner. On every page. Telling me that my browser isn't supported by the web site I'm looking at.
Now, there is a good reason why my browser isn't supported by the web site. It's an old browser. Internet Explorer 7. And all the computers in my workspace have it. I'm not allowed to upgrade. So I don't.
As an aside - surely the browser doesn't support the web page, rather than the other way around?
There are established techniques for allowing a web page to display properly in older browsers. They're messy, yes, and time consuming. But around 6% of internet users are using IE7 or earlier. All of them will get this banner. Instead of a discreet message telling the user that "as you are using such and such a browser, some features of this site are disabled" and disabling them, this site - and it is not unique - chooses to make itself considerably more annoying.
I do sympathise. With the site owners, who want to drive everytone to the most bandwidth-rich experience, with the coders who want to write standard code rather than bespoking everything for individual browsers. All I ask is that, in return, they have some sympathy for me, stuck on a browser that their web site doesn't support.