A new web browser: Internet Explorer 9

Posted by jw285 at Sep 26, 2013 10:03 AM |
This week IT Services have upgraded the University’s default web browser from Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) to Internet Explorer 9 (IE9).

As a result some of you may notice differences in the way your University of Leicester Plone website looks and works.

As a website editor

When it comes to using Plone as a website editor you probably won’t notice much of a difference. This is because, for technical reasons, when you login to your website using IE9 Plone will instruct the web browser to render pages as if it were IE8. Therefore in general Plone will continue to work exactly as it did before the browser upgrade.

However you may notice that the browser will work slightly differently when you attempt certain tasks such as previewing a website when you insert an external link. At this point Internet Explorer will usually give you a warning message to confirm that you’d like to proceed. However the wording of such messages may now be slightly different so please read them carefully and let us know if you encounter any problems.

As a website visitor

The biggest difference that you are likely to notice after your web browser has been upgraded to IE9 is that the University website is now responsive. This means that the website will change width depending on the screen size and resolution of the users' monitor and therefore the layout and positioning of your content will change too.

If you’re unfamiliar with responsive web design then please read my previous post Optimising your website for mobile devices: An introduction.

Banner Images

On large monitors banner images won’t occupy the full width of the page. This is because the banner images were created at 990 pixels wide and the University website can now be up to 1400 pixels wide depending on the users' screen size.

Banner image with empty space

We appreciate that this can look a bit unusual at first. We’ve considered a few different approaches to improve this (e.g. fading, scaling, tiling the image etc.) but none have been ideal.

Currently there are no plans to resize the existing 750+ banner images on Plone. Finding suitable images to fit a letterbox shape of 990 X 140 pixels is already very challenging so we’re going to continue to produce banner images at these dimensions for the time being.

Layout of page content

As the width of a webpage changes, so too does the flow of content on the page. This usually doesn’t cause any problems but occasionally you’ll need to reposition images and videos etc. to make sure that the page displays adequately on various screen sizes.

If your website uses the rectangular image buttons on the homepage then we can resize these for you and implement them in such a way that they’ll scale to occupy the full width of the page regardless of the screen size. Just email ithelp@le.ac.uk to request this.

Other changes

There may also be other less obvious changes that you notice and we’ll hopefully address most of these in the upcoming ‘Optimising your website for mobile devices…’ series of blog posts.

About Me - Jeff Wilkinson

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