Blog Home Kelvin Jackson

Don't Forget: Some People Use Firefox!

A couple of weeks ago, I had a remote business meeting with the rest of the Influensseri team and a few outside individuals. This meeting happened via a teleconferencing tool provided by a major international corporation, which I will not name (they're not the only ones who do this, by any means).

This teleconferencing platform refuses to run in Firefox. It doesn't just fail, it flat out refuses to even offer the option of trying.

As a Firefox user, I encounter this sort of problem more often than I like. Sometimes, a product just doesn't work right in Firefox, which is irritating but easy to attribute to bugs, limited development resources, or lack of testing. But actually _blocking_ the service in a particular browser feels like a slap in the face, especially when there's no good technical reason why it shouldn't work in all browsers.

Even more ironically, Google Meet — the teleconferencing product that would have the greatest incentive to push its users towards Chrome — works more or less perfectly in Firefox. After months of online meetings, Google Meet has become one of my favorite platforms, and this is one of the main reasons why.

So the moral of the story here is this: don't assume that your users use your favorite browser. Personally, I don't like Chrome (mostly because it's a memory hog), and while that does put me in a minority of internet users, that minority isn't as small as you might think — Chrome has less than 70% of the market share on desktop, and even less on Mobile (according to Wikipedia).

More generally, while it's acceptable and understandable to target a product at the largest group of consumers, going out of your way to make it _harder_ for people outside of that group to use it is not a good look for your product. It will only build resentment and hurt your brand in the long run.