April 1, 2009, 12:00 AM

Wrangling Rendering

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Retailers also have at their disposal ways to identify and correct glitches caused by differences in how various browsers render pages, even after pages go live. CyScape Inc.’s BrowserHawk To-Go checks a site visitor’s browser and system in real time and presents the consumer with automated self-help via an on-screen window that presents such information as how to adjust browser settings, how to plug in Flash capability and how to enable cookies.

Keeping it simple

E-retailers can minimize browser problems with a web development strategy that avoids pushing too far and too fast with new site elements and technologies, suggests Ben Rushlo, senior manager of web performance at performance-monitoring company Keynote Systems Inc. Simpler designs are more likely to work across any number of browser and operating system combinations, Rushlo contends.

“This is going to take a shift from thinking that ‘If it works on Internet Explorer and Firefox, it works,’ to ‘Let’s design the site or platform to work on Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome and the iPhone,’” he says. “If the company is thinking that they know there is not one browser and one type of connection anymore, they can have a culture and a process of designing that can accommodate that.”

mary@verticalwebmedia.com

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