Browser & Mobile Use Over Time

With the announcement yesterday that Microsoft will not be supporting IE 8-10 in the very near future, I thought I would check our repository and digital collection to see what browsers are being used. I had meant to do this for some time after seeing another place had higher mobile use than Firefox use.

I decided to compare the month of December over several years to see changes

First up, our institutional repository (Digital Commons software)

Dec-09 Dec-10 Dec-11 Dec-12 Dec-13 Dec-14 Dec-15
IE 53% 42% 33% 25% 17% 15% 11%
Chrome 4% 11% 20% 30% 40% 46% 50%
Firefox 32% 31% 31% 25% 22% 19% 16%
Safari 9% 12% 12% 16% 15% 15% 16%
Other 2% 3% 3% 4% 7% 4% 6%
desktop 100% 98% 97% 94% 90% 87% 84%
mobile 2% 2% 3% 6% 9% 12%
tablet 1% 3% 4% 4% 4%

A few comments:

  • I use Firefox for my IR work and I am in it every day.
  • The repository is primarily PDFs. Given how lousy PDFs are on a small mobile device, I am actually surprised at how large the mobile number is.
  • Use going directly to a PDF from Google (or other source) is not counted (so the totals would be low), but the percentages are hopefully about right.

The specific use of IE products is:

Dec-09 Dec-10 Dec-11 Dec-12 Dec-13 Dec-14 Dec-15
     IE 11.0 9% 52% 72%
     IE 10.0 1% 27% 14% 9%
     IE 9.0 1% 28% 53% 27% 15% 6%
     IE 8.0 32% 70% 54% 34% 30% 13% 6%
     IE 7.0 51% 22% 14% 10% 6% 5% 7%
     IE 6.0 17% 8% 4% 1% 1%
  • Note that IE % of use increased in 2015! (The actual number of sessions increased from 107 to 146, so it isn’t just a percentage thing.) I am sure this relates to the overall Libraries website use (see below) by various browsers.

Our digital collections are in CONTENTdm software.

Dec-09 Dec-10 Dec-11 Dec-12 Dec-13 Dec-14 Dec-15
IE 60% 46% 43% 33% 24% 22% 16%
Chrome 3% 9% 15% 20% 29% 37% 45%
Firefox 26% 32% 23% 20% 20% 16% 13%
Safari 9% 12% 16% 20% 19% 20% 22%
Other 3% 1% 4% 7% 9% 5% 4%
desktop 99% 98% 94% 86% 85% 76% 73%
mobile 1% 2% 4% 8% 8% 16% 18%
tablet 2% 6% 7% 8% 9%
  • Again, I typically use Firefox, as does my colleague who manages our digital collections.
  • I find the site quite horrible on a mobile device and am actually surprised by the high usage
  • We are currently have issues with some of our videos playing in anything but Chrome, so were pleased to see it was used the most.

IE details:

Dec-09 Dec-10 Dec-11 Dec-12 Dec-13 Dec-14 Dec-15
     IE 11.0 14% 64% 81%
     IE 10.0 1% 34% 10% 8%
     IE 9.0 1% 33% 57% 27% 16% 6%
     IE 8.0 38% 75% 51% 35% 23% 8% 3%
     IE 7.0 49% 20% 14% 6% 3% 3% 2%
     IE 6.0 13% 4% 1% 1%

This is the pattern I expected to see in all three cases.

Finally, I checked the Libraries website as a comparison. I am not sure how many computers have the libraries website up by default; we have a few walk-in user stations that are restricted to the libraries website and the one I checked uses IE.

Libs Dec-09 Dec-10 Dec-11 Dec-12 Dec-13 Dec-14 Dec-15
IE 58% 49% 44% 39% 37% 33% 27%
Chrome 2% 7% 11% 15% 25% 32% 38%
Firefox 23% 24% 18% 17% 17% 15% 13%
Safari 16% 20% 24% 25% 17% 18% 19%
Other 1% 1% 3% 3% 5% 1% 2%
desktop 100% 99% 95% 93% 91% 90% 89%
mobile 1% 4% 5% 6% 7% 9%
tablet 1% 2% 3% 3% 3%

Note that the mobile usage for the libraries website as a whole is lower than for our repository or digital collections! I think this must have something to do with staff and with the walk up terminals.

The IE versions used on the Libraries website is where it get weird

Dec-09 Dec-10 Dec-11 Dec-12 Dec-13 Dec-14 Dec-15
     IE 11.0 3% 29% 43%
     IE 10.0 1% 26% 9% 2%
     IE 9.0 27% 39% 11% 6% 3%
     IE 8.0 43% 76% 60% 51% 52% 41% 1%
     IE 7.0 52% 21% 11% 9% 8% 15% 51%
     IE 6.0 5% 3% 1%

Look at that use for IE 7.0! What is up with that? The actual number of sessions INCREASED from 4,945 to 11,358 from December 2014 to December 2015. I checked, and almost all of our IE 7.0 use comes from on campus.

Addendum:

It looks like one of the major sources of IE 7.0 use above are the walk in user/express stations which are set to find/infohawk.  About 60% of the landing pages for IE 7.0 are to the find/infohawk page (and virtually all of the usage of that page comes from IE 7.0), and Hardin (our medical library) gets another 23% of the use.  Last January, the find/infohawk page was not used by IE 7.0 (I don’t know if it is a new page that didn’t exist a year ago). The find/infohawk page starts appearing in the IE 7.0 session landing pages in April, with the numbers comparable to now in May.

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