AJAXian has released the results of their 2008 State-of-the-Web survey, and the one glaring thing that stands out is that the people surveyed (“as many web designers and developers from around the world as possible”) seem to be losing touch with their audience.
A minority using Windows, a minority using IE, and a minority using mobile devices. That makes huge sense for web developers.
But that’s a sharp contrast to the web audience, where the most common visitor is still running IE6 on Windows XP, with the second place going to IE7 on Windows Vista and the third going to a smartphone running Windows Mobile.
This is a generalization derived from many survey sources, but it’s close enough to make the point.
The thing is, the farther apart web developers and web users drift, the farther the designs of the former will meet the expectations of the latter. True, we all test our websites on several platforms (I hope we do, at least!), but that’s still different from using the same thing your users use, day in and day out.