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Oct 09, 2006
Blog Post

Fun Tool to See How Your Site Looks to Mac Users

SUMMARY: No summary available.
By Anne Holland, President

Today is the first day of work for our new Web Applications
Development Manager Mike Minarik. So last Friday, I nipped down the hall to his office-to-be to see if it was stocked up, spiffy and ready for him.

There was a problem with one of the desk drawers, so it's a good thing I checked. But that's beside the point. The biggest thing I noticed when I got there was not one but two glossy new computers.

One was a PC and one was a Mac. A gargantuan, oversized Mac at that. Totally unfair. I don't even have a Mac, and I'm President of the company. When you start work here, you have to choose one or the other. It's one of those keeping-costs-on-this-planet rules the accounting department trumpets.

"How come he gets both?" I asked. "That's what he asked for, and you said to give him anything he wants for his computer," came the reply.

OK, so it does make a lot of sense. Every Web department should be strewn with multiple computer types ... the better to test your site with. Unless you can see your site the way users may see it (including with a mediocre-sized screen set on low resolution), you can't run a site properly.

On the other hand, I happen to know of a newish, complimentary, online tool that you can use to see what your site looks like in both Mac and PC. "Can't he just use that?" I asked. Well, no, that would be cruel to take away a computer when two have been promised.

But, if you're on a tighter budget than apparently we are -- or perhaps having to approve new designs when working off location where you can't get to both PCs and Macs, this online tool sure is handy.

Here's the link:

See Also:

Comments about this Blog Entry

Oct 09, 2006 - Dereck Curry of None says:
Browsershots is a cool tool. However, I don't see the Mozilla, Netscape, Firefox or Opera browsers listed for the Macintosh or Windows computers. Looks like your web developer will still need the macintosh computer.

Oct 09, 2006 - Lisa Kirkman of The Governance Institute says:
The mac link is really important to web development - I understand Mac's marketshare has jumped from 3% a few years ago to closer to 12%. But the nifty tool was wierd to use and I never actually saw my site. Better to just get a Mac and set it on your desk, with an old, flickery PC monitor your grandmother might have to see what your audience sees.

Oct 09, 2006 - Jeannette Cezanne of says:
It's actually less a matter of testing on Mac vs PC, but rather on different browsers (which can be specific to either platform, but are not necessarily so). Currently, Firefox has about 10% of market share, Safari has 3%. If you ignore these users, you are turning away about every one in seven customers. Can any business afford to do that? Internet Explorer is notorious for not adhering to standards. If you code to standards and THEN do the additional coding to make the site work in IE, you'll have *all* your customers as opposed to coding for IE and turning away every seventh or eighth customer. Note that W3C is the standard to which developers should code (see; there are actually quite a number of W3C standards. Instead of dwelling on the old Mac/PC discussion, it's more helpful to find ways to reach *all* potential customers through one's website.

Oct 09, 2006 - John Stais of Serious Communications says:
I think Browsershots is a good idea, but not a perfect solution. 1) When working on a site design you want immediate results while the creative juices are flowing you do not want delays that will interrupt the creative process (Cost incalculable). 2) There maybe other considerations other than just the look of the site. 3) You may be on a tight deadline and relying on an outside service that may be down or having problems could be very costly. 4) The value of good moral is incalculable. JS

Mar 24, 2008 - Dan Mulligan of YellowDog P&G says:
Or for under $100 you could always get parallels or VMFusion for the mac, and have access any test and/or development environment you could imagine...

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