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Posted by Brian McNamara

The variety of widely-used web browsers, a field once dominated by Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE), is becoming more complex and diverse.

A recent review of web traffic stats from StatCounter indicates that IE still sees a significant market share worldwide, but that web traffic from other browsers such as Firefox, Chrome and Safari have gained significantly in the past three years. Indeed, in several countries and regions, traffic from Firefox and Chrome browsers now exceeds that from IE.

Worldwide browser states

IE still commands the largest share of web traffic in the US,  though it has declined from about 66% to 42% since 2008:

US Browser Stats

In Europe, three browsers split the lion’s share of browser traffic – Chrome, Firefox and IE each account for about 30% of traffic, with Chrome seeing steady increases apparently at IE’s expense:

Browser stats - Europe

If we drill down a bit further to the ‘country’ level, we can see IE and Chrome nearly equal in the UK, with a similar trend in Chrome’s growth at IE’s expense.

Browser stats -  UK

But we see a different story in Germany, Europe’s largest economy, where Firefox has led IE in market share for more than three years, with IE now accounting for only about 25% of browser usage.

Browser Stats - Germany

The growth in Chrome’s usage is even more pronounced in South America, now accounting for more than 52%, more than double that of either Firefox or IE.

Browser stats - South America

So what does all this have to do with online assessment? As more and more organizations deliver online assessments to increasingly diverse and globally dispersed audiences, they must consider the impact that different browser technologies could have on the experience of the employee, student or candidate who is taking the assessment.
Fortunately, Questionmark has taken the guesswork out of the authoring and delivery process with “auto sensing” delivery – in which the Questionmark delivery system senses the participant’s device, screen resolution and browser, and then delivers the assessment in a format best suited for the participant’s environment:

Auto Sensing - Auto Sizing

Plus, Questionmark’s assessment management system supports delivery to the latest versions of many major browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera. This means that you can author an assessment once, deliver it to multiple types of devices and browsers, and obtain centralized, trustable results for analysis and sharing with stakeholders.