This experiment was conducted to see if web sites look different in different browsers. The hypothesis for the experiment is that there would be less visual differences between web pages in the Windows browsers than there would be between the Windows browsers and the OS X browsers. Using the web page emulator Adobe Browserlab, two web sites were viewed in three different browsers, including Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7.0 (IE) for Windows, Google’s Chrome 18.0 for Windows, and Apple’s Safari 5.1 for OS X.
The first web site viewed was an article, “On Not Being Dead,” by Bill Hayes on the New York Times website. There were no differences in the layout of the web pages in any of the browsers, so in that aspect the three presented as visually identical. However, there was a difference in font with the Chrome browser. The font on the IE and Safari websites looked identical, while the font on the Chrome website looked similar to but not exactly like the font of the other two browsers.
The second web site viewed was the post “An Update on Life and Why the Blog Might be a Little Lonely in the Future!” on Katie’s Book Blog. On this website, both the font and the layout were different from each other in all three browsers. The fonts looked similar but were not exactly the same. The width of the columns was different for each browser as well. For example, Chrome and Safari both had a longer width in the comments section and Safari had a larger background border than IE or Chrome.
The hypothesis for this experiment is that there would be less visual differences between web pages in the Windows browsers than there would be between the Windows browsers and the OS X browsers, and this was not proven. The Chrome browser was always different from the other two browsers, while in the first web site the IE and Safari pages looked the same. Reasons for this would have to be explored by further research. For example, it is possible that the IE and Safari web sites look more alike because companies like Microsoft and Apple have more traditional industry standards which they apply to their products, while Google is seen as more of an innovator seeking to be different from the other two OS giants. There could also be a lot of influence in the way that the web pages themselves are created. A larger survey of web pages may even show that the Windows web pages look more similar to each other than the Windows versus Apple pages, but from this very small sample that idea is not proven.
Adobe Browserlab. Adobe Systems Incorporated. Web. 22 Nov. 2012.
Butler, Katie. “An Update on Life and Why the Blog Might be a Little Lonely in the Future!” Katie’s Book Blog (20 Nov. 2012). Web. 22 Nov. 2012.
Hayes, Bill. “On Not Being Dead.” The New York Times (21 Nov. 2012). Web. 22 Nov. 2012.