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Testing Browser testing


Design system components and patterns must work on every browser and device that users access our services on.

Services do not have to look perfect in every browser, but users must be able to access and use all the information and features they need.

Use progressive enhancement to give your service the best possible chance of working for all users. For more information, read the GOV.UK guidance on progressive enhancement (opens in a new tab) 

Browsers to test in

You should test your service in the browsers shown in the supported browsers table in the GOV.UK Service Manual (opens in a new tab) 

However, if your service’s analytics data shows at least 2% of your users are using a different browser or version, then you will need to test against that as well.


You must also make sure your service works with assistive technologies

For more information, read the guidance on testing for accessibility in the GOV.UK Service Manual (opens in a new tab) 

Microsoft Internet Explorer

The Design System will no longer support Internet Explorer (IE) since Microsoft’s June 2022 announcement to end support for IE 11 (opens in a new tab) 

To help any remaining users upgrade their browser from IE 11, a banner which will display only in Internet Explorer is included in the base page template.

A link in the banner directs users to a browsers help page on the Office for National Statistics (ONS) website (opens in a new tab) 

Understanding your users

When building your service, you should analyse its users’:

  • devices
  • operating systems
  • browsers
  • browser versions

If evidence shows that your users have specific needs or extra support requirements, you can use this to make a case for not meeting these browser requirements.

For example, internal services used exclusively by ONS staff may not need to work on all supported browsers if there is evidence users can only use the service on an operating system and network restricted to certain browsers.

Help improve this page

Let us know how we could improve this page, or share your user research findings. Discuss this page on GitHub (opens in a new tab)