Lucky old @elliotjaystocks, celebweb designer. He has redesigned his website and smugly announced on Twitter "This is why I don't spend much time fixing IE bugs".
3% of his visitors used Internet Explorer. 3%. You lucky, lucky Elliot.
At my current contract, this figure is 53%. We live in parallel universes.
So when I say, "Hey, how about we use border-radius for that?", I get a "Not if 40% of our visitors use <= IE8 you won't".
As a web designer, this brings me great pain. I have to defile my well-structured and well-meaning HTML with redundant and pointless span tags:
Before (Using CSS3)
<li id="menu"><a href="/">Menu item</a></li>
After (Using nasty background images)
<li id="menu"><a href="/"><span ><span>Menu item</span></span></a></li>
What brings me greater pain is the refusal of many stakeholders and marketeers to countenance the idea that maybe there can be flexibility around the brand. That maybe, so long as the website works well and looks good, buttons without rounded corners for the minority 40% (and dwindling) of their audience would be acceptable.
Most of this comes down to education. If the non-tech members of your team can understand the reasoning behind accessible, well-structured HTML, and you can argue the business-case for it, then everybody wins. The tack I have taken is to point to the "mobile" web. Scaling a CSS3-based design is a no-brainer. One website, multiple platforms, no costly development.
It's time to dust off To hell with bad browsers and A Dao of Web Design, buy freshly pressed copies of Responsive Web Design and press them firmly yet politely into the hands of your mildly bewildered colleagues.