Hoople - 3:43 am on Jul 18, 2013 (gmt 0)
I have a user base on a few of my sites that ranges from age 13 to 75+ with a few over 80. An extreme case as they are historic preservationists focused on ONE mode of transportation. So it's a small niche, of a small niche within a very small niche!
BTW - I wish MS had not extended End of Life for XP. The main reason that people are still on IE 8 is because they're stuck on XP and IE is the max version on XP. When XP finally dies, IE8 will be dead.
Quite a few of these people are 65+ years old and have proudly told me the first thing they do with their new computers is to take it to their computer guy with the directive to 'Wipe that *&^% off!" (Windows XP installed over the Windows7). Most also stayed with IE6 (ignored the upgrade prompts). These sites' logs have verified this. Unlike other 'retail' sales sites the older users make up >50% of this niche's 'spend factor' and CAN NOT be ignored.
I also start by coding with a recent browser but refrain from doing a 'pixel perfect' layout coding. I go for a mostly Responsive design. I DO NOT offer a mobile version for the 8+ year old cell phones with <300 pixel screens.
I do EVENTUALLY view all sites on IE6/IE7/IE8/IE9 but only make SLIGHT changes to address major forms of visually disruptive behavior like overlap, items popping out of intended flow, etc. I do use CSS to turn off image borders & outlines when used in A tags but I DO NOT have a separate style sheet for any version of IE.