Google Analytics Browser Capabilities reports provide some essential technical information to consider when designing a website. Effective use of this data helps ensure that your website is optimized for the technical capabilities and restraints of your audience. Although the information contained in these reports is really geared to the more tech savvy in your organization (or your web development company) it is still essential to consider in the planning and development stages to ensure your investment generates an optimal return.
The reports generated don't only let you know what operating systems and browsers are being used, they even tell you the specific version. This allows you to iron out any bugs before the site goes live, therefore increasing your chance of conversion from early on in the piece.
In order to portray the desired look, feel and functionality of a website, certain tweaks have to be made to accommodate certain browsers. Although most people tend to use Internet Explorer or Firefox, it may be important to find out which specific versions visitors are running.
Operating Systems shows you whether the majority of people are running Windows, Macintosh and the particular versions as well. Although this isn't crucial to your actual site, if you are a company providing software etc, knowing what systems your prospects are running could give you actionable insights into your market.
Knowing the screen colours your users can see is important when designing the creative elements of your site as you want to maximize impact.
The screen resolution of visitors is important to know because it can help you optimize the layout of your content to reduce the need for scrolling. If your important information is located towards the bottom of the page, visitors with lower screen resolutions are going to have to scroll down to see it, therefore reducing the likelihood that they will actually see the content.
An understanding of which Flash versions your audience is using helps you design interactive elements for your site. If you find that the majority of your users are using an outdated version, it may be prudent to add a link providing your users with the most recent version.
Knowing whether or not your visitors are running Java on their computers allows you to decide whether or not you should invest in developing highly interactive content which requires users to have java supported. An example of applications requiring java is a virtual, 360 degree tour of your product. If you find that the majority of your users don't have java but you still think a highly interactive application is a marketing necessity, then you will know that you must provide your visitors with a link to download the free java plugin.
Optimizing your site for your audiences' capabilities improves the end users experience and greatly increases the chance for conversion. From a marketing perspective, if your site works correctly for your target audience then this should reflect positively on your business, after all a faulty site is frustrating and unprofessional.