What is cross-browser testing?
When you develop a website or web app, you most likely use one or two browsers for development, such as Chrome and Firefox. Maybe you resize the browser window to see if the component you are creating adapts correctly to different screen sizes.
By conducting cross-browser tests, you can ensure your web app works and looks splendid on many different browsers, browser versions, and devices. The goal is to offer as many users as possible a consistent and positive experience with your online product.
Who performs these tests?
The answer to this question can vary from company to company since everyone has set up their own workflows with the available staff and resources. But let’s see who is most likely to run cross-browser tests:
Web Developers – Naturally, the people who implement the app under test are often best suited for the job. They already know what to look for, how to report and deal with errors, and are also capable of resolving any issues they encounter.
Quality Assurance teams (QA) – Especially big companies have set up a QA department that helps make sure products meet specific criteria and quality standards. Usually, the staff is trained to conduct tests and report bugs back to the developers.
Web/UI/UX Designers – The designer of your web app should always ensure that the result matches their crafted design. However, since they check the overall look and feel of the web app, they don’t need to test on every browser and device and often limit their testing efforts on one of each.
In general, anyone can help test your app. This often depends on the type of test you want to conduct. For example, if you need to verify your app’s intuitiveness, you can invite a group of external people to represent your target audience and watch them use your app.
Why should you test your website or web app?
In recent years, web sites have become more and more complex. In these days, we mostly refer to them as web apps. Software that users previously had to install on their computers has been transformed into online services, and the web is no longer just a provider of information.
Your web app users also expect your product to work flawlessly anytime, anywhere. That’s why you need to conduct thorough cross-browser tests! If you can’t provide users with a working app, they may be looking for an alternative. In the worst case, your company loses customers (and ultimately money).
Test planning checklist
Plan your testing process before you start testing:
Define the test goal
Decide which functionality you want to test. The clearer the goal and the simpler the test, the better. Large tests that deal with various aspects of the application’s behavior are hard to create and maintain. We recommend that you create a simple test that will test only certain functionality of your web site.
Plan testing steps
Decide which actions the test will perform. The testing steps depend on the test purpose and the nature of the web site under test. Testing steps may include actions that prepare the web site for the test (that is, they put the web site to some initial state), or that enter some data on the web site.
Plan checking actions
Usually, the actions a user performs over a web site cause some changes in the web site. These can be visual changes (new values in forms, new windows or dialogs are displayed), or changes in the web site data. You should decide what criteria should be used to check whether a test has passed or failed.
Log the results
Make sure to save the full test results to a file or track the latest test run data.