Cross-Browser testing is not just necessary for a web designer

Cross-Browser testing is not just necessary for a web designer

Recently, I realized that we all are so deep under the influence of modern technology.  My niece was taking her online classes on the laptop. As they have only one laptop, my nephew took his classes using a mobile phone. As a software engineer, I was impressed by the specification and design of the website and how magnificently the cross-browser testing was done on the web application. 

Normally, people tend to believe that it is the role of the web designer to perform cross-browser testing. Let me break it to you, it’s a myth. Cross-Browser testing is not just necessary for a web designer but an important aspect of web app testing for everyone. 

Web designers are IT professionals who are responsible for designing the visuals, layouts, and structure of a website. They need to be skilled in both creative and technical manner. But depending completely on web designers for the success of the web application is not fair!

To create a website there is a team of web developers, testers, graphic designers, content specialists, marketing strategists, and editors that are included in the project. Remember that we are not using the traditional waterfall model to develop the software where we would deliver the project once it is completely ready and then ask for the owner’s feedback. 

Today, we follow an agile approach where the web application is developed by breaking the project into several phases. The application is tested at every passing phase and the results are delivered to the website owner after a fixed amount of time called “sprint”. The intermediate results are open to all sorts of discussions and feedback. The valuable feedback is implemented and is presented in the next sprint. This way everyone is involved in the success of the project.

Let us see how all these people are involved in the testing process. But before starting let us take a look at what cross-browser testing is, why it is important and why we need it?

What is Cross-browser Testing?

The World Wide Web was introduced in the year 1991. Netscape was the only popular browser of that time. A large number of the audience would use only one browser to view the web pages as they did not have a choice.

Coming to the year 2022, we have many browsers now. As per the stats, the dominant ones in the American market are Google Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge, and Mozilla Firefox. Now, the audience has a lot of options to choose from. With so much advancement in technology, we must ensure that our web application looks perfectly rendered and aligned on all these browsers. This is why we need cross-browser testing.

Cross-browser testing is a non-functional software testing method. It is used to make sure that the web application supports all the target browsers and devices. It should be compatible with all mobile devices, laptops, tablets, and also assistive devices (which are designed for specially-abled people). The developers make sure that the web application is free from all the bugs and errors and it looks the way it was intended to.

The above image is an example of how one form could look completely different on Google Chrome and Safari. Cross-browser testing is performed by everyone responsible for designing and developing the open-web application. 

What is the need for Cross-Browser Testing?

Now, that we know what is cross-browser testing the question here arises is what is its need? Imagine you have been freshly appointed as a website developer in a company. During this pandemic situation, you had to start working from home. At home, you have only one computer to operate on – your personal computer. 

You have designed a well-structured and beautiful website. Now you need to check if the website is working properly on the browser or not. As you own only one computer, the maximum numbers of browsers that you can have are two or three. Let’s say those browsers are Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, or Mozilla Firefox. All these browsers are installed in their latest versions. You have performed the test on these browsers.

Do you think that would be enough? Can you assume that all the traffic to the website will be directed from these browsers only? What about mobile browsers? We cannot be confident that the user will have the same resolution on their screen. 

Today with the enhancement of technology, new mobile devices are launched very frequently. Mobile phones are more handy and accessible to everyone rather than laptops or personal computers. Frankly, how many of you go and turn on the laptop to google something when you have your mobile in your pocket? This is why testing the website on mobile devices is also very important.

We cannot own hundreds of mobile devices and laptops and install different browsers. This is not a feasible and cost-efficient method. We need an efficient, feasible method that does not lead to high costs. Cross-browser testing is the method that promises all these.

Who needs to do it?

Developers are the one who designs the website and yes, they are responsible for performing cross-browser testing. QA engineers are as important as the developers. They perform the test after the completion of the project and evaluate it. Developers, testers, and web designers are primarily responsible for performing the test.

Developers can test the web application when it is partially complete to ensure that they are building the correct product while QA engineers test the web application to determine if it has been designed and built correctly. The role of the QA engineer is to check the usability of the web application such as forms, touch inputs for mobiles, or integration with third parties. The testers are also responsible for testing the accessibility of the application. 

Web designers supervise that the web application that has been created looks appealing to the targeted audience and it does not have any potential bugs. They also make sure that the content and layout are consistent on all the browsers. They are in charge of the end-user experience. 

The marketing strategist and research analyst are not directly involved in the testing process. But they provide some precious data about the browsers and devices. This data can be used to determine the market value and traffic of the browsers. 

Why is Cross-Browser important?

Cross-Browser testing is important because of the following reasons :

  1. It is a time of competition. You are not the only one selling your product online. There are many others like you. If a user lands upon your web page and finds out that your page is not rendered perfectly, they might switch to another companies’ page. This way you will lose your customer base.
  2. When users will not visit your web page, it will create a bad reputation for your company in the market. This may even lead the existing users to unfollow you.
  3. HTML, CSS, JavaScripts, etc are the components that create a difference and because of this, the perspective of the web page varies from one browser to the other. For a better user experience, you need to maintain uniformity across all the browsers. This is done using cross-browser testing.
  4. It also helps in creating a user interface that is more appealing and attracts customers to your web page.
  5. Cross-browser testing helps you to debug your issues at a faster pace and does not let you compromise on the end-user experience.

How can we perform Cross-Browser Testing?

Cross-browser testing can be performed using:

  •  Manual Testing approach – It is a testing approach where we download all the types of browsers and their versions on our systems and check that all the features and layouts of the web application is running as it was expected to. This is not a feasible method. It will consume a lot of your resources such as time, effort, and cost.
  • Online Tools approach – Another approach is using an online tool such as LT Browser. It is easy to build, debug and test your web pages using LT Browser. It is a tool that can be used by web developers, QA engineers, and web designers. Let us see how can we use LT Browser.

LT Browser

LT Browser is the next-generation browser with the help of which you can view the web application on different mobile devices, tablets, and personal computers. You can download the product from here.

  • There are pre-installed devices in the software. The below images show how we can test our web application on various mobile devices.
  • Image 3 shows how we can view our web page on different tablets.
  • You can also test for the responsiveness of the website using LT Browser.
  • Even if your favorite device is not mentioned, you can customize it using the “custom” feature. 
  • With the side-by-side mirror interaction, we can see how our web page is behaving on two different devices simultaneously.
  • LT Browser provides in-built dev tools for mobile website testing.
  • In case of bug detection, you can mark and report the bug and share it with your colleagues to resolve the matter faster.
  • You can also check how your web application will perform under different network conditions.

Conclusion

Briefly, let us discuss what we have learned so far :

  1. Web designers are not the only ones who are responsible for cross-browser testing.  Web developers, testers play the same role.
  2. For the best results, the web application must be tested at all the phases of the life cycle process.
  3. To stand above all your competitors in the market, cross-browser testing is a necessity.
  4. The use of online tools to perform the test is more useful as it does not involve actually installing all the browsers. 
  5. LT Browser has been awarded as the 5th product of the Product Hunt competition. It has also stolen the “High-performance spring 2021” and “Crozdesk Happiest User 2021”. All these awards speak themself about the product.

Thank you for reading. Please stay safe during this crucial time. Right down your valuable comments. We are thrilled to hear from you.