What is Cross Browser Testing? A Comprehensive Guide
In today's fast-paced online world, customers make split-second decisions based on what they see. Even a slight delay in loading a cute mascot GIF can drive them away from your website. They may assume there's an issue, reload the page, and ultimately leave, either planning to return later or seeking an alternative elsewhere. This underscores the significance of ensuring your website functions seamlessly across all environments.
That's where cross-browser testing steps in, playing a crucial role in verifying that your app performs optimally across all major browsers, enabling you to retain your customers and keep them satisfied.
What is cross browser testing?
Cross Browser Testing plays a crucial role in website development by verifying that your web application functions optimally across different browsers, operating systems, devices, and assistive tools.
It ensures a consistent and reliable user experience, regardless of the platform users choose to access your website.
Let's delve deeper into what Cross Browser Testing entails:
Testing Browser-OS Combinations:
- Verify compatibility on popular browsers: Firefox, Chrome, Edge, Safari, etc.
- Assess performance on different operating systems: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, etc.
- Ensure consistent functionality and visual display across various browser-OS combinations.
Testing on Different Devices:
- Assess website responsiveness and usability on smartphones, tablets, desktops, laptops, etc.
- Verify that the layout adapts seamlessly to different screen sizes and resolutions.
- Test touch interactions, gestures, and device-specific functionalities.
Compatibility with Assistive Tools:
- Ensure compatibility with screen readers and other assistive technologies.
- Verify that the website is accessible to individuals with disabilities.
- Test proper reading and interpretation of content by assistive tools.
- Aim for a consistent user experience across different browsers and devices.
- Test and identify browser-specific issues or incompatibilities.
- Optimize code and design to deliver a uniform experience.
Ensuring Uniform User Experience:
- Eliminate rendering inconsistencies and layout glitches.
- Verify consistent functionality, including form submissions, interactive elements, and multimedia content.
When is the Ideal Time to Perform Cross-Browser Testing?
Cross-browser testing is carried out at specific stages of the development and release process, depending on your role and workflow. Let's explore the opportune moments to perform cross-browser testing:
- Prior to deploying changes to the live production environment, developers integrate cross-browser testing into their Continuous Integration pipelines.
- This proactive approach allows developers to verify the cross-browser compatibility of new features and functionalities before they are released to users.
- By conducting tests during development, potential issues can be identified and addressed early, reducing the risk of compatibility problems in the final product.
- As part of the quality assurance process, dedicated QA teams undertake cross-browser testing for each Release Candidate.
- This ensures that the most recent version of the website or application is thoroughly tested across various browsers.
- By performing these tests in a staging or pre-release environment, any browser compatibility issues can be detected and resolved before the product goes live.
- QA teams meticulously assess the functionality, design, and overall user experience across different browsers, guaranteeing a seamless and consistent experience for all users.
What are the benefits of cross browser testing?
To ensure user adoption and satisfaction, it is important that the websites and web apps you create work across an acceptable number of browsers. As a web developer, it is your responsibility to make sure that the app you create works for all users. It does not matter what browser, device, or additional assistive tools they are using.
Cross browser testing makes sure that
- Different browsers on different devices offer the same user experience.
- Browser-related issues are detected and rectified early in the life cycle.
- Even if the new device and OS combinations get introduced, the website maintains its performance.
- Browser-specific functionalities do not interfere with the end-user experience.
- Every browser responds to changes in features or functionality in an acceptable manner.
- A responsive design is provided to users across devices and operating systems.
How to perfrom effective cross browser testing
Cross-browser testing is a crucial aspect of ensuring a consistent and reliable user experience across different browsers and platforms. To perform effective cross-browser testing, follow these step-by-step guidelines:
1. Define Testing Scope:
- Determine the browsers, browser versions, and operating systems to be included in your testing scope.
- Consider the target audience and their preferences to prioritize browsers for testing.
2. Identify Test Cases:
- Analyze your web application or website and identify key functionalities and features that need to be tested across browsers.
- Create a comprehensive set of test cases that cover different scenarios and user interactions.
3. Select Testing Tools:
- Choose suitable cross-browser testing tools that align with your requirements.
- Evaluate tools based on factors such as supported browsers and operating systems, test automation capabilities, and ease of use.
4. Set Up Testing Environments:
- Configure virtual machines, cloud-based platforms, or physical devices to replicate various browser and operating system combinations.
- Install different browser versions and ensure they are up to date.
5. Execute Test Cases:
- Run your test cases across the selected browsers and operating systems.
- Verify that the application functions correctly, displays properly, and behaves consistently on each browser.
6. Debug and Fix Issues:
- Document any observed issues or inconsistencies during testing.
- Analyze and debug the root causes of these issues and collaborate with developers to resolve them.
- Retest fixed issues to ensure they are resolved across all browsers.
7. Monitor and Maintain:
- Continuously monitor browser usage trends and updates to identify potential compatibility issues.
- Regularly repeat cross-browser testing to address any new browser versions or updates.
8. Leverage Automation:
- Explore automation frameworks and tools to streamline cross-browser testing.
- Automate repetitive test cases to save time and effort, ensuring consistent testing across browsers.
By following these steps, you can effectively perform cross-browser testing, identify and resolve compatibility issues, and provide a seamless user experience across a wide range of browsers and platforms.
Key Considerations in Pre-Testing for Cross-Browser Testing
When preparing for cross-browser testing, there are several important decisions to make. Here are the key factors to consider:
Choose Critical Scenarios:
- Prioritize critical scenarios that have a significant impact on the functionality and user interface. Test these essential scenarios first and then proceed with additional test cases.
Select Testing Environments and Compare:
- The testing team plays a crucial role in executing cross-browser testing activities.
- Test the same set of test cases on different platforms and browser combinations to ensure consistent functionality.
- Compare the compatibility of the application across various browsers and report any discrepancies as defects.
- Collaborate with the development team to address and resolve these issues.
Determine Operating Systems:
- Identify the primary operating systems that your target users will utilize, such as Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, etc.
- Prioritize testing on these operating systems to ensure optimal compatibility and performance.
- Determine the devices on which your users will access your application, including desktops, mobile devices, tablets, smart TVs, laptops, etc.
- Test the application on these different devices to ensure a seamless user experience across various platforms.
In conclusion, modern browser testing platforms offer a simplified and efficient approach to cross-browser testing. By replacing complex scripting with intuitive web recorders, these tools enable non-technical team members to create and run tests, streamlining workflows and saving valuable time. The ability to record user journeys without the need for scripting or coding empowers organizations to conduct thorough testing and identify areas for improvement. With comprehensive metrics and error highlighting, these platforms facilitate prompt issue resolution and optimization of website or web application performance. Embracing modern browser testing platforms allows organizations to enhance usability, streamline workflows, and involve team members from diverse roles in the testing process. By leveraging these user-friendly tools, organizations can ensure a seamless and consistent user experience across different browsers and platforms.
ACCELQ is an AI-powered Codeless Test Automation platform on cloud that seamlessly automates Web UI, API, Mobile, and Desktop. ACCELQ was analyzed as a leader in the latest Continuous Test Automation platform Forrester research.