Technology is continuously evolving in the current digital world. Earlier, people used only desktops to browse web pages. But now, they can use mobile as well as tablets to surf their favorite sites.
Companies also keep on modifying and adding new features to their existing sites. In such a world, it is very important that you check your website design across multiple browsers to ensure that all the features work perfectly in all browser-OS-device combinations.
Based on that, in this post, we are going to discuss how Cross-browser testing guarantees a better user interface and user experience across all platforms.
When to start Cross Browser Testing?
There is no concrete way of defining a perfect timeline for starting cross-browser testing. Every organization has its own requirements and timelines. However, we can say that the sooner you start testing, you will have fewer errors, in the beginning, thus reducing the chances of redundancies in a later stage.
In the early stage of your web development, you can implement manual testing. Slowly when the site grows, you can automate cross-browser testing, functional and regression testing, which will broaden your scope and help find bugs easily.
No matter what strategy you follow, your aim should be to make your website run perfectly on all browsers and devices.
How to execute Cross Browser Testing?
There is no well-defined way or process of executing cross-browser testing. Every organization has its own approach. However, we will discuss an approach that is common across most organizations.
- First of all, prepare a baseline. Run all of your tests across a common browser like Chrome on desktop.
- Create a plan. Prepare a list of devices and browsers that you target. If you don’t have any specific list given by your company, you can checkout Statcounter, where you will get a list of browsers and their usage share across different devices and countries.
- Before setting up the test environment, find out what to automate and what to test manually.
- Now comes the interesting part, setting up your test environment. Earlier, when people used limited devices, setting up a cross-browser testing environment was quite easier. But nowadays, there are hundreds of device-browser-OS combo, with new devices launching regularly. The ideal solution is to set up your cross-browser testing environment on a cloud-based tool like Lambdatest.
- Thus, you can seamlessly test your website across all the intended devices and browsers, all running real-time on the cloud. If you want to skip the headache of Selenium configuration and want a cloud-based hassle-free selenium grid, Lambdatest helps you.
- The last and most important phase is up to you and your team - Start testing.
How Cross Browser Testing improves the User Interface?
Now that we know how to carry out cross-browser testing let’s find out how cross-browser testing improves your site’s user interface.
Accessibility and Convenience
Compromised accessibility always impacts a site’s ranking. As per W3C guidelines, a website should be accessible by all, especially by people who are differently abled.
CSS properties like opacity, gradient, box shadows often vary in different browsers; for visually impaired or other differently-abled people, the inability to use screen readers or other challenges may lead to a bad user experience.
Not only will they move to your competitor’s site, but they will also give your site a negative review. It’s ideal for testing the accessibility of your website across multiple browsers and checking if it satisfies accessibility guidelines.
The primary objective of cross-browser testing of your website is to check if all the features run well across multiple browsers and devices. Nowadays, most people use mobiles or tablets to browse different websites. The user experience of these devices vary. For example,
- The scrollbar in an Android device may seem different than the scrollbar in iOS.
- A website may behave well in a device’s native browser, like Safari for iOS. But some features may break in third-party browsers like Mozilla in iOS.
The ideal best practice during development is to set up a cloud-based cross-browser testing platform with multiple operating systems, device, and browser combinations and run your website in all of them to check if the critical features work well in all or if anything is breaking.
Testing of CTA
What is the purpose of a CTA? The answer is simple, boost your site’s conversion rate so that a visitor may become a potential customer.
We design CTAs and place them in a way that they feel subtle, and the user automatically gets the urge (and don’t feel forced) to click on them. However, a CTA will become purposeless if the user is unable to see or interact with it.
While running cross-browser tests, you will be assured that the placement of the CTA is proper in all devices. They should occupy sufficient space, have an adequate amount of paddings and margins, and should have the required size needed for user interaction.
Also, if you are using any browser-specific CSS, make sure that you have added vendor prefixes so that your CSS runs well on all major browsers.
Compatibility of Web Template
Nowadays, anyone can create a website without having any prior knowledge in coding or web development. There are CMS platforms like WordPress or Joomla, where you can just select a template and set up your websites with just a few clicks.
However, you should keep in mind that these templates are also created by web developers. They may have some features that probably don’t work in all browsers and needs a developer’s final touch.
Cross-browser testing helps you to check if your WordPress site runs perfectly on all targeted devices and browsers. By testing on multiple platforms and browsers, you will easily find out if some button style, slider, or carousel has some issue and ask the developer to fix it accordingly.
Ease of Navigation
Based on the nature of your site, you may have a lot of menu items in your navigation bar. Now, navigation is meant to be easy. You don’t want your site audiences to get lost among a flood of content. Do you know? Even Google ranks sites based on how well the content is placed. So how does cross-browser testing help?
- You can check whether there is any technical glitch at a certain browser or device breakpoint,
- Whether the collapsible hamburger menu and dropdowns are working fine on mobile devices or not.
- Whether the navigation is consistent, meaning the user doesn’t face any confusion in navigating while accessing the website from a different device.
Automating Repetitive Tasks
If your website is large and has a lot of features, adding any new feature will involve a great deal of regression testing. This will eventually consume a great deal of manual effort and increase your testing budget.
But if you set up and run your website on an automated testing platform, the task becomes much easier. You can check out Lambdatest’s cloud-based selenium grid, where you can seamlessly execute automated testing of your website across more than 2000 mobile and desktop browsers.
Image and Fonts Compatibility
Earlier, when it came to styling a site’s content, we had limited options. But nowadays, we don’t have any design limitations. There are SVG images, Google web fonts. We can just pick up anything we like and style our websites. However, scenarios might arise like -
- A heavier font leading to a slower loading time in an old browse like IE.
- If your image has a large resolution and doesn’t have a max-width set in CSS, some browser, or device, it may appear with a horizontal scrollbar.
Before using any specific font or image, it’s ideal to ensure that it will work well on all targeted browsers. Even after that, a cross-browser test is needed. Cross-browser tests help you to check the fonts and images’ responsiveness, optimize images for website, allow you to capture and compare screenshots. It will help you to avoid facing any unexpected UX issues.
Compatibility of Forms
A registration form is where most users decide whether they are going to sign up or not. Suppose you have an e-commerce portal.
The signup form should have multiple fields like user’s login details, home address, delivery or billing address, and so on. Now, you can show a single form with all input fields. But it will create a clustered UI. Hence, it is ideal to follow a linear user experience.
Where you give a set of input fields to the user, once they have filled up the fields, they can proceed to the next set of fields. The goal is to break down a complex and clustered form into multiple simpler forms.
However, while designing such an interactive form, you need to think about the animations and their browser compatibility.
You have to make the transition between the form’s sub-sections as smooth as possible. It’s needless to say; cross-browser testing will help you in testing whether the smooth scroll or animations that you use, along with the click and focus effects, work well on all of your targeted devices and browsers.
Role of Automation in Cross Browser Testing
If your site is old, with time, its features and content must have increased exponentially. As I have noted previously, adding a new feature will increase the regression effort, and it’s difficult to test all the scenarios manually after integration. That’s why automation has a huge role to play in cross-browser testing.
Many companies prefer using Selenium. Selenium WebDriver can call browsers directly with the native automation support of the browser. Also, there are a lot of frameworks and libraries that work with WebDriver and allow you to code in any language you want.
Apart from Selenium, testers often use headless browsers for automating screenshot comparisons. Except user acceptance testing, user experience testing, or other forms of testing that requires human intervention, cross-browser testing and other forms of testing can now be automated.
The Last Say
We hope that this blog will be helpful in explaining the role of cross-browser testing in improving your site’s user interface.
Combine manual bug hunting skills along with automation, and you will soon be able to deploy a rich UI that satisfies all the requirements of customers. Want any help in website designing? Feel free to contact us!