Testing your application before its release is critical in certifying the product’s success. Because the pattern in which your consumers may use your product is subject to substantial unpredictability. This uncertainty is marked explicitly in the case of web applications due to the distinct ways in which consumers execute and operate them.
Given the diverse devices and software interfaces available in the market, your users have a broad range of choices for using your product. Limiting how consumers use your product is unreliable, as doing so would restrict your market possibility. Therefore, it is crucial to guarantee the performance of your application across this broad spectrum through browser testing.
Hence, through this article, we will elaborate on the concept of cross-browser testing, underline its importance, and provide assistance in operating it efficiently.
What Is Cross-Browser Testing?
Cross-browser testing, as the name explains, includes testing your application or website across various browsers to confirm constant performance and functionality without depending on any particular browser or compromising quality. Now, which applications need this type of testing? The ideal candidates are customer-facing applications. You might question, Aren’t all applications customer-facing? Essentially, they are, but let’s explore an example to clarify.
Application 1: This application is designed for a company’s internal use, primarily to manage its inventory
Application 2: This application is intended for end-users to purchase products from the company.
The most prudent approach is to conduct browser testing compatibility on Application 2. It is because it’s impossible to dictate which browsers, platforms, or versions end-users will utilize. In contrast, if all the computers within the company uniformly employ Windows 8 machines with the Chrome browser, there’s no need to explore or test anything beyond this setup when it comes to Application 1.
Why Do You Need Cross-Browser Testing?
Without the inclusion of cross-browser testing, numerous potential issues may arise, and they could be occurring unbeknownst to you:
- Dropdown menus may fail to display correctly in specific browsers.
- Video or audio content might not play in specific browser versions.
- Hover effects or tooltips may not operate as anticipated.
- The website’s layout may need to be corrected when viewed on mobile devices.
- Page elements could overlap or be misaligned in particular browser resolutions.
- Clicking on a button or link may not trigger the intended action in a specific browser.
- Background images may fail to load or display inaccurately in particular browsers.
- CSS gradients or shadows may render differently, impacting the visual aesthetics.
- Web fonts might not render correctly or resort to fallback fonts in specific browsers.
- Media queries or responsive design features may not adapt appropriately across diverse browsers.
- Web application functionalities like drag-and-drop or file uploads may not function in particular browsers.
Overall, these are a few significant issues that underscore the importance of cross-browser testing in ensuring a consistent and reliable web experience across the broad spectrum of user environments.
What To Test In Cross Browser Testing?
The QA team must compile the checklist of items to include in their cross-browser compatibility testing. Some of the significant elements to check are listed below for your reference:
Core Functionality: This entails confirming that the fundamental features of the website perform as intended across various browsers. Key elements to incorporate into the testing plan are:
- Navigation: Evaluate the navigation menu, links, and buttons to ensure they genuinely lead to the assigned pages and segments of the website.
- User Registration and Login: Assess the account registration process seamlessly and certify that account authentication emails are dispatched accurately.
- Web-Specific Functionalities: This includes testing specialized web elements, such as eCommerce product functionalities or Software as a Service (SaaS) capabilities, to ensure they perform as anticipated.
- Third-Party Integrations: Evaluate the performance and data interchange between the website and third-party services or Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).
Design Consistency: The aim is to affirm that the website’s visual appearance remains unchanged across distinct browsers. Testers generally use visual testing tools and pixel-based comparison techniques to recognize issues in fonts, layouts, and other visual elements across various browsers.
Accessibility: This aims at confirming whether the website is present to consumers with disabilities. Accessibility testing includes observing whether web elements can be navigated using only a keyboard, testing color contrast for readability, certifying the availability of alt text, and more to ensure a hassle-free experience for physically challenged consumers.
Responsiveness: This entails evaluating whether modifications in screen resolution affect the layout. With the accelerating significance of mobile-first design in search engine rankings, focusing on the solutions commonly used by users on distinct browsers and devices is imperative. Web developers and testers should devise appropriate testing techniques to label this aspect efficiently.
How To Perform Cross-Browser Testing?
The workflow for cross-browser testing and bug resolution in a project can be loosely categorized into six distinct phases, which align with the Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC) and can be adapted to various types of testing:
To ensure comprehensive cross-browser testing, it’s essential to consider the diverse ways users may access your application, including through QR code scanning on mobile devices. QR codes are increasingly popular for quick access to websites and services, emphasizing the need to verify that your application functions seamlessly across various browsers and devices, including those accessed via QR codes.
1. Plan For Cross Browser Testing
During the initial planning phase, extensive discussions with the client or business analyst take place to define the testing scope precisely. A comprehensive test plan is created, detailing all testing requirements and providing in-depth resource availability and scheduling information. While testing the entire application across all browsers would be ideal, it’s crucial to consider constraints related to time and cost. One efficient approach includes comprehensive testing on a major browser while aiming at critical and commonly used attributes for other browsers.
Once the essential attributes and desired technologies are recognized, the observation extends to the intended audience’s browsing habits, devices, and other required factors. This evaluation can be enlightened by existing client data or external sources such as competitor usage statistics and geographical considerations.
2. Choose Between Manual Testing vs. Automation Testing
Manual testing involves individually opening different browsers and accessing a website to test its functionality. Testers must follow specific test cases across browsers regularly to assess the application’s performance and report any issues they encounter. While this approach is straightforward, it has its drawbacks. Manual testing is prone to human errors and can be a time-consuming process. Additionally, it lacks scalability in the long run.
In contrast, automated cross-browser testing employs specialized tools to develop and execute repetitive test cases. This approach enhances the consistency, efficiency, and accuracy of testing.
Note: The option between manual testing and automation testing focuses on the attributes of the test project. As a general regulation, automating replicated tests and preserving manual testing for exploratory, ad-hoc, and usability tests is recommended to smoothen the testing procedure for simplicity and effectiveness.
3. Setup Test Environment
Setting up the testing environment presents a significant challenge for cross-browser testers due to the high cost of investing in physical machines. To adequately cover the testing spectrum, one would require a minimum of one Windows PC, a Mac computer, a Linux machine, an iPhone, an Android phone, an iPad, an Android tablet, and several IoT devices if the product integrates with them. Furthermore, considering the necessity to test not only on current but also on various older versions of each of these machines, maintaining and keeping these systems operational becomes a resource-intensive task.
Moreover, managing test cases and results across such a diverse array of devices can be exceptionally challenging, especially without a centralized system that can connect these disparate machines. Testers must explore alternative approaches, and the two most commonly adopted methods are as follows:
Emulators / Simulators / VMs With Pre-Installed Browsers: These solutions essentially replicate the systems you intend to test on, eliminating the need for physical machines. While this approach is cost-effective, its scalability is limited, and test results on virtual mobile platforms (Android and iOS) may only sometimes be reliable.
Cloud-Based Testing Platforms: Testers can include the services of platforms that offer a broad array of pre-configured browser and operating system integrations ready for testing. These interfaces typically incorporate automation capabilities, collaborative attributes, and managed infrastructure, permitting testers to offload some duties and aim at important testing jobs—one solid cross-browser testing platform like LambdaTest. LambdaTest, an AI-powered test orchestration and execution platform, allows you to run both manual and automated tests at scale seamlessly. With access to over 3,000 real devices, browsers, and OS combinations, LambdaTest ensures comprehensive testing coverage for your applications, which smoothes the testing procedure across distinct browsers and devices. This cloud-based solution streamlines the testing procedure, enabling testers to assess website compatibility smoothly and efficiently. Whether you prefer manual testing to analyze specific functionalities or automated testing for repetitive tasks, LambdaTest enhances test consistency, efficiency, and accuracy across the board.
LambdaTest’s scalable grid further provides parallel testing, leveraging the efficiency and diminishing the testing period. Then, some other attributes, such as responsive testing, screenshot testing, and geolocation testing, enable developers to recognize and fix browser compatibility problems. Furthermore, the platform supports integration with famous testing frameworks, facilitating a smooth and automated workflow. By adopting a cloud-based approach, LambdaTest diminishes the need for continuing an extensive device lab, making cross-browser testing more attainable and cost-efficient for development teams.
4. Develop Test Cases
Start designing efficient test cases by detecting required functionalities and consumer interaction scenarios. Make the testing aims and specify the browser compatibility requirements. Assemble thorough test cases incorporating segments like navigation, form submissions, and interactions with dynamic elements. Include positive and negative test scenarios, such as testing for wrong inputs or problem handling. Further, frequently revise and upgrade your test cases to maintain pace with the changing versions of web browsers.
5. Execute The Tests
When choosing manual testing, testers can efficiently establish the web browser and run the pre-defined tests, substantially documenting the outcomes manually. In contrast, in the case of automation testing, they can arrange the required testing environment, design it, and then start the test execution.
6. Report The Defects And Document Results
Ultimately, testers deliver the results to the development and design teams to commence the troubleshooting process. Once the development team has addressed the bug, it becomes imperative for the testing team to re-run their tests to validate the bug fix. It is essential to document these results for future reference and analysis meticulously.
Browser testing is like guaranteeing your website performs well on distinct web browsers and devices. It’s imperative for a good consumer experience. You can make testing hassle-free by sticking to the advice given here in this article. It helps you recognize and debug errors early and improve your website for consumers. Remember that the internet constantly evolves, so keep up with the new browsers and testing techniques. Doing this will make your website operate well and be flexible. Rest we wish you Good luck with your testing!