The growth of Smartphones has fueled the comfort for users to replicate actions like shopping, payments, media consumption, etc., that were earlier done on a desktop or laptop. In the USA itself, mobile makes up to 40% of online traffic (2020), and users love the convenience a smartphone offers.
Digital devices have become a part of our daily lives, and we have become more reliant on them than ever before. Business Insider predicts that smartphones will be the most preferred channel for shopping in the next five years.
This could be happening in real as despite the smaller screens; organizations are innovating and developing one-click checkout processes or optimizing their mobile websites for much easier to transact on smartphones. According to Adobe Retail Shopping Insights, in the 2020 holiday season, conversions from mobile websites saw a 15% increase (YOY) from 1.77% to 2.04%. Thanks to mobile payment apps, they have acted as a catalyst for online shopping.
With the emergence of 5G in the near future, it’s going to be just phenomenal the way users would leverage the potential a smartphone and mobile data would offer. By 2022, mobile data traffic would reach up to 77.5 exabytes per month. This clearly states that businesses need to up their game and innovate, ensuring a mobile-first design that’s easy to navigate and transact.
Having a responsive web design that’s faster and efficient to function across the plethora of devices is a challenge that organizations face. What’s important here is to ensure through rigorous testing that your website provides a unified experience.
However, testing on such a wide array of devices and continuously is complex! In this blog, we will learn more about the approach for mobile web testing, different testing strategies, and tools that can ease out the complexity of your testing process.
First Things First: What is a responsive web design, and why it matters?
For many, the term responsive is not new! However, as we could see the phenomenal growth in mobile users over the years, responsive design has become the crux for any business.
Responsive web design is an approach to ensure the website or content on your website is adaptive on varied screen sizes and devices. No matter how large or small the devices are, responsive web design is here to provide an intuitive user experience.
You might wonder why responsive web design matters when we have mobile apps for that! Well, our expert Mfon from TargetTrend explains this as “the most important source of traffic for most businesses is search engines. When people search for content via search engines, it will most likely lead them to your web pages, not your mobile app. And currently, mobile dominates internet usage.
This is true, as mobile users have dominated internet usage, there is no better time to know that responsive web design matters! eMarkter predicts that by 2024 mobile ad spending in the US would hit 167.25 billion. So if your landing pages or websites are not optimized, now is the time to ensure you have a responsive web design approach.
However, here comes the complexity of making responsive web design principles work across all the devices we have. Developers might face a tough time ensuring the quality of their responsive website. And that’s the reason why testing plays an unrivaled role to make sure the output is matching to your expectations.
Why does mobile website testing matter?
Over the years, new developments in web technologies and frameworks have made it possible for mobile websites to perform better and faster. Businesses are already experimenting with progressive web apps and single-page websites to enhance mobile experiences.
Our expert Simon from avXperten.dk states that visitors and customers usually use mobiles to visit and browse websites, making mobile web testing even more important. In fact, mobile web testing should be an essential practice for any company or business looking to provide and deliver quality service. It’s important to conduct tests frequently as it defines a huge part of the entire customer experience.
In fact, it takes just half a second for a user to form an opinion about your website, whether they would stay or leave. Thus investing in testing should be the primary focus for providing a cohesive customer experience.
Getting started with mobile website testing
I could understand how complex it can get when you need to test your website on various devices, browsers, and platforms. Taking this manually would not be an ideal approach for mobile website testing.
Testing on Chrome Dev Tools
This step can be considered the easiest way to check your mobile view of websites and one of the most prominent methods used by developers. However, it has limitations when you want to scale your testing efforts, and manually doing it might be cumbersome.
Mfon from TargetTrend says, “I have two personal methods I use to conduct mobile web testing. First, I use Chrome Developer tools. Where I can check and analyze almost everything about my mobile web. But the downside of this method is that I can only view things like speed, core web vitals, and more based on my location. Since I have readers in different locations worldwide, I want to know how my site performs in those places with a large user base. For this, I make use of mobile testing tools. It is easy to analyze and understand. A good example of such a tool is LambdaTest.”
Testing on Emulators & Simulators
Other than chrome dev tools, you can use emulators for android and simulators for iOS devices. These help you identify UI, UX bugs and gives you an end-user experience. Although they aren’t the best options to perform mobile website testing as emulators are built to test the native apps, it’s still helpful to have any other options.
LambdaTest offers both Emulator and Simulator testing for free and allows you to get started right away. Simply sign up and get started.
Testing on Real Devices
This is the real deal for testing your mobile websites! Getting your website tested on real devices gives you a clear picture of how the website looks and acts. Jenny from SEO with Jenny explains an ideal approach to perform mobile web testing is to test it on real devices, as it helps test sites under real-world conditions and provides accurate results.
For developers, browser tools might be appealing to test on the go rather than testing on real devices. But real devices might help you explore avenues in testing that a browser tool cannot. For example, you don’t get the screen’s realistic view because of distractions like the URL bar and other toolbars.
One of the most important aspects of testing responsiveness of your mobile website on real devices is network stability. Chris from love2dev states a valid point, “remember to put the devices in airplane mode and use the browser tools to emulate offline mode. This will tell you what your application experience is like under poor or no network conditions.”
As internet access through mobile data is rising steadily, testing your website on different network conditions should be part of your testing process.
Testing Using Automation Tools
All the above-mentioned methods to get started with mobile website testing are perfectly fine to start your testing process. However, what if you want to scale your product faster or complete the project for clients without bugs. This involves a lot of effort if you take the manual approach and is not scalable.
To ensure faster delivery or reduced go-to-market time, it’s important to design a testing process that can be automated for your mobile website. Automation tools can be beneficial here to get the work done at a faster pace. What you need to get started with automation is coding skills and a tool that suits your requirement.
A better option is to leverage cloud automation testing tools with a Selenium Grid on cloud. This cuts down the maintenance costs, and you get a plethora of devices on the cloud to start testing instantly.
LT Browser For Responsive Testing
Mobile website testing tools like LT Browser help you test on different devices resolutions. Using LT Browser, you can streamline UI UX development, test content placement and alignments, assess visually heavy websites on different screen resolutions, and generate your websites’ performance reports.
LT Browser is the most powerful yet affordable mobile friendly tester that lets designers and developers develop, test, and debug visually amazing mobile websites on any screen size.
LT Browser is packed with the following features:
- You can tweak the network speed and validate the website behavior on different network conditions.
- Run a performance report for your mobile website that helps you identify issues affecting your website’s overall performance and rankings.
- One-click bug-logging, integrate with your favorite project management tools, and collaborate with your team for fixing the bugs faster.
- Native developer tools to quickly fix the issue and validate your changes on the go.
- Enable touch mode, generate full page screenshots, record videos, capture screenshots, and more.
How to build a strategy for testing your mobile websites?
Mobile websites are made for the ease of accessibility of users. Any mobile website’s goal is to provide a seamless experience while the user switches or needs quicker access. Our expert Daniel from Bocain Designs puts a valid point that “Most businesses do not need an app, nor do they even have an app, but they most likely have a website! Your website HAS to work well on a phone to succeed. It’s so important that Google has mobile usability and loading times as a ranking factor.”
However, to ensure that your website gives a pixel-perfect performance across all the devices, you need to devise a clear strategy. Whatever decisions you make in terms of your mobile website’s functionality, aesthetics, or compatibility with browsers, it all needs to be well planned before you start developing it. For best results, create a guide that acts as a flow to your testing process. Let’s deep dive into key tips imperative for your mobile website testing strategy to be successful.
Gathering the information from the product team, users, or design team should be the key part of your strategy, to begin with. It helps you create a roadmap, set up testing milestones, and prioritize features that you think should be rigorously tested.
Defining the use case
When you gather all the information, the next step is to define the use case of your mobile website testing. Defining the use case comprises the real-world scenarios that would help write better test scripts to yield quality results. For example, what is the target market you will be testing first or what devices, or on what network you should be testing your mobile website.
Identifying these factors would help you orchestrate your testing process better.
Setting up prioritizations at all levels of the testing process is crucial to any successful testing strategy. Understanding what needs to be done first and how it needs to be done helps you scale up your testing. For example, setting up prioritizations will help you identify if you need to implement automation testing and at what level.
Deciding on the tools
There are an abundance of tools to help you get started with the testing of your mobile website. However, what’s more complex here is to select the right tools or a combination of tools that would solve your problem. This is where prioritization helps. As you identify key factors of your product, you can then decide on the right set of tools.
Ensuring Cross-Browser Compatibility
You need to identify browsers that are popular with your target audience and devise a plan to scale your testing efforts. Not only browsers but a combination of operating systems and different screen resolutions as well. Having a cross browser compatibility testing plan will help deliver the best user experience for your mobile website across different browsers and platforms.
Identifying performance bottlenecks is one of the most essential aspects of your testing strategy. A slow-loading website might cost you revenue, and you might not be even aware that it’s because of the leak in customer experience. However, a faster loading website increases conversions and can help you rank better to reach the target audience.
Google recently announced that core web vitals would be part of ranking signals starting from May 2021. Core Web Vitals focuses on three key factors of the user experience – page loading time, interactivity, and visual stability. Ensure performance testing is a part of your strategy to test mobile websites.
Mobile devices have been an integral part of lives now. For businesses, having a mobile-friendly website that is functional with a smooth user experience is extremely important. In this blog, I have explained some important elements of mobile website testing, why mobile website testing matters, and an ideal approach that would help you attain quality output.
I hope this article gives you a holistic view of mobile website testing and how you can take the appropriate steps. Let me know if you have any questions related to this or think of any more points that should have been part of this blog. Feel free to share it with your peers, and I would love to know your feedback.
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