Users have so many browser options. How do you determine a browser testing process?
From the development grotto — here’s our philosophy on browser support and making sure that your website is usable on a wide variety of devices without spending hours of needless device checking and development.
When we think about browser support, we typically extend the definition and consider platform support.
A platform is the combination of a device (e.g. laptop), an operating system (Mac OS X), and a browser (Firefox) that is used to view a website.
- Laptop, Mac OS X, Firefox
- Smartphone, Android, Chrome
- iPad, iOS, Safari
Our goal is to support a large and diverse market share of platforms without having to complete an extraordinary amount of testing.
Determining our browser support list
When reviewing our browser support documents, we reference various market share statistics from for both browsers and operating systems. These statistics inform what we will support during the coming months.
We relegate some systems to our legacy or unsupported tier sooner rather than later. Doing so helps us create projects that are relevant to future market shares instead of focusing on technology that will continuously decline to near-zero percent.
Testing our supported platforms
We test our browser support group in 3 ways. Our first test is always on our primary development environments. This is done in an ongoing capacity during a project’s development stage and typically includes lots of testing in both Chrome and Firefox. We also maintain a small set of physical devices for hands-on testing in Windows, Android, and iOS. Lastly, we use online emulator services that give us access to a wide range of platforms.
Our quality assurance testing includes functional and design checklists. We run these lists at specific project milestones. The first test is immediately prior to presenting our initial development proof to the client. The second is after all features and content have been completed. We finally have a post-launch checklist used during our Website Release procedure.
Both the browser support documents and our quality assurance checklists are periodically reviewed to keep our work aligned with industry trends, new technologies, and our clients ever evolving needs.