Create a fluid UX in a unique testing environment.
Today, mobile phones account for more than half of all web traffic worldwide—and that number is growing. People’s love affairs with their smartphones—and expectations for a consistent experience across desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile—means you have mere seconds to make a good impression before someone leaves your site. Responsive design is the best way to ensure everything displays appropriately on all types of devices.
While great for UX, responsive design isn’t so fun for testing. There are myriad operating systems (iOS, Android, Windows), browsers (Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox), and mobile devices (Apple, LG, HTC). A website on a desktop monitor with 1600 x 900 pixels will show differently on an iPhone 7’s 1334 x 750 pixel screen. It’s overwhelming and time-consuming to test every possible combination, which is why testers often strategically narrow their scope to test “happy paths.”
There are also design-specific elements to consider. Like verifying that the design renders correctly on each screen size. Accounting for how users interact differently with desktops and mobile devices. And figuring out how links for elements like desktop pop-ups will work on mobile.
Responsive websites are highly dynamic, so test approaches that rely on instrumentation or fixed object IDs might not even work, and can be highly expensive to maintain. And because of the indirect nature of responsive web development, performance issues are more likely.