Steps to Perform Cross-Browser Testing

Whenever any web application or software is released, it is expected to be executed in all the browsers, but it’s not possible as all the web browsers are not created equally. Some browsers are designed to work with specific operating system while the others claim to have boasting features. Keeping this in mind, it is a good habit to conduct cross-browser testing once the process of web application or software is being completed. Cross-browser testing is a technique of testing web applications across various browsers to ensure that all the sites or web apps run successfully on separate browsers. This is based on a range of metrics. They are:

  • Base Functionality- If the links, dialogs, menus are available as required
  • User interface- Does the appearance match the design specifications
  • Graceful Degradation- Does the experience adjust between desktop and mobile browser
  • Responsiveness- Does the site change in mobile browsers based on criteria such as resolution, rotation, and location
  • Performance- Does the site load within a suitable frame, while allowing for network connection speed

With cross-browser testing, the testers can write test, configure the supporting browser, and test to verify whether the software runs perfectly in different browsers.

Testing Types in Cross-Browser Testing

There are basically two types of testing. They are as follows-:

  1. Automated Testing- It is the ability to set up tests which can be run with little, or no, deliberate human intervention
  2. Manual Testing- It requires conscious the involvement of human tester to verify the functionality of an application or website

Automated testing method:

Since cross-browser testing is all about running the same set of test cases multiple times on different browsers, it is typically a repeated task and best suited for automation. It’s more cost and time efficient to perform this testing using some tool. There are a lot of tools available in the market to make things easier

Manual testing method:

In this case, a business identifies the browsers that the apps must support. Testers then re-run the same test cases using various browsers and observe the behaviour of the applications and report bugs if any. It can get difficult to cover all the browsers in this type of testing and also, the application might not be tested on significant browser versions. It is also costly and time-consuming.

Process of Cross-Browser Testing

The workflow or the process of cross-browser testing can be broken down into five steps. They are as follows-

  1. To determine what browsers to test you need to check the traffic statistics. It means, in the browser where there’s less user engagement or fewer users overall, that browser needs to be tested.
  2. Detailed analysis must be performed on the AUT (Application Under Test) to determine what parts of the application or if all of it has to undergo this. It is advisable that all of it shall be tested on multiple browsers after taking into consideration the cost and time involved in testing each browser. A good strategy can be performing a complete test on one browser per platform and for the other just test the most critically used functionality .
  3. After the what’s and where’s of a browser testing is solved, decisions on infrastructure must be made, like, do we acquire tools or test is manual etc. here too, the cost must be taken into consideration. Few more things to be addressed under this stage are- viability, risks, security concerns, people that are involved, time acceptance criteria, issue/defect fixing schedule etc
  4. Now is the time to perform the testing. The regular functional testing test cases can be used when validating the efficiency of this system. For look-and-feel/rendition test cases are not necessary.
  5. Once you get the results, report it back to the design team, if they are not involved in the testing process. The changes can be made after this step.

This is the usual process followed for cross-browser testing. The important question that arises here is, when is the right time to test? Any testing reaps the best benefits when it is done early on. Therefore, it is recommended to start as soon as the page designs are available. It can also be performed when the website is fully integrated and functional. But, if the cross-browser is not completed during the aforementioned stages, it can still be done while the application is in production. However, this is costliest of all and risky too.