In 2015, the number of Internet users was estimated at more than 3 billion.
This means that over 40% of the population on Earth is connected to the global network in one way or another. If we look at the details it turns out that 2014 was the breakthrough year in this respect. For the first time more than 50% of users hooked up to the Internet via mobile devices. The trend line indicates a further increase in the popularity of smartphones and tablets as the intermediary devices in communication with the World Wide Web. The catalyst for this state of affairs are obviously decreasing handset prices, as well as a growing number of hardware manufacturers (especially in the region of South Asia), and the mobile Internet which is getting cheaper and faster all the time. If you are using the network as the tool to make money, create marketing content or whether, it is simply a part of your everyday work you have to reckon with the fact that the Internet in recent years has become much more mobile. Hence, creating content should also be adapted to the smaller screen smartphones. Everybody already got used to the ability to check Facebook, pay bills, or sign up for a doctor’s appointment on their commute to work. These are not some kind of fancy “bonuses” from the suppliers of these services, we already take this for granted. We expect that we can do these things on our smartphone or tablet anytime.
For creators of such services, namely frontend-developers and UX designers, the task is not easy. A mobile device market is very diversified in terms of software used and also size of these devices. A website should be designed and implemented in the way to be correctly displayed and responsive to the biggest possible amount of mobile devices. My own experience says that we should in this case pay attention to the 3 basic parameters: device’s operating system, browser used and screen size. If we want our application or website to be used by as many users as possible, then firstly we have to give them this possibility – the ability to view a content created by us. And that’s where the shoe pinches. Technologies and tools used to create web pages or applications are changing very rapidly. The same applies to operating systems and browsers. The result is that our webpage looks very good when we review it on a PC, less appealing on a 9-inch Android tablet, and does not work at all when you try to open it in Safari on an iPhone. It’s not a big problem if we blog about amateur beekeeping and someone will not be able to view our latest post about the intake of honey from the warsaw type hive. Worse, if we simulate an insurance premium for a potential client and by the fact that, for example, Internet Explorer has a problem with displaying checkboxes, the question about possessing any of our company’s products will not be displayed to the client. Even though the question is optional, the client could have payed less premium. But no response instead will simulate higher premiums and thus, loss of the client. This is actually reflected in our profit potential. But how do we know that this client and his smartphone has a problem with our site?
The answer for
The answer for sure … is NOT automatic tests. There are various types of emulators or pages on which we can simulate the use of the website via different software or devices. Such a solution usually works averagely or badly. Often it allows you to capture blatant errors, but it is not particularly accurate. The situation with non-displayed checkbox probably would not have been detected. Such tests can be used for low-cost services if we want to have any level of inspection at all. The answer is … manual tests on mobile devices. Unfortunately, this is the only way to ensure that our website is running correctly on a number of devices. We should create a list of operating systems, browsers, resolutions, for which we want to test our page. The best is to target the most popular solutions – operating systems and browsers most widely spread on the market. Narrowing the list of actually needed devices will limit costs of such tests.