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Avoiding Common Pitfalls in Cross Browser Testing Automation

kokou adzo

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The software market and devices, browsers, and operating systems are rising quickly. Any business or software must provide a great user experience to a wider user base. Ensuring cross-browser compatibility has become challenging with the constantly evolving landscape of browsers and their versions.

While automation testing offers numerous benefits, such as speed, accuracy, and efficiency, it also comes with challenges. In particular, cross-browser testing automation can be a complex process, and if not executed correctly, it can lead to pricey mistakes and delays.

Here are the common pitfalls that can occur in cross browser testing automation:

Importance of Thorough Test Planning

Thorough test planning plays a paramount role in the success of any cross-browser testing automation project. The systematic, efficient, comprehensive testing process guarantees accurate and dependable results. Organizations can effectively manage potential risks, define precise objectives, and implement a systematic testing approach by allocating sufficient resources and undertaking comprehensive test planning.

This incorporates defining test scenarios, outlining test cases, determining test environments, and establishing success criteria. Additionally, thorough test planning identifies dependencies, enabling teams to allocate resources effectively and prioritize testing efforts.

Validate HTML and CSS

Browsers have different ways to read, interpret, and handle the code. Seldomly, developers may omit certain ‘semicolons’ or ‘closing tags’ in the syntax while writing code. Although most modern browsers are equipped with auto-correction features for syntax errors, it is worth noting that specific older browsers may not possess this capability. Such errors may pose issues while rendering for old browsers such as Internet Explorer.

These coding errors can be avoided by following the below steps:

  • Documenting well-aligned code
  • Inserting comments wherever needed
  • Ensure indentation and matching of opening-closing braces

Furthermore, there are validation tools to make the task easier. Here are a few tools the developers can use for code validation:

  • Jigsaw CSS validator
  • W3C HTML validator
  • JS Formatter for HTML
  • JS Lint
  • CSS Lint

Utilizing a Reliable Test Infrastructure

A pivotal aspect of avoiding common pitfalls in cross-browser testing automation is utilizing a reliable test infrastructure. This infrastructure encompasses the essential hardware, software, and tools required for conducting tests consistently and accurately across various browsers and platforms. Having a robust test infrastructure authorizes efficient test execution, diminishes the likelihood of false positives or false negatives, and furnishes a stable foundation for conducting comprehensive testing.

Incorporating virtualization technologies, such as virtual machines or containers, is essential to emulate diverse browser environments. Additionally, it should incorporate version control systems to manage test scripts and configurations effectively.

Lack of Testing on Real Devices

It is rightly said, “Nothing beats the real thing.”

Irrespective of the nature of your website, the most effective approach to ensure its optimal performance across various browsers and devices is to conduct thorough testing on authentic browsers and devices, with the involvement of real users. No virtual machine can match the effectiveness of native device features.

Nonetheless, real device testing can prove quite pricey and challenging if a tester can access a personal device lab. The device lab is frequently updated with the newest devices and browser versions.

Considering Different Screen Sizes

With the wide variety of devices available today, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops, it is paramount to guarantee that your website or application is adequately displayed and functional across these different screen sizes. Neglecting to address this matter can lead to an unsatisfactory user experience and potential customer attrition.

To address this, testers should create and execute test cases that cover various screen resolutions and aspect ratios. This will help pinpoint layout or functionality issues when viewing the application on different devices.

DOCTYPE Error

Doctype errors usually entangle faulty rendering because the code lacks a basic line. Web browsers with outdated versions, like Internet Explorer 8.0, usually check for the Doctype. The website is improperly rendered if that is missing.

The Doctype is checked because a browser operates in Quirks and Strict modes. Quirks mode furnishes backward compatibility to older browser versions and doesn’t perform such detailed code error checks. In strict mode, the browser operates with more stringent checks for code errors to guarantee that the code corresponds to W3C specifications.

A web page missing a Doctype tag can cause the browser to enter Quirks Mode. Likewise, if the browser doesn’t support HTML5, it will not know which version to look for. This way, some tags will become unresponsive, displaying the page incorrectly. However, solving this is quite simple. It is simple enough to solve this. Just incorporate “!DOCTYPE html” at the beginning of the codebase. Include this line and receive a flawlessly rendered website in every browser.

Using a Mix of Real and Virtual Devices

Real devices furnish valuable insights into how your website or application performs in a real-world environment, allowing you to capture any device-specific nuances that may affect user experience. By conducting real device tests, one can effectively evaluate various factors, including touch interactions, accelerometer functionality, and performance across different hardware configurations.

Virtual devices, on the other hand, offer the advantage of convenience and scalability. This enables users to simulate a wide range of devices and browsers, effectively diminishing the need for physical devices and conserving time and resources during setup. By combining real and virtual devices in your testing strategy, you can attain comprehensive coverage and guarantee optimal performance across various platforms and scenarios.

Using CSS Resets

Web browsers come with a predefined design layout automatically applied to websites accessed through them. To use another design layout for the app, developers are required to override the default design. Failure to do so may result in inconsistent application rendering across various web browsers.

The CSS reset is accomplished in code by developers utilizing CSS reset style sheets. This helps in avoiding any layout design issues. Here are a few instances of CSS reset style sheets:

  • GitHub based Normalize.css
  • Eric Meyer’s Reset CSS
  • HTML5 Reset

Validating Against Multiple Browsers

With the extensive range of web browsers available, including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer, guaranteeing the seamless functionality of your website or application across these various platforms is imperative. Every web browser utilizes its rendering engine and possesses a distinct array of features, resulting in potential discrepancies in the display and functionality of a website.

Performing thorough cross-browser testing is essential for identifying and resolving compatibility issues, ensuring a seamless and consistent user experience across all platforms. It is vital to comprehensively validate against multiple browsers to address potential pitfalls and deliver a high-quality product that works seamlessly across all popular browsers.

Layout Compatibility

Browsers have default layout styling. It is one of the most common cross-browser compatibility issues. The issue is often associated with one of the two bases. The issue may arise from a lack of responsive design on mobile devices or the disparity or absence of layout support by contemporary browsers.

These layout compatibility issues are easy to solve. The developers can use floats, which are supported by various browsers. A float is an image that appears within a text box and is subject to certain restrictions. Specific layout mechanisms like Flexbox and CSS grids have been introduced for the modern-day layout. Modern browsers support these tools and are effectively utilized by developers.

Monitoring for Unexpected Behavior

One pivotal aspect of avoiding common pitfalls in cross-browser testing automation is monitoring for unexpected behavior. Automated tests are designed to follow predetermined steps and validate expected outcomes. Nevertheless, it is paramount to acknowledge that unforeseen complications may still occur.

You can proficiently identify and resolve any unexpected issues during cross-browser testing by incorporating comprehensive monitoring mechanisms, such as real-time error tracking and performance monitoring. Monitoring for unexpected behavior authorizes you to proactively identify and resolve anomalies, guaranteeing that your website or application functions seamlessly across different browsers and platforms. This proactive approach to monitoring helps maintain the overall quality and reliability of your cross-browser testing efforts, minimizing the risk of encountering unexpected failures in production.

Leveraging Automated Cross-Browser Testing Tools

Automated cross-browser testing tools furnish a streamlined approach to executing tests across multiple browsers and platforms, saving significant time and effort. These tools allow you to easily simulate user interactions, validate layout and design elements, and identify compatibility issues with certain browsers.

Automated cross browser testing tools offer comprehensive reporting and analysis features, enabling you to track and monitor test results, identify patterns or trends, and make informed decisions for further optimization. Additionally, with cloud testing platforms like LambdaTest, teams can access various browser configurations and versions, ensuring comprehensive test coverage.

LambdaTest is an AI-powered test orchestration and execution platform that facilitates manual and automated testing across 3000+ environments. Its comprehensive features include real-time and automation testing capabilities, providing a robust cross-browser and cross-platform testing solution.

LambdaTest offers a robust platform for automation testing, enabling organizations to optimize their testing processes effectively. Automation testing proves especially advantageous for repetitive test scenarios and regression testing. With LambdaTest, users can develop and run automated test scripts, resulting in quicker and more dependable testing cycles. This speeds up the testing process and ensures that tests remain consistent and accurate across various environments.

Moreover, these tools furnish real-time results and actionable insights, enabling teams to identify and fix issues promptly.

Conclusion

By considering the issues above, developers and testers can proactively prevent them from arising. It is crucial to prioritize cross-browser testing due to its significant impact. Errors in this process can result in unnecessary delays. By taking preventative measures, browser compatibility testing can be transformed from being a hindrance to a valuable tool that facilitates software development.

 

Kokou Adzo is the editor and author of Startup.info. He is passionate about business and tech, and brings you the latest Startup news and information. He graduated from university of Siena (Italy) and Rennes (France) in Communications and Political Science with a Master's Degree. He manages the editorial operations at Startup.info.

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