I’m still making use of my TestSphere deck. I’ve made it a daily activity to pick a Test Sphere card at random and write down a few thoughts or ideas about what is on the card.

One card that was drawn this week was the Adaptability Quality Aspect card. This is a portability aspect and includes making sure your application works on multiple browsers and devices.

Browser Usage

It is worth looking at usage statistics not only for your application. However, just because only a small percentage of customers use the application on a particular browser, doesn’t mean we should neglect testing on that browser.

Chrome69.35%
Firefox9.54%
Safari8.51%
Edge Legacy4.64%
IE3.47%
Opera2.36%
Worldwide desktop browser usage, taken from https://gs.statcounter.com/browser-market-share/desktop on 5th March 2020

Internet explorer is notoriously difficult. I recall a friend complaining that his brand new computer wasn’t working as well as he expected. I offered to take a look for him. The issue was internet related, nothing to do with the PC. He was using Internet Explorer. I downloaded chrome, told him to use that instead, and the issue was resolved.

A defect limited just to internet explorer may only affect 3.47% of customers, but an application with 1 million users could lose around 34,700 customers as a result of that defect.

Browser, Devices – have you really considered everything?

Compatibility between browsers and devices may be a serious consideration for most teams, but there is something else that is often neglected – private browsing mode.

I recall one incident when a colleague came rushing into the office to tell us of a serious bug on our website that had to be fixed as a matter of urgency. He showed the issue on his mobile phone. We dropped everything to investigate, but couldn’t reproduce the issue on our computers or on any of the test devices – even the same device that he was using. We tried updating the browser, the issue was still there. Eventually we discovered how to reproduce the defect – the browser needed to have private browsing mode enabled.

Watching our colleague try to come up with a reason why he was using private browsing mode was very entertaining – I think he said he’d been purchasing Christmas presents for his wife and didn’t want her to find out what he’d bought her. Saying he’s worried about privacy and always had the browser set this way would also have been an acceptable answer.

According to this article, it was reported that 20.1% of surveyed users regularly used the internet with private browsing enabled. With this in mind, ensuring the application supports private browsing mode is something worth considering.

Additional TestSphere Resources