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Andrii Kravchenko, Automation and Manual Quality Assurance Engineer

Dec 08, 2023 14 min read

Mobile Website Testing: How to Perform in 2023

In this article, we will delve into the critical aspects of professional mobile website testing and provide practical advice to ensure the excellence of your product. 

Mobile Website Testing

Mobile websites have evolved from a trend to a necessity for modern businesses. They enable companies to reach their customers effortlessly, providing access to information, products, and services anytime, anywhere. However, the success of a mobile website hinges on its quality, performance, and user-friendliness. In this article, we will delve into the critical aspects of professional mobile website testing and provide practical advice to ensure the excellence of your product. 

What is Mobile Website Testing?

Mobile website testing tests a website on mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets to ensure it is fully functional and provides the best user experience. It involves checking for compatibility, performance, user interface, and security issues on mobile devices and operating systems. 

When Should You Test a Website on Mobile Devices?

Have you ever wondered how to test a website on a mobile device to ensure optimal user experience? There are specific situations when testing a website on mobile devices: 

01

Appealing to a Broad Audience: Test the website on mobile if you want to reach many users. Since many people access websites on various mobile devices, ensuring your site is compatible with mobile browsers and devices is essential. Users might leave a site that needs to be fixed on their mobile or tablet, impacting your site's popularity. 

02

Using Responsive Web Design: Testing your site on real mobile devices is essential if it is designed with responsive web design. It ensures that the site displays correctly on various screen sizes and resolutions. It aims to provide an optimal viewing experience across different devices, and testing on real devices confirms its effectiveness. 

Why Is Testing Mobile Websites So Important? 

Mobile website testing is crucial to ensure a website works well on mobile devices and gives users a good experience. With more people using mobile devices to go online, it's essential to be confident that a website is easy to use, accessible, and loads quickly on mobiles. Here are some benefits:  

Improve User Experience 

A study says almost 88% of people will only return to a website if it's easy to use. By testing a mobile website on different devices, systems, and networks, developers can find and fix problems. It makes users more likely to come back to the website. 

Increase Performance 

Testing a mobile website can cause problems like slow loading or screens that don't respond. Fixing these problems makes the website work better, making users happier. 

Better Security 

Mobile website testing can find security problems that might put user data at risk. Fixing these problems makes the website more secure, and users can trust that their data is safe. 

Compatibility 

Unlike desktop computers, mobile devices have varied screen widths and resolutions, which might alter how a website is shown. A website that is not mobile-friendly may not appear correctly on smaller displays, resulting in a bad user experience.  

Mobile website testing ensures that a website is built to adapt to various screen sizes and resolutions, resulting in a consistent user experience. 

A mobile website consists of browser-based HTML pages that are interconnected and accessible via the Internet. The mobile website adapts to any screen size and interacts with a touch screen. Websites display texts, data, images, and videos. They also interact with mobile device features such as making calls and accessing the camera, location, and more. 

Vital Aspects of Professional Mobile Website Testing 

A well-developed website attracts users in the first few seconds, ensuring their return in the future. A website needs more mobile optimization to impact its search engine ranking positively.  

Over 54% of internet traffic comes from mobile devices. Almost 50% mark was surpassed and continues to grow nowadays. It indicates that users persist in exploring mobile browsers, websites, etc. 

Professional testing of a mobile website reduces the risks of a negative user interaction experience with the product. 

During the testing of mobile websites for defects, the following areas are prioritized: 

Resolution 

The next step in testing is the device's resolution. The better the device's resolution, the better its screen, ultimately providing a more convenient experience for the user. The significant impact of a web page on the device's resolution occurs when developers define absolute numbers for their elements. 

For instance, on a 300-pixel-wide display, an element may occupy 50% of the area, while at a resolution of 450 pixels, it reaches ⅓ of the width. The undefined display of elements can create problems on the web page. For example, call-to-action buttons may be shifted from their designated places. 

The tester should always analyze the website documentation if available. If not, solutions may cover the primary segment of mobile devices. 

Operating System 

Only two operating systems dominate the mobile device market: Android and iOS. It reduces the combination of checks, but new OS versions are frequently released. With each new OS version, some outdated features are disabled. Monitoring the end of support and testing the website for any changes in previous versions is crucial. 

Browsers 

Unlike OS versions, testing web browsers is challenging due to frequent releases, averaging every four weeks. It requires continuous effort to ensure compatibility with the latest browser versions.  

Moreover, there are many browsers in the market. Even excluding Google Chrome, which occupies over 60% of the market, other browsers also maintain a significant share of the available market. Each browser releases new versions, but not all users update their browsers as often as possible. It adds workload to testers. With each version, the expectation is that new features will be introduced to replace outdated ones. Testers must be cautious when testing a mobile web application in updated browser versions.

Many people consider testing a mobile web browser sufficient using a single process. It includes browser adaptation tests or just visual testing of the user interface, etc. However, testing a mobile website is much more, and the tester must focus carefully on each segment described in this section. 

How to Build a Mobile Website Testing Strategy

Are you curious about how to test a website on mobile? Discover effective strategies for seamless mobile compatibility. Mobile websites aim to provide users with seamless experiences, demanding a well-thought-out testing strategy. Before embarking on development, decisions regarding functionality, aesthetics, and browser compatibility require careful planning. Below are vital tips for a successful mobile website testing strategy:

  1. Information Gathering: Collect insights from the product, user, or design teams to create a roadmap and prioritize testing milestones. 
  2. Understand the Challenges: Acknowledge the complexities of how to test website for mobile devices, including device fragmentation, screen size variations, OS disparities, manufacturer differences, localization, and mobile network intricacies. 
  3. Define Use Cases: To successfully test websites on mobile, clearly define the use cases for it.
  4. Prioritize Testing: Establish prioritization throughout the testing process, identifying tasks that need immediate attention and determining the feasibility of automation testing. 
  5. Selecting Tools: Choose appropriate tools or combinations based on your product's requirements. The identified factors will guide the selection process. 
  6. Ensure Cross-Browser Compatibility: Devise a plan for cross-browser compatibility testing, considering popular browsers, operating systems, and various screen resolutions to deliver a consistent user experience. 
  7. Performance Testing: Identifying performance bottlenecks is one of the essential aspects of your testing strategy. A slow-loading website can lead to revenue loss, signaling a potential impact on customer experience. However, a faster-loading website increases conversions and can help you rank better to reach the target audience. 
  8. UI and UX Improvements: Implement a robust design strategy to enhance user experience. Ensure that every element is usable, consumes less bandwidth for faster load times, and is compatible with the latest device software. 

Building a mobile website testing strategy involves information gathering to perform testing. Understanding this strategy will help you to achieve optimal results and user satisfaction. 

Approaches to Mobile Website Testing 

Undoubtedly, mobile website testing is a multifaceted endeavor fraught with challenges, as previously discussed. However, employing the correct approach, strategy, and tools can surmount major bugs and challenges while minimizing efforts. Here's a breakdown of various methods for mobile website testing with comprehensive steps.

Testing with Browser DevTool 

Browser development tool (DevTool) provides potent web development and debugging tools. Utilizing  DevTool enables testing your website across multiple mobile devices. By emulating various mobile devices, you assess your mobile's responsiveness and functionality concerning diverse sizes and screen resolutions. While available in Firefox and Edge, DevTool is commonly referenced for its comprehensive features in web development testing.

Testing with DevTools involves using web browsers' Testing and debugging tools. In Playwright, one can execute tests in mobile view, simulating various device sizes for comprehensive Testing. While other frameworks may offer similar capabilities, Playwright stands out for its ability to facilitate Testing within different mobile dimensions, enhancing the assessment of a website's responsiveness and functionality.

Testing on Emulators and Simulators 

Apart from DevTools, Android emulators and iOS simulators can be utilized. These tools assist in identifying UI/UX bugs, offering an end-user experience. Testing the mobile version of a website on an application or emulator differs from testing on a desktop browser in mobile view mode. The former involves assessing the website within a dedicated application or emulation environment, closely simulating mobile behavior.

On the other hand, the latter replicates mobile dimensions within a desktop browser, offering insights into responsive design but without the full range of mobile interactions and behaviors. Each approach provides unique perspectives on the website's mobile responsiveness and user experience.

Mobile App/Emulator vs. PC Browser Mobile View Testing 

Testing the mobile version of a website on a dedicated mobile app or emulator provides a more accurate representation of the user experience on different devices. This approach considers device-specific functionalities and performance. On the other hand, testing in a PC browser with a mobile view mode offers a quick and convenient way to identify layout and responsiveness issues but may only partially capture device-specific nuances. Both methods complement each other in ensuring a comprehensive mobile testing strategy. 

Testing on Real Device Cloud 

Run tests on real devices genuinely depict how the website appears and functions. While browser tools offer on-the-go testing, real devices reveal aspects unattainable through browser tools, such as a realistic view without distractions. 

Many organizations possess in-house real-device infrastructure, while others opt for online real-device clouds like LambdaTest for diverse device options. 

Using Test Automation Tools 

While the approaches mentioned above initiate mobile website testing effectively, scaling products faster or completing bug-free projects for clients necessitates automation. Automation testing tools expedite test execution and time-to-market, provided you have coding skills and choose a tool aligning with your needs. 

Select an Automation Tool for Mobile Website Testing 

You can write test scripts using one or more test automation frameworks. An essential awareness of the frameworks will ensure you acquire the proper tools for the project. Here are some of the best automation tools for mobile website testing: 

Appium: Appium is a well-known mobile test automation tool that capitalizes on Selenium’s success. Appium enables customers to test native, hybrid, and mobile web apps using the WebDriver protocol. 

Espresso: Espresso, by Google, provides API to build this platform-specific solution; however, it executes Android UI tests and facilitates the expansion of the functionalities.  

XCUITest: Apple offers XCUITest as a tool for iOS developers to script and execute UI tests using the Xcode IDE. This automation framework does not support Android operating systems; it is only for iOS devices.  

Robotium: Robotium tests Android v1.6+ native and hybrid mobile apps.  Robotium simplifies writing powerful and robust automatic black-box UI tests for Android apps. With Robotium, developers can write test scenarios for function, system, and user acceptance tests that span multiple Android activities. 

Selendroid: This tool may test native and hybrid Android apps and mobile web. Integrating Selenium and the powerful WebDriver API removes most of the current challenges.  

The choice between these tools may depend on your team's expertise, project requirements, and the development environment you are working in. Each tool has its own features and capabilities, so choosing the one that best fits your testing needs is essential.

By combining Appium with WebDriverIO, you can seamlessly extend your automation capabilities to mobile platforms. The Espresso and Android Studio( Android Studio streamlines the Android app development process, providing a user-friendly interface and powerful tools that enhance efficiency and facilitate the creation of high-quality mobile applications. It offers a set of tools and features for coding, debugging, and testing applications) combination provides a robust environment for creating and running UI tests for Android applications. Like Espresso, Robotium can be integrated with Android Studio to facilitate UI testing. 

Run a Test on Virtual and Real Devices 

Automation testing involves examining all potential combinations of browsers, operating systems, and devices. However, dealing with device fragmentation poses a challenge for testers. A recommended approach is to test on the latest iOS and Android devices. Choose your devices depending on the most crucial elements for your target audience or location. QA and software development teams can work with marketing to comprehend your target audience’s user personas and usage habits. 

Considering forthcoming releases and existing market conditions is crucial when designing your testing coverage. To add new devices as they become popular and to deprioritize (or altogether remove) devices whose popularity is waning, you should reevaluate your testing strategy every quarter or every two years. 

Testing websites using automation tools is a crucial step in the software development process. Real devices, emulators/simulators, various network setups, and user interactions ensure the website's smooth operation under diverse conditions. Employing the proper test automation framework can elevate testing quality and efficiency.

Automation tools can automate repetitive tasks, minimize human errors, and deploy high-quality mobile websites that meet user expectations and give optimal user experience. 

Best Practices for Mobile Website Testing 

Now you understand a different way to perform mobile website testing and strategies; however, with certain regular practices, you can make mobile website testing efficient and productive, which saves overall time, money, and human effort. Here are some best practices. 

  • Define Clear Business Requirements: To maximize the testing process, establish well-defined business requirements and meet stakeholder expectations. 
  • Select the Right Browsers and Devices: Decide which mobile browsers and devices to test for website responsiveness. Real-world testing across various hardware and operating systems ensures the website functions correctly. 
  • Test Across Multiple Network Settings: Test your website's performance under various network settings, including 2G, 3G, 4G, and Wi-Fi. It helps identify performance issues and ensures accessibility. 
  • Thorough Touch Motion Testing: Mobile devices commonly feature touch displays. Ensure comprehensive testing of touch motions such as swiping, pinching, and zooming. Follow "The Thumb Zone" rule for optimal interaction by placing CTAs strategically. 
  • Prioritize Accessibility: Ensure your website is accessible to all users, including those with impairments. Verify screen reader compatibility and other accessibility features. This testing helps uncover issues related to color contrast, keyboard navigation, text alternatives for images, and other accessibility elements. 
  • Adaptability to Changing Scenarios: Anticipate changes during the sprint and be prepared to update your test cases swiftly. Understanding potential test scenario variations is crucial. 
  • Responsive Design Breakpoints: Set breakpoints by adjusting the browser window size to match the web application's content and design. It ensures the website responds appropriately to varying screen sizes. 

By incorporating these best practices into your mobile website testing process, you can enhance its efficiency and effectiveness, ultimately delivering a better user experience on mobile devices.

Why is it Crucial for Businesses to Prioritize Mobile Website Testing

For businesses it's not just a choice but a necessity to ensure their websites operate seamlessly on mobile devices. Here's why focusing on mobile website testing should be a top priority in any business strategy: 

01

User Experience Matters: A website not optimized for mobile can turn away potential customers. Issues like slow loading times, misaligned content, or unresponsive designs can frustrate users, affecting how the brand is perceived and customer loyalty. 

02

SEO Implications: Search engines, including Google, prioritize mobile-friendly websites in their rankings. Failure to optimize for mobile can lead to lower visibility and reduced reach in search engine results. 

03

Diverse Device: The mobile world has various devices, operating systems, screen sizes, and resolutions. What works perfectly on one device may only function correctly on one device. Regular testing is essential to maintain consistency across all devices. 

04

Rapid Technological Evolution: The constant evolution of mobile technology introduces new devices, browsers, and operating systems. Regular mobile testing ensures that businesses stay ahead of these changes, providing a seamless experience regardless of the devices specifications or age. 

05

Adaptability to Mobile-First Features: Mobile devices have unique functionalities like geolocation, orientation, and touch, which are not typically available on desktops. Testing ensures businesses can effectively utilize these features, providing users with enriched experiences. 

Conclusion 

Mobile devices have become a part of our daily life. For businesses, possessing a mobile-responsive website with seamless user interaction is crucial. Throughout this article, you've gained insights into critical aspects of how to test your websites on mobile devices, its significance, and an optimal approach for achieving high-quality outcomes. 

Whether you're a tester or a developer, knowing about mobile device website testing tools and methods saves time and effort. It enhances the user experience through practical strategies, resulting in optimal outcomes. In this age of digital advancement, where web technology is in constant flux, integrating mobile website testing as a fundamental aspect of website development ensures that your website aligns with the evolving needs of users. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Primary Purpose of Mobile Website Testing?

Mobile website testing ensures that a website or application functions seamlessly on mobile devices, providing the best user experience. 

When is it Crucial to Test a Website on Mobile Devices?

Testing on mobile devices is crucial when aiming to reach a broad audience and employing responsive web design to ensure compatibility across various devices. 

Why is Mobile Website Testing Necessary for Businesses?

Simulate mobile environments on your desktop using browser developer tools or tools like Chrome's Device Mode to assess the website's performance and design as it would appear on mobile devices. 

Why is Website Mobile Testing Essential for Ensuring a Positive User Experience?

It is crucial because it ensures that a website functions seamlessly on various mobile devices, providing users with a positive and optimized experience vital for user satisfaction and retention. 

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