If you make your living building or testing applications, there’s one question you can’t avoid: “With the market constantly changing, which platforms do I need to test against to make sure I’m not missing something important?” Enterprise app development teams need to ensure a great user experience (UX), and in order to deliver that experience, they must keep up with change; this is where Perfecto can be an invaluable partner. We continuously scan the market and map out specific tipping points that happen throughout the year: for example, when the latest major OS versions for iOS and Android become widely adopted. We also track shifts in the web market, such as silent updates of Chrome and Firefox browsers, of which dev and test teams must be aware in order to guarantee flawless UX. Building these market events into your planning cycle reduces risk and helps keep your customers happy.
In order to minimize UX risks, you need to build a proper cross-platform testing strategy. For both mobile and web platforms, a few criteria must be taken into consideration. Whether you are a dev, test, or lab manager, you need to answer the following questions:
- What are the highest traffic platform/OS combinations in a given location?
- What is the leading OS platform (iOS vs. Android) in the relevant region?
- What is the trend in the market for the most-used platforms?
- What are the most common display types?
With its ongoing, worldwide market analysis, Perfecto does the heavy lifting for you by recommending which mobile devices and desktop browsers you should be testing based on the location of your customers. Our methodology simplifies your decision-making process by breaking down test coverage into 3 categories: Essential, Enhanced, and Extended.
Examining the bulk of mobile traffic by operating system reveals that the Android usage is essentially split across five OS families while iOS usage is split between three OS families. Therefore, eight smartphones are required to cover roughly eighty percent of mobile traffic. In addition to operating system family, displays represent a second critical coverage aspect. Analyzing display characteristics identifies important clusters between screen size and pixel density. We have grouped these into categories: small, normal, large, and extra-large. Our top-10 list of smartphones and tablets represents the highest-usage platforms when accounting for operating system, display characteristics, and model.
While traffic share is easily determined for mobile devices, desktop browsers are updated more often and thus require a different approach. Perfecto builds the desktop browser set based on two criteria: browser version and operating system. Browser version selection should normally consist of the following: current version, current version minus one, current version minus two, and the most recent beta version. Given the long life of computer operating systems, it is best to look not only at the most current Windows OS but the previous two as well. For Macs, it is best to include the current version as well as the previous one.
In this blog, we have taken a look at the importance of having a solid approach to cross-platform testing. In a market where devices and platforms are constantly changing, such a strategy is essential to the efficiency (and mental health) of app development and testing teams. We offered a set of planning criteria for ensuring good coverage and great UX; this is followed by our proven methodology for guaranteeing good mobile and web testing coverage. Proper planning in this area, which requires constant vigilance with respect to market changes, is critical to reducing UX risk. Take advantage of Perfecto’s extensive experience tracking market changes and put our methodology to work in your application testing strategy.