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Digital testing creates optimal user experiences. From mobile to mobile web and desktop browsers, all platforms need to be tested. Digital testing may include usability, accessibility, and other types of testing. Due to market fragmentation, digital testing is more complicated than ever.
In the past, organizations were able to easily define their target devices and platforms on which to test their products. But today the reality of digital testing is much more complicated.
The mobile and web markets are constantly changing, making it hard to predict and define a digital testing strategy. As an example, in 2015 alone (see image below) there were more than 30 significant new device launches and around 20 mobile operating system releases. In the desktop browser space, we saw about the same number of OS releases in 2015. Most of these releases are auto updated on the users' machines, adding more complexity to your digital testing strategy.
The complexity around test coverage is not only caused by devices, browsers and OSes; there are other factors, including:
It's also important to understand that given the limits of time and budget, organizations cannot cover every browser/OS combination and therefore need to clearly define what digital testing is most relevant (to their customers, geography and industry).
Organizations often consider "test coverage" as solely a QA team responsibility. However, it's important to understand that getting the right lab coverage should be a priority for marketing, business development, product, QA, and developers because all of these teams lose when app glitches make it to market.
On the other hand, when test coverage is thorough and app quality is high marketing and business teams benefit from customer satisfaction as well as growth and market expansion. Meanwhile, dev and testers will have a much more focused set of platforms to develop and test against, resulting in a reduced number of production defects and fast feedback to developers for fixes.
Organizations need to invest in collecting data that's actionable and enables DevTest teams to make the right decisions. And because the digital space always involves moving parts, data collection and test lab coverage requires constant refresh.
The best way to define and plan your digital test coverage is to use the right mix of data from internal sources within your organization (customer analytics) and externally from the market (market share data, competitor insights).
We recommend that you combine these data sources into one list of target platforms that your dev and test teams should focus on. This lab setup will serve as the base for future testing, so getting it right from day one will make it easy to modify.
Combining multiple data sources helps achieve several goals, including:
Building a digital test lab involves many data sources and considerations. It's not just about desktop browsers and mobile platforms, but also about the environments in which they operate.
And because digital testing is so complex, insights about customer and market data need to be visible to everyone involved in the delivery chain — from marketing to IT ops to DevTest. Everyone has a hand in releasing a great digital product to market.
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DevOps Chief Evangelist & Sr. Director at Perforce Software, Perfecto
Eran Kinsbruner is a person overflowing with ideas and inspiration, beyond that, he makes them happen. He is a best-selling author, continuous-testing and DevOps thought-leader, patent-holding inventor (test exclusion automated mechanisms for mobile J2ME testing), international speaker, and blogger.
With a background of over 20 years of experience in development and testing, Eran empowers clients to create products that their customers love, igniting real results for their companies.