August 11, 2016

Tips for Responsive Testing in Web Design

Digital Experience

Responsive testing in web design is important, and responsive web testing is how you'll answer questions like:

  • Is your website ready?
  • Can it conform to any screen size?

These questions are driving developers and QA managers to a mobile responsive web design (RWD) approach — including responsive web testing.

What Is Responsive Testing in Web Design?

Responsive web design (RWD) is an approach to design and development. RWD responds to user's behavior and environment based on screen size, operating system, or browser.

But responsive web design doesn't stop with design and development. You need responsive testing, too.

What Is Responsive Testing?

Responsive testing ensures that users get an optimal experience, regardless of their device.

Responsive Web Design Testing Strategy

You’ll need to test responsive design to ensure that the content and elements function as they should across devices, browser versions, and screen size variations. A responsive web design testing strategy can ensure your test coverage includes the top permutations. You can increase efficiency with parallel testing too. Learn more about making a strategy below.

Why You Need a Responsive Web Testing

Without testing, users will have bad experiences.

Teams building responsive websites are up against complex user environments. Network connections are always changing. Devices and screen sizes vary. And websites are exposed to pop-ups and other interruptions. A sound strategy for testing responsive web design will help prevent these real world conditions from tarnishing the user experience.

Breakpoint Animation

With all the different operating environments to consider for both mobile and desktop, testing teams should include real user condition testing as part of their responsive web design test plan. It will reduce the chance of a poor performing app being released to the public and will give your DevTest team peace of mind.

Feel free to download this handy Responsive Web Testing Checklist so you can reference these tips as you work on your next project!

How to Conduct Responsive Web Design Testing

Getting RWD right requires a comprehensive, organized plan. Here's what to include in your responsive website testing plan.

1. Make Sure the RWD Site Looks Right

Assure that visually the RWD site looks “right” on all platforms

  • In any screen size/resolution and viewport.
  • When changing orientation from landscape to portrait.

2. Test Client-Side Performance

Perform client-side performance testing that assure load time and responsiveness is well-optimized across all platforms. Sites are extremely heavy on objects and resources. Loading them on various devices and browsers needs to account for these resources size and load time.

Graph web plan 2

Average number of objects per website (source: Perfecto RWD guide ebook)


3. Test Navigation

Navigation testing is a key component for site adoption, engagement, and UX. Make sure that all transactions can be easily performed and navigated to across all screen sizes, platforms and in the different viewports.

4. Test For User Conditions

Testing for real user conditions is another key for success. The end-users are consistently transitioning between platforms and screens. Their working conditions that include network, alerts, and pop-ups on mobile and other “noises” may impact the RWD quality.

Make sure to test for these real-life environment conditions. Google Chrome developer tools can provide network HAR file, performance metrics, and other insights. These will help you address these kinds of tests in addition to other load testing solutions.

5. Test Accessibility

Accessibility testing is not just a “nice to have” requirement. It is a compliance requirement that needs to be well tested and addressed for both mobile and desktop web.

There are tools like Wave, as well as built-in browsers tools in Google Chrome browsers that can audit your site and offer recommendations for fixing non-compliance issues related to accessibility.

6. Ace Test Coverage

Acing the test coverage in the Lab for mobile and web.

Summary web plan

Recommended coverage for all app types (source: Perfecto Factors Magazine)


Use the above guidelines to ensure test coverage. And use advanced reports and analytics that  indicate how the RWD site looks like across platforms and through the functional testing progress.

Lastly, considering use of headless browser tools like Google puppeteer and phantomJS, can offer additional test automation productivity capabilities.

Heatmap in a website test plan

Cross platform mobile and desktop web heatmap report (Source: Perfecto DigitalZoom™ Analytics)


Get Responsive Mobile and Web Design Testing With Perfecto

Perfecto makes it easy for your teams to test mobile responsive design and responsive web design. 

That's because Perfecto offers cross-browser testing. Perfecto integrates with test automation frameworks, like Selenium. 

By using Perfecto, you'll be able to continuously test everything — accessibility, load time, and more. You'll improve test coverage. And you'll be able to make sure your RWD site works for everyone.

See for yourself. Try Perfecto for free today.