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As the number of internet connected devices continues to rise Quality Assurance (QA)’s job of testing projects gets wider. Numerous hardware and software manufacturers across many electronics brands now need to be included in development testing and deemed compatible with final deliverables. While it is impossible to physically test on every smart device it is important to identify a few key systems to test rigorously. Here are five mobile user testing points to inspect before your next development project is delivered.

Development Compatibility

Be sure to test that all functionality of your application or website is available regardless of screen size. Development teams have less space to work with when designing for mobile devices and they must be sure that major functionality is present at any screen size. Today’s responsive designs are drafted from smallest iteration to the largest in order to ensure that all functionality is available when space is at a premium on mobile devices.

Design Compatibility

Test your design across a bunch of different devices from the 320 pixel wide iPhone 3G all the way to today’s largest tablets (2560 pixels). By scrutinizing the way a design looks across many viewports your development team has a chance to catch any egregious errors - from overlapping images to unstyled elements. Since responsive designs expand and contract every viewport width needs to be tested to ensure all elements on a page respond appropriately, and as according to plan.

Orientation

When mobile users are accessing your website their device can be in one of two orientations - portrait or landscape. Portrait mode refers to a device with its shortest edge facing the user and landscape mode refers to a device with its longest edge facing its user. Because devices can be oriented both ways it is imperative to test your design across a device’s width and its length. For every new device that comes on the market there are two new viewport widths to proof against.

Network Simulation

Unlike desktop computers, mobile devices are often accessing internet resources without an ethernet or Wifi connection. Since these devices are constantly used on the go it is important to test your development’s load time under both ideal network conditions (ethernet) and less than ideal environments (subway tunnels). By understanding how your deliverable fares across these connection types a development team can optimize their server files to speed up remote page loads.

Viewing Environments

Mobile devices are often used in extremely bright or dark conditions. We have become so attached to our devices that there’s a fair chance your deliverable will be accessed outside on a summer day - maybe even on a beach. Take a look at your design outside on a sunny day to see how an end user’s environment will affect your design. Be sure to adjust the device’s brightness setting to see how things change when looked at with dim and bright screens.

Mobile devices now account for more than fifty percent of internet traffic and it’s a number that should continue to rise throughout the rest of this decade. Web development teams are focusing in on responsive design and QA needs to follow closely behind to ensure that a project’s quality is consistently above average regardless of access method. Mobile user testing is becoming the largest part of the quality assurance process so be sure your team is developing, and you're testing, with them in mind. Have a question? Contact us today.

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