Ever found a webpage that doesn’t do what you expected? Found a button that doesn’t click or seen a little red X where an image should be?
The finished product of a live website can sometimes look quite simply like a collection of pretty images, text and interactive buttons, however, behind the scenes there is an incredibly complex set of instructions which have been carefully constructed and laid out for the browser to read and interpret to create the website that you see before you.
Web developers have an incredibly tough job to select the best programming language (as there are a number of languages understood by browsers) and compile a set of instructions, known as code, to deliver a quality website both in terms of functionality and appearance.
Once the developer has generated this vast set of complex code, it is then vital that it is tested before the site goes live and is handed over to the client.
In basic terms testing ensures a number of things:
- That the functionality matches that of the business requirements, and that nothing has been missed.
- That the code has produced a user friendly site, that is intuitive, smooth and has functions that work as they should.
- That the site's appearance is professional and consistent.
- That no bugs or errors have been picked up that could cause future problems or harm to computers.
As well as ensuring all of the above is correct, the site must then be tested across the variety of different browsers used across the world, including desktop, mobile phone and tablet browsers.
It is also really important that someone other than the developer tests the site as the developer knows what it is expected to do. This is called ‘The Curse of Knowledge’ and in brief terms it makes it impossible for someone who has knowledge of the site to imagine the site from the perspective of someone who doesn’t have that knowledge.
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