Every website owner knows that feeling in the pit of their stomach when they spot an error. Even large companies get it wrong, sometimes.
e.g. this recent pricing issue on the Argos website: user error?
Bugs, inaccuracy, user experience issues... when you’re launching a new or updated website, how do you make sure it works well?
Use accurate placeholder content
It doesn’t matter if you own a simple CMS site or a complex ecommerce website, when you’re checking your website for errors it’s always best to use content that’s as close to the finished product as possible.
Let’s pretend you want to check that all of your website’s images are displaying properly.
Don’t use a full size image of your favourite meme, which is a 20KB PNG file, if your actual images are going to be centre-focused 200KB JPEGs. First, the image will have no context on the page and second, you won’t see any relevant performance issues with such a low file size. Check out the difference below:
Consider the actual user experience
It’s possible to design and implement a website that you personally find unbelievably easy to use, while your real-word visitors struggle with it. Talking from experience, it is very easy to become blind to flaws in a website if you’ve created and moulded it from your own personal vision.
One of the best ways to overcome this is by creating a list of actions that should be easy to complete on your site, and getting someone else to try them. For example, on an ecommerce site, you might ask your tester to:
Search for a product by its name
Add that product to their basket
Complete the checkout process.
Or, to really test usability:
Find a red woman’s jumper (or other suitable product) for under £20
Tell me how much delivery would cost
Add the jumper to your wishlist
Send me a link to your wishlist.
Now for the hardest part: you need to listen to what they think (even if it is bad news). This kind of feedback is invaluable because, if they encountered any issues, it’s likely that your customers will too.
Test on popular browsers and mobile devices
For an idea of which devices people are using to visit your website, check the technology section of your Google Analytics audience reports. If you know that the majority of visitors are coming to your site using Chrome on Windows 10, then take time to check your site using Chrome on Windows 10.
If many of your visitors are using iPads to view your site, then test it on an actual iPad and NOT an emulator or simulator. Any tester worth their salt will tell you that they’ve seen different bugs between changing their browser viewport to an iPhone 6+ resolution size, compared to actually testing on the device. Using an actual tablet or mobile is also essential for checking the responsiveness of your site.
At Mercurytide we believe in making the best bespoke web applications from e-commerce, custom web design to web applications. That's why we have dedicated software testing team to ensure your solution is the best it can be. Get in touch if you’d like to find out more about what we can do for you.