Ensure performance by testing on real devices.
The number of people browsing the web away from their desktop has increased dramatically due to the proliferation of smartphones and mobile computing devices. RubensteinTech clients are seeing as much as 35% of their web traffic from mobile and tablet devices. We develop our websites to ensure mobile compatibility, implementing responsive web design or adaptive techniques to optimize the user experience. The goal is to ensure that each of our website projects provide optimal user experiences for all visitors, regardless of whether they are using an iPhone, Galaxy S5, an iPad, or their desktop browser.
Responsive Web Design (RWD) is the leading solution for today’s browsing trends; however, one caveat of implementing responsive is the requirement of obtaining specific devices with which to test on. Emulators and simulators, while helpful, are not sufficient to meet our standards and user expectations. As the sheer number of devices we support has grown, we created our Mobile Device Testing Lab!
When selecting the devices for our test lab, we consider the many variables that come into play: Android vs. Apple vs. other, Operating System version, screen size, and special features. While it would be great if every user always had the newest phone and newest operating system installed, the reality is just the opposite. There now exists a low level of parity among these devices, due to producer interest in offering more diverse and robust selections to their market each year. This trend is likely to continue, so we consider the unlikely scenarios to ensure that those users have a quality experience when visiting the site. We may need to support the iPhone 4 that has iOS 6.0 while also supporting the iPhone 6 with iOS 8.1.2. These are two radically different devices using completely different systems, but we're prepared for this scenario!
Our ever-expanding testing lab runs the gamut of mobile and tablet devices to represent the widest array of end users. We currently have more than 22 modern devices that we test with regularly (and plenty of antiquated ones, anybody want a Palm V?!). Modern devices range from iPhone 3GS to iPhone 6 Plus, to Motorola Droid X, to Samsung Galaxy S5, to the original iPad, to iPad Mini, to iPad Air 2, along with whatever devices the future holds. The operating systems we support currently range from iOS 5.1.1 to iOS 8.1.2 and from Android Gingerbread to Android KitKat (with Lollipop coming soon!). If there’s a popular device and mobile OS out there, we probably have it represented in our Mobile Device Testing Lab.
When testing on these devices, we also need to consider how websites look in both portrait and landscape mode. Oftentimes with Responsive Web Design, the entire layout of the site changes depending on which mode the end user views the website. It’s not only a lot of devices to test on; it’s also a lot of testing on each device!
As mobile users continue their march towards becoming the majority of site traffic, we are committed to growing our Mobile Device Testing Lab and ensuring that each of our projects are validated on the leading devices of the day.