Browser Test Strategy and Plan

A browser test strategy and plan are crucial if you are developing a web application.

Test Strategy

A test strategy, in simple, tells you how to go about testing. For a browser test strategy you need to outline what browsers you support and the need to check the impact of browser releases to your product.

To help you with the strategy we’re going to look at four questions.

  1. What browsers are out there?
  2. What browsers are your customers using?
  3. What is happening in the market?
  4. What are browser releases?

You need to do some research and figure out what type of browsers are out there. Get the facts before you start. The four top browsers at the moment are Safari, Firefox, Edge and Chrome. Luckily, Internet Explorer (IE) is not on there. You may have a deep sigh of relief if you’ve experienced countless IE specific bugs. Microsoft announced that they are deprecating IE11 and will move to edge IE mode.

You need to introduce telemetry to get some data on what browsers your customers are using. If none of them are using, say edge, then you’re wasting your time by testing it.

Understanding what your customers are using will dictate what browsers you use in the development life cycle.

What browsers you test is going to change over time. You need to understand what is happening in the market, so you can plan accordingly. At a minimum I’d recommend to review the market every 6 months. Although a better approach is to get into a habit of browsing tech websites. They often announce what’s happening in the browser market space.

Browsers do not remain static. They are constantly changing. Sometimes a browser release may have a knock on effect to your product. It is vital that you understand what is in browser releases, so you can risk assess accordingly.

You’ll need to consider how you’re going to do this. You could add it as part of your release sign off or find a way to shift it left.

The places you can go to see the latest release updates for some of the browsers are: Chrome , Firefox , Edge and Safari.

Planning

Test planning is going to help with what you’re going to do. To help with your planning we’re going to look at why, what and how.

  1. Why do I need to test different browsers?
  2. What do I need to test on the different browsers?
  3. How do I test the different browsers?

You’ll be better at cross browser testing if you understand how browsers work. Answer the question, why do I find bugs related to a specific browser? To find out more about this. Read here.

Create yourself a browser checklist. Get your team to help you with this. The sorts of things you’ll have on this are — fonts, styling, page layout etc.

Once you have that checklist, you can test browsers..

a) With the new features you’re creating.

b) When you update the tech (like the front end framework or library).

c) Browser releases

d) Regression

You can install what you have onto your machine. If you’re on windows, then grab Edge, Chrome and Firefox. Safari is on mac, so either get a machine or consider tooling. There are many tools out there that help you with your cross browser testing.

Summary

  • Creating a browser test strategy is going to help you understand what browsers you’ll test. It will also help you outline the need to review the browser releases.
  • You’ll be able to plan cross browser testing when you understand how browsers work.
  • A browser checklist may help guide you on what you test.
  • Tooling may be an option to help you test the browsers you need to.
  1. Introduction to cross browser testing
  2. Top cross browser testing tools for 2021
  3. How browsers work
  4. Chrome releases
  5. Firefox releases
  6. Edge releases
  7. Safari releases

Melissa Fisher

Test team leader sharing my knowledge, experience and thoughts on testing related matters.