Thursday, 7 October 2010

Why testing needs to go further than just your PC

As anyone involved in it knows, there is a lot of thought and planning needed in testing. Whether you are working on the web or any of the other development platforms, you need to plan your testing to cover a full range of user behaviour, test data and operating platforms.

I had a perfect demonstration of this recently.

Like many of us, a good proportion of my email is HTML based, be it update or marketing emails. One such email arrived from Asus. I happened to open the email on my Blackberry, which doesn’t immediately download the images and politely displays the ALT tags for the images in the structure of the page. You can see the issue in this image (the typo in the word ‘cloud’.

Trouble is, once you’ve seen the typo, the effectiveness of the rest of the message is lost. This wouldn’t have been something immediately visible when testing the page on a PC – the PC would have immediately loaded in the images and without intentionally looking for it, this mistake would never have been seen and consequently slipped through.

At PH Digital, we carefully plan the testing phases of our projects, including using technologies like VM Ware to build dedicated testing platforms that match the scenarios and specifications we need to test against, and for mobile content we always test on a range of real mobile phones.

To find out more about PH Digital and how we work contact us at or visit

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