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What is Mobile Web Testing and Why Should It Be Automated?

Websites and web applications are a huge part of how businesses acquire customers. Just one poor customer experience can sway their purchasing decision, especially in e-commerce. 

Users who have a negative experience on a mobile website are 62 percent less likely to purchase from that business in the future. - Think with Google. 

Most businesses rely on their web-based mobile application to sell or show-off their product or service. Testing and automating processes on these websites across multiple configurations is a big part of making sure the functionality is perfect.

But getting your mobile web testing off the ground can be very challenging. So what’s the most efficient way to get your mobile web testing started?

What you’ll learn in this article:

What is a mobile web app?

While they are called mobile web applications, they aren’t actually applications. Essentially, they are mobile-optimized web pages that look like a mobile application. 

Mobile web applications are different from native mobile applications as they don’t have to be downloaded to your device. They are programs that are accessed through a mobile browser, and any other device with an internet connection. 

There is no standard programming language that a web application is built on. However, the most common are JavaScript, CSS and HTML5. They are easier to build and test than native mobile applications, and tend to be more simple in terms of their functionality.

How mobile web testing works

As with any product, digital or physical, you need to check the quality to make sure that the experience is secure and seamless for the consumer. 

The challenge of testing web applications is they have to work across multiple browsers, browser versions, devices, and operating systems. 

For example, a customer could be accessing your website from an old version of safari from an iPhone 5 running on iOS 12. Or a user could be accessing your website from a Galaxy Note 20, running on a 5G network with the latest version of chrome and android. 

There are tens of thousands of possible configurations, and testing all of them is simply not feasible.

Automating a physical device

Automating the testing of a physical mobile device is perhaps the most challenging, especially if you work in a large corporation where bureaucratic barriers stand in the way, and you have to get approval for each decision.

Let’s say a tester in a financial services organization is looking to automate testing on 12 real devices, all different makes and models. She’s testing android and iOS (each with different operating system versions) across firefox, chrome and safari at the same time. To make things even more complex, she has to get permission for USB access to connect the different devices to her desktop and automation system. And when she gets access, it’s for two hours a week.

Once the automation tests are running in parallel, she notices that the mobile devices aren’t receiving the signal in time, and so all the tests fail. And any time one test fails, all other tests fail. Her devices also require a reboot every day because memory on the real device is limited. 

All in all, she has to set aside a lot of time to maintain the devices and tests to ensure they are working. As a result, test maintenance takes up more time than she saves if she were to automate. 

Creating your own infrastructure to host all these combinations is costly and time-intensive, and to test manually is simply not feasible or scalable. However, there are alternatives to testing mobile web applications. 

Emulating devices

The reasonable alternative is to offload the burden of hosting test environments to providers like BrowserStack, Sauce Labs and CrossBrowserTesting, and using an automation tool like LEAPWORK in combination. 

By using these tools, you can emulate real mobile devices and parallel test across multiple combinations simultaneously. This makes it possible to test more broadly in a shorter amount of time. 

Why should you automate mobile web app testing

Automating the testing of mobile web applications helps you focus on what matters: getting new quality features to market, fast. But, it takes the right automation tool to make this reality come into fruition. 

Why is that? Most automation tools are code-based, meaning they require skilled programmers to build and maintain test automation. Finding a tester that is also a skilled programmer can be a challenge. They do exist. Maybe you’re even one of them. But the reality is that most testers aren’t proficient at scripting automation tests. 

The pressure is then offloaded to developers who build automation frameworks that take a lot of time and effort to maintain. 

Finding a web automation testing tool

Works across browsers and devices

The sheer number of browser versions, device types, and operating system configurations means that no one person can manually test. LEAPWORK’s automation tool supports integrations with cloud-services like BrowserStack and Sauce Labs, which means testers can significantly increase their coverage by parallelizing web automation on real devices and emulators. 

No programming knowledge needed

With a no-code test automation platform, you can easily maintain test cases without having to use a single line of code. With less scripting, you can create tests faster and with more coverage. And with faster testing, you’ll free up more time to test facets of your website you might otherwise not have had time for. 

Supports continuous deliveries

With the speed businesses are delivering new website features and functionality across devices, browsers and operating systems, your tool should be easy to use so that you can build test automation from day one. LEAPWORK plugs right into your CI/CD pipeline and integrates with build and release systems using our public REST API. 

Learn more about accelerating your website feature releases and test coverage with codeless UI automation in this webinar. Get expert tips from an automation specialist on building low-maintenance automation design.

Join our webinar

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