Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links
Website design is much more than arranging the visual elements on a page so that they look pretty, or are structured in a coherent way that leads to people being able to find what they are looking for.
There’s lots of aspects that are behind the scenes that must be tested when building a website, before making it live. To some people, this might sound boring and perhaps even unnecessary, but if you want your website to perform well then it’s good to look into the concept of automated web testing in order to ensure your website performs at the required standard.
For non-techy people, this might seem a little overwhelming, however, so let’s break down some of the things you need to test when building a website.
- LOAD SPEED
The speed at which your website loads is of critical importance to success, as if it loads any slower than three seconds, it’s likely that many users will click off the page before they’ve even had chance to look at the content on your site. It’s sad but true, and whilst we like to think our content is so valuable that people will stick around and wait for it to be unveiled – the truth is, people are impatient, particularly online, and they’ll simply click off and probably not come back.
Load speed really does matter, and there are tools such as Pingdom that can help you test your load speed and diagnose what’s causing the site to perform slower than you would like it to.
- DOES IT WORK ON ALL BROWSERS?
It’s important you test your site on all browsers, rather than just the one that you tend to use – people use a variety of browsers including Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer and Firefox. There are many others, but as these are the main ones, it’s especially important to ensure your website loads as it should on these four.
- SCREEN SIZES
A lot of people are going to access your website on their mobile device, so it’s important you make sure your website looks good on different screen sizes. In an ideal world, you want to check what it looks like on a huge screen such as an Apple TV, along with a variety of laptops, desktops (bearing in mind some are square and some are widescreen), tablets and phones.
The point being that not everyone is going to see exactly what you see on your screen, when designing your website, so you need to ensure it looks good on all devices and screen sizes. The paradigm today is that we should be designing for “mobile first” meaning, design for mobile users first and desktop users second, in part due to the massive risk in mobile marketing and usage of such devices.
- EASE OF USE
The importance of user testing cannot be overstated. You want to see how people interact with your website, in terms of the clicks they make and the paths they take to reach a particular end goal. In doing this, you can assess whether your intuitive design is indeed intuitive or whether it confuses people which leads to them clicking off your site.