A brand or company’s presence online is more important in 2014 than it ever has been before. The world is shifting towards an entirely virtual marketplace. As such, how a brand looks and interacts with their customers online is one of the key elements to continued success. With money and time to be invested, web and browser testing are important considerations in getting it right online.
At Vanamco, we don’t just believe in our product, we genuinely believe in improving the options and services for browser testing so businesses have the best chance at continuing to grow online. So today on the blog, we’re going to look at how changing the way you manage this crucially important process in your business can have a greater impact and ultimately save you time and money.
Test for Success
We probably don’t think about it enough, but, the web browser is the most-used kind of software in the world. Companies like Google have headed a push forward with products like Google Docs and Maps, making all computing tasks feasible online. There’s no doubt integration into this online space is key to a brand growing their presence amongst their target audience. At the hub of a brand’s online presence will be their own website. Building a website is no longer that simple either – it must be responsive, fast, optimised, good looking and 100% functional on a multitude of devices and browsers. That’s already a lot of time, money and work for business servicing their industry and customers.
Complete testing of web-based systems can help avoid a range of issues across sites before they are sent live to the public – you can iron out the kinks and errors without the pressure of servicing customers in real time. Not too mention there’s security elements, accessibility, basic functionality and site performance to test as well. Again, it seems like a lot to take on – but attention to detail as you build your brand online will ultimately save time and money in the future when you have efficient and productive digital assets that in many ways can become self manageable. Getting your audience around on your site from A to B, whatever your goals are, should be the priority and effectively managing your web browser testing can mean a much quicker and sustainable reaching of this point.
How can this happen effectively in the everyday running of the business?
Let’s start at the foundation. Firstly, you know your brand better than anyone else. You know what you want your customers to see and experience when interacting with your brand online so it really needs to be you who has the final approval across the board. Secondly, this process needs to be as efficient and cost effective as possible. Many companies can simply not afford to be paying agencies a retainer, and in addition to the financial cost, the time spent briefing/emailing/meeting is time that could be better spent working within the business.
The Solution For Browser Testing
Bring your browser testing in house. Yep, it’s that simple. No agency retainers. No messy back and forth to get it right. An application like Ghostlab is a system making in-house testing simple and manageable. Figure out some basic internal communication with your developer team, or if you have basic HTML/CSS skills you can manage it yourself, and integrate the tool into the running of your business. If it’s a site redevelopment or an exciting new campaign, you’ll want to be looking good and running smoothly on as many interfaces as possible. Brief the team and work together to get it right before you go live.
Let’s have a little bit more of a detailed look.
Usability and Layout
Usability is all about how people feel when they are using your site. Spotting obstacles that could create frustrations for your audience will be invaluable to having them make the next step in engaging with you. So, what would you be looking for?
- Links – are they all functional? Are the buttons working and appealing to the user?
- Pagination and navigation – do you have enough pages so the information is structured? However, is it as simple as it can be for a user to get around? Is the navigation suitable across a range of interfaces and what is the best solution for ensuring it caters to as many as possible?
- Titles, tags and categorisation – are your systems logical? Are your titles relevant? Are you using tags effectively?
- Layout – is the text clear and concise? Is the colour palette non abrasive and consistent? What elements of layout are affected by different browsers? Are your ‘Calls to Action’ and most important navigational items easy to reach from different parts of the website?
- Under the hood – how is everything ticking over under the hood of the site? What issues or bugs may impede your customers experience on your website?
These are all major questions you can answer yourself and within your team by bringing your testing in-house. Having a constant awareness of your brand and online presence within your team will mean these questions can be answered. Additionally, problems can be spotted and assigned immediately within the team as opposed the time consuming process of having an agency report the problems and then for this problem to be assigned within the team – essentially more efficient financially and productivity wise.
Communication issues and labour cost
As just mentioned, the financial and productivity benefits of in-house testing and equally impactful and long-lasting. A tighter stream of communication means the issues are understood and problems solved much quicker. Lengthy email chains, briefing and assumed knowledge often play a part in delaying the fixing of an issue and not only will this sometimes frustrating process be avoided, the labour cost you or your team would have to invest beyond getting the issue fixed will now be a financial saving.
Brand culture within the team
When working in larger teams spread out across departments the net for solutions becomes wider. If everyone is working under the same roof, different departments can collaborate on in house-testing and actively participate in the solutions – in real time and across the span of the project.
Further, in-house testing opens your employees minds up to the way the brand looks and feels to a customer. Encouraging the analytic process and problem solving within your team will create a stronger loyalty to the brand itself -so it is the best it can be in the digital space. In-house testing also says to your employees that you value what you think and their contribution to the brand you are all working towards establishing.
Direct interaction with customers
You and your team know your customers the best, wouldn’t you say? Get progressive feedback and refinement from the team and directly with your customers adapting to their needs. Online behaviour changes constantly in large and small ways and understanding how your customers are interacting with the brand online will simply push your brand into becoming better and better for customers to interact with. This direct interaction with customers is invaluable and as it is quantifiable with methods like browser testing, brands are in a more powerful position to connect and adapt than ever. As wonderful as social media can be to connect, there are things our customers don’t say, but the data does!
Get the job done with existing resources
As an example, Ghostlab is so easy to use anyone with basic HTML and CSS skills can find and fix small bugs or problems. Within the modern team or business network, these skills are becoming easier to find and chances are they will exist within your team. In fact, many business have a full dev team that may be working with many different applications who could even be more efficient with a single, identified system.
Essentially, what all this means is that you can rely on existing resources to transition in-house testing into your team. Knowing you can keep your testing in house means you can spend more time make internal processes better and working within the business, rather than trying to find the right agency at the right price to handle it for you.
When it first started, browser testing mostly consisted of the simple page load. This resulted in a multitude of companies creating tools for users. However, today it is about testing for the full user experience. In fact, the impacts of such testing has led to the rapid progression of the way sites look and function over the past few years. The ongoing financial demands of outsourcing this work can now be avoided with in-house testing, and it’s an investment of knowledge within your team that will be invaluable as the digital space becomes crowded and your brand needs to evolve.
By making multiple-browser (desktop and mobile) testing completely automated, you’ve got time to look at stats and a real-time, synchronised format perfect for making quick decisions and fixes along the way. Check out just how easy it is in this one short video.
A powerful inspection tools tells you what you need to know fast, rather than multiple bouts of trying to find the exact cause of your issues. Less time spent looking means more time to fix, and that’s always a good thing! Knowing exactly what’s going on for yourself rather than waiting for a team to come back to you with an assessment and bill means stress off your mind and a simpler internal process. In-house testing with Ghostlab has already proven to be successful for developers and companies like Andrew Clarke, LEGO, Envato , Bose and R/GB – all experts and leaders in their respective fields.
Are the benefits of in-house testing something you’d like to see impact your business saving you time and money? Maybe, you’re a developer looking for an comprehensive solution that’s as easy for you as it is impressive to your clients… Regardless, it could well be worth trying an all in one application like Ghostlab. Currently, you can give it a try and see if it suits you and your business needs by having free access to Ghostlab for seven days. During this time we offer full support so you can adjust and understand the application. Extensive documentation and personal support – we’re available to help you integrate Ghostlab. For the more advanced users, luxuries like simple forms, shortcuts and set-up from any server in the world means quicker and faster results with complete flexibility (and customisation options!). Alternatively, if you’d like to know more before you go ahead and want to talk with someone from the Ghostlab team, please email, Tweet or Facebook us and we’ll get back to you!
We’d also love to know if we have covered everything in our article – so let us know your thoughts below in the comments!
If you’re using Ghostlab already we’d love to hear how it has helped you and explore what else it may be able to do for you and your business.