SOGETI UK BLOG

Google implements new algorithm updates almost 500-600 times per year, some more major than others. In the past, major revisions such as Google Panda and Google Penguin have had significant impacts on search results; partly due to mobile usability. Because of this, organisations must be conscious of the impact of these algorithm updates when designing a website in order to avoid a drop in Google search results. A website ranked number 1 or number 2 in a search query could fall to ninth or 10th place, causing a loss of revenue in potential business.

Research from TechCrunch found that 44% of websites belonging to Fortune 500 companies failed the mobile friendly test! There’s a big category of people who have not taken the mobile usability aspect of their website into consideration, instead focusing on PC and Desktop platforms.

To make a website mobile friendly, there are a number of things to consider, including:

  • Ranking: Since the end of April 2015, mobile friendliness has been a factor Google’s ranking algorithm. This website can help you to find out if your site is mobile friendly (or not): https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/. Companies spend significant amounts of money and effort on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to appear high up in Google rankings, with places on the first page of results highly prized. However, even when using all the keywords and SEO tricks in the world, without a high quality mobile-friendly website they could be penalised and miss out on the top spots.
  • Accessibility: Text that appears readable on computers but not on mobile devices will be one reason why a website falls drastically in rankings. It is important to test your site across a range of available platforms to ensure consistency in its appearance. Developers and Testers should ensure that text is readable without tapping or zooming, tap targets are spaced appropriately, and the page avoids unplayable content or horizontal scrolling.
  • Verification of pages for mobile devices: Accessibility and ranking alone may not guarantee a mobile-friendly site that passes the test. The reason could be that Googlebot for smartphones is blocked from crawling resources, like CSS and JavaScript, which are critical for determining whether the page is legible and usable on a mobile device. You need to make sure that these can be verified.
  • Use of responsive themes: If a page is found not to be mobile-friendly, one issue could be the responsive themes you are using. Try changing the theme and the layout slightly so that, when someone visits the site via tablet or mobile phone, the contents like the site title, post titles, and post content can be read on smaller screens without scrolling etc.

If you would prefer not to switch to a responsive theme, you can enable an option that will show a mobile-friendly, responsive theme to mobile visitors only – ensuring desktop and laptop visitors see the same site they have always seen.

If you’ve tried the above and are still having issues, or you just want some help along the way, contact Sogeti Studio (our UK-based web and mobile test lab) at enquiries.uk@sogeti.com or 020 7014 8900.

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Posted in: Behaviour Driven Development, Big data, Business Intelligence, communication, Developers, Digital strategy, mobile applications, mobile testing, Opinion, Research      
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As testing gets more advanced and time to market becomes more competitive, there is an increase in the demand for automation. Research suggests that it is a continuous challenge for companies to continually improve the quality and efficiency of software products.

Test Automation can help in achieving this by creating scripts that can run quickly and efficiently. Whilst Test Automation is usually associated with increased effort, the benefit often quickly pays off and there are a number of those benefits – it helps support the long life maintenance of good software and helps to quickly react to the ever changing requirements in an agile test environment.

Can I automate everything?

Automation has been criticised when it comes to test coverage and it is impossible to have complete coverage through automated tests – not everything is suitable and there are some tests for which manual testing will provide higher quality results. In order to decide what to automate, the value vs the effort it will take to create the scripts required needs to be agreed from the start, and the ones with the highest value and lowest effort should be automated first. According to a senior analyst at Microsoft, it is important to also consider cost, time and quality and as with effort analysis above, cost benefit analysis is crucial.

What skills are needed?

Automation Testing is similar to coding – the same amount of care and thought that goes into writing a production code is the same that should go into automating tests. Therefore, to carry out Automation effectively, a diverse range of skills and people are needed; testers to know the right things to test, programmers to develop the code and business users to define the expected outcome.

It is very important to make sure that those performing test automation have the right skill set, and different skills are required throughout the process; a manual tester still identifies key requirements to be tested, while an Automation Tester takes the test cases and writes the code to automate these processes. That’s not to say Manual Testers cannot be test automators, but the two roles are different.

A lot of effort goes into developing and maintaining the test automation suite, but the most important factor to consider is whether this is done by the right person, in the right environment, and done where it is sensible to do so, in terms of saving time and money.

What are the risks?

There are risks and some negatives associated with test automation:

  • The support of the team can fade away if immediate results aren’t seen.
  • Automation is seen as a money saver by many, but large upfront investment in tools can counteract this. Using an experienced team and enabling them with SaaS (Software as a Service) and pay-as-you-go tooling options can help with this.
  • Some automation schedules are demanding which in turn puts pressure on the test team.
  • If an error is made in the automation script and it goes undetected, the potential damage will then affect the end result of the testing activities.
  • Increases in the number of requirements to be tested leads to higher complexity.
  • The maintenance of test data could be difficult.

For help with automation, strategy, tooling and script writing, contact Sogeti today: enquiries.uk@sogeti.com

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Posted in: A testers viewpoint, Agile, Automation Testing, Developers, Managed Testing, Risk-based testing, Sogeti Studio, Technical Testing      
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