WTEU-68 – Sizing up our webpages (again)

WTEU-68 – Sizing up our webpages (again)

Date: Sunday 15th May 2016
Time: 3.30pm – 5.30pm BST
Facilitator: Neil Studd
Attendees: Trisha Agarwal, Purendra Agrawal, Olwen Davies, Sandeep Garg, Halliki, Emma Keaveny, Christian Legget, Amy Phillips

Back when the internet was in its infancy, and 56K modems were the norm, web developers were very concerned with page size and load times. These days, as we sit in offices with fibre-optic connections and retina displays, we seem to be paying less attention to such things, yet they can still cause huge problems – for instance, for mobile users and those in developing countries.

As testers, what can we do to recognise and highlight these problems before they get into the wild? In this session, we looked at a variety of aspects:

  • Discussion about being a proxy for your users: they’re not going to notice there’s a problem until it’s too late.
  • What tools can we use to simulate the experience of mobile users, and users on slow connections?
  • …or do we need to simulate it at all? Surely we all know of a local internet blackspot where the connection is appalling – when I worked in London, “testing on the train” was a real and useful activity!
  • As a development team, what targets/expectations can we set for load times and page sizes (and do we understand our users enough to set these)?
  • Does our architecture support low-bandwidth users – are we doing responsive design well, and are we using caching etc as effectively as we can?
  • How can we get product teams to care about this – can they recognise the problem when they see it?

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About the Author

Neil is a tester from the United Kingdom who has been testing desktop, mobile and web applications for the past ten years, working in a range of agile roles for organisations as varied as Oracle and Last.fm. In his spare time, he participates in freelance and beta testing projects, as a way of learning and developing new approaches to testing.