Responsive web design as the name suggests is an approach to web design that ensures websites and web applications to respond to the device it is being viewed on. This means that the same website can be viewed on different devices such as Desktops, Tablets and Smartphones without compromising on user-experience. A website based on the concept of responsive web design takes into account, flexible grids, images and media queries in order to provide a seamless experience to the user.
Testing is an important part of a responsive web design project and it will be fair to say that web designers spend at least 30% of their time in any given project on properly testing the website or web application across various devices and browsers prior to project completion. The task of testing responsive websites can be quite daunting given the number of devices available in the marketplace, each with their own screen size and resolution especially when we talk of Smartphones and Tablets.
There are a number of tools that can be used for testing purposes and allow you to check for various devices. Here are some of the options,
1- Browser Resize Testing
One of the most easiest and simple ways to test your responsive website or web application is to re-size the browser window on a Desktop and check for any inconsistencies or bugs. The idea is to resize the browser to a break point that might be similar in size to the device you want to check for and observe the results. This is not the most accurate way of testing a web design but can give you a quick overview of the work that has been put in thus far and can help you pick out any bugs.
2- Testing on a Device
Another way of testing the responsiveness of a web design is to run the website on different devices such as Desktops, Laptops, Tablets and Smartphones (Android, iOS, Windows). This method might be a bit flawed or not the most efficient and effective because there are only a limited number of devices you can check a website or web application on especially when it comes to Smartphones. There are literally thousands of different versions of Smartphones available in the world and it is not humanly possible to check for all the devices at once.
3- Using Online Testing Tools
There are plenty of online tools available that can allow you to test the responsiveness of a website of a web application. Here are some of our favourite tools that we have used over the years across a variety of web design projects,
Responsive web design is an interesting area and undertaking quality assurance for these projects comes with its own set of challenges. But these challenges have been taken well by developers around the world thus far and we have seen an emergence of an array of testing tools and methodologies that are certainly allowing the responsive design test process to become more effective and efficient.