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Ensuring UI consistency Across Multiple Platforms

Jul 3, 20243 min read
by Binju K O
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UI consistency across all platforms is not just about the looks - it helps to prevent it hinders usability, user satisfaction and branding. Several headaches for users, as inconsistent UIs can be frustrating, and may result in errors and a disjointed user experience. 

User trust and usability grow considerably if we manage to achieve a consistent UI among all devices and traditional platforms.

Checklist For Conducting Cross-platform Testing

Given below is a list of ways to achieve cross-platform consistency. 

  1. Define platforms: List all the platforms, operating systems and versions of browsers to test
  2. Generate Test Cases: Generate comprehensive test cases for each platform
  3. Establish Environments: Ensure the test environments are a true likeness to production.
  4. Automate if Possible: Use automation tools for the things that return over and over again.
  5. Conduct Manual Testing: Exploratory testing for unexpected problems.
  6. Check the Responsiveness of the Application: Check how the application behaves based on different screen sizes and orientations.
  7. A Function to Verify: Make sure all features are functioning as expected cross-platform.
  8. Performance: Review load times and resource usage.
  9. Log & Track Issues: Log any inconsistencies using a bug-tracking tool.
  10. Iterate on: Continue to combine test cases based on learning.

Commonly Missed Points In Cross-platform Testing

Some commonly missed points while dealing with UIs for different platforms are as follows:

  1. Font Rendering: Fonts may appear differently on various platforms
  2. Responsive Design: Elements might not adjust correctly on different screen sizes.
  3. Browser-Specific Features: Certain features may work in one browser but not another.
  4. Performance Issues: Sometimes load timings are drastically different.
  5. External Service: Integration done by third-party might not be stable
  6. Touch vs. Click: Touch interactions are not mouse clicks and they should be treated as such.
  7. Form Validation: Input validation may differ.
  8. Security Features: Platform-specific security settings may cause issues.
  9. Cross-Platform Accessibility: uniformly accessible experiences across all platforms.

Various UI design services available in the market can help you design visually appealing platforms while also ensuring uniformity in UI across platforms. Taking these points into consideration can significantly improve the user experience across different devices and platforms.

How Automation Helps

Automation tools like Selenium, Appium, and BrowserStack streamline cross-platform testing by enabling:

  1. These tests are repeatable meaning you can run the same test through the different environments hassle-free.
  2. Testing In Parallel: Multi-platform testing at once
  3. Rapid Feedback Mechanism: Quicker resolution of issues as it provides immediate results.

Main Devices To Consider

  • Desktops / Laptops: Windows, MacOS, Linux
  • Mobile Devices: Android, iOS
  • Tablets: iPad, Android Tablets
  • Supported browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge
  • Screen Sizes: Different resolutions and aspect ratios

Importance of Checking Versions, OS and Browsers

To create consistent UIs across Android, iOS, and the web, it is crucial to check how different versions of operating systems and browsers behave:

  1. Test Compatibility: Check if your app is working in all targeted versions
  2. Catch Version Specific Bugs Early
  3. Retain User Experience: Offer a uniform experience to all users

Cross-platform Testing - Best Practices

  1. Prepare Properly: Clarify the approach to testing.
  2. Focus on Platforms: Start with top-used platforms
  3. Practice on Real Devices: If possible, try testing the real-time last cell.
  4. Use Automation: Automate smoke and regression tests.
  5. Always keep monitoring: Utilize the tools to monitor your application performance and problems.
  6. Collaborate: Work with developers and other QA engineers closely.
  7. This will also allow you to: Keep Up To Date: Aspect of updates and trends on the platform.

Some of the Sample Test Cases for UI Consistency

Test Case 1: Navigation Menu

Purpose: To ensure the navigation menu is consistent between the two platforms web and mobile.

Steps:

  1. Search for the application from the browser (Chrome, Firefox) and on mobile devices (Android, iOS).
  2. Navigation alignment, Size, and working of the fonts
  3. Proper Dropdown, Icons and Link showing.

Expected Result: The navigation menu works and looks the same, no matter what operating system you are using.

Test Case 2: Form Inputs

Purpose: The goal should be that the way inputs are coded for all platforms should be the same.

Steps:

  1. This format can be accessed through web and mobile applications.
  2. Validate the content and behaviour of text inputs, dropdowns and buttons.
  3. Verify error messages and input constraints

Expected Result: Form inputs should have the same style, behaviour, and validation across all platforms.

Conclusion

Balancing UI design consistency in multiple platforms is an important goal which makes software of better quality. Achieving this doesn't come free and has to be both well-paid with attention and a positive freelancer mindset. With the help of the strategies and real-world examples in this article, QA Engineers can ensure that their UI is consistent across platforms.

Author Detail

Author-Binju K O
Binju K O

Software Test Engineer, specializing in ensuring software quality and reliability

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