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Testing your web easily

Discussion in 'Software Development' started by spinningjennie, Jan 10, 2002.

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  1. spinningjennie

    spinningjennie Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2001
    Messages:
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    I want to test the usability of an unpublished web under different user situations:

    * different browsers
    * different versions of browsers
    * PC versus MacIntosh
    * different size monitors
    * any other relevant situations (??)

    Is there an easy way of doing this?
     
  2. Gnosisless

    Gnosisless

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2001
    Messages:
    482
    The short answer is no; there is no easy way to do this (as far as I know...I'd be VERY happy to learn otherwise!). This is the hardest part of web design to get right.

    The long answer isn't all bad news, though. Although I don't do this for a living, I'd say as long as your site looks good in 800x600 and up, and works on IE 3 and Netscape 3 and up, you are way ahead of the game.

    The best thing to do is have as many people on as many different setups as possible test the site before you go live. There are no doubt plenty of companies that will do this testing for you, but I imagine their rates are not cheap.

    Someone else here at helponthe.net might know of some free online testing services, but such tests probably only help with browser compatibility issues.

    In the end, regardless of how careful you are, you will be making some tradeoffs. You simply can't please all the browsers, all the time. There are too many flavors, including text-only browsers and wireless devices, and if you plan on using Java and/or Javascript or VBscript, things get even more complicated.

    You might want to check here:

    http://webdesign.about.com/cs/testing/

    The about.com (and netscape.com) sites are a good jumping-off point for finding resources to help you.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Signature

    Signature

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2001
    Messages:
    650
    <font face="comic sans ms" color="#577ac6">For published sites, www.anybrowser.com has a Site Viewer that lets you see how your site looks using Netscape and Explorer 3.x and 4.x, WebTV, and more.
    They also have a Screen Size Test available, as well as other compatibility, promotional, and site polishing tools.</font>
     
  4. jbcalg

    jbcalg

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2001
    Messages:
    2,056
    wow - great link, that's a saver

    spinjen,
    i saved netscape 3, 4 etc along with MSIE 4,5 on an older computer - 15" screen, 800x600 screen res
    - use that as my tester
    - even keep a 56k dial up connected to really see how they work

    FP (and other wysiwyg html programs i imagine) has a setting that 'estimates' how long a page will take to download

    all sorts of methods but as Gnos said - ya can't please everyone
     
  5. spinningjennie

    spinningjennie Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2001
    Messages:
    58
    Thanks very much to gnosisless, signature & jbcalg for your responses. All suggestions very helpful!!

    Though I would rather test a site BEFORE it is published.
    This allows me time to fix the usability problems before the world sees the site. But I suppose this is not possible.
     
  6. Marturo

    Marturo Guest

    When I tested my site it looked best at 800X600. Why does my home page have a scroll bar at the bottom and my other 5 pages fit well into the frame? Also I seem to keep being haunted by 2 Home pages 1 is HTML and the right one is HTM? It starts out by flashing my Fall home page very fast and then goes to my winter home page. I know that I can only have 1 the HTM but FP 2000 seems to make it HTML. It has been a while but I think I had to go into the control panel and in the WWW folder I found the two home pages and took out the HTML one and it worked well until the Winter redo. Different size Home page, starts out with a flash of the old home page then goes into the winter home page. Now that I think of it I might have renamed the Home Page from HTML to HTM. Does that sound right? I am getting beter my fall home page came up as the summer home page and as soon as you were in the site and hit home then you could see the fall home page. Marturo
     
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