Often times we live our lives in a myopic world; thinking the world revolves around the way we see it. For example “Homeland” is a great show, because I love it and all of my friends love it too (for the record Homeland is a great TV show (smile)). Even a show as popular as “Seinfeld”, no matter how many people actually liked the show, there are more people in the world who didn’t watch it then did. According to a Newsweek poll 29% of Americans don’t even know who the Vice-President is. My point is we often get lost in our own view of the world and we forget that the rest of the world may not see things the same way that we do. This same philosophy holds true for viewing the internet as well. The way we browse the internet isn’t the same as everyone else!
We choose our web browsers the same way we choose our food. Some of us care only about the looks or taste, while others of us want to know if it’s good for us or not. Many people pick their browser simply because it came with their computer and never realized they had other options. However you chose your web browser; it’s important to remember that there are other browsers beside your own in this vast world of the internet, and different browsers give different viewing experiences.
Another issue to remember is two people can view the same website using the same identical browser and still receive a different experience. This is because the Operating Systems (OS) handle fonts differently. The way typefaces are displayed it is most often handled by the OS and not the browser.
Two people can use the same browser and still have a different viewing experience. The reason for this is because not everyone is using the same viewport device. In other words one person may view the web on their desktop computer while someone else may view from their mobile phone. The vast majority of the digital population (78 percent) is multi-platform and goes online using both desktop and mobile platforms according to the comScore Media Metrix March, 2015 report. Apple iPad Air, iPad Mini, Amazon Kindle Fire, Samsung Galaxy, Microsoft Surface Pro 2, and Barnes & Noble Nook HD+ are just a few of the many different computer tablets available today; each tablet gives a different viewing experience to the user. Apple iPhone 5 , The Samsung Galaxy, LG Optimus G, HTC One, Google Nexus 5, and Moto X are just a few of the many different smart phones on the market today; each smart phone also gives a different viewing experience to the user. So we can now see it is important when designing websites to keep in mind not only the users’ browser of choice but his viewport device of choice as well.
“Measure twice cut once.”
With so many different browsers, various browser versions, and different viewport devices; how can anyone ensure a pleasurable viewing experience for all users? This is where cross browser testing comes into play. In today’s modern web world it is imperative when designing websites to test as much as possible to make sure the design works in as many different browsers and viewports as possible. Make sure your web designer of choice does this, otherwise your audience may never see what you see and that would be money wasted! I test my designs to work with all the major browsers above. In addition my designs are responsive so they work in most tablets and smart phones.
In summary your web design may be the best design on planet Earth, however without cross browser testing you may be the only person to see it! Don’t throw away your hard earned money. If your web designer of choice isn’t doing cross browser testing it may be time to find a new web designer!