How do you test a web page that is media rich? – This is an interview question that one of our readers “Colleen” has requested us to answer. And here is us, keeping the promise. If you have more questions please put those in comments.
Since this is us answering an interview question, we want to let you in on a little secret – this question is not about the page. The other questions that belong to this genre are: How do you test an alarm clock or toaster or computer mouse or ATM machine or a can of soda etc.
It is really important to remember that no one cares how well we understand or can use a toaster. This is to understand your test strategy, how do you think on the fly and your decision making skills.
I have the heard the following answers in the past about web page testing:
While these answers are right, they do not constitute the complete, comprehensive and effective answer. Take a moment to figure out what your testing strategy is going to be.
Let us try this. I say this often in my QA class and I will say this again, Testing is a 3 step process.
Step #1: Know the expected behavior or requirements (Requirement)
Step #2: In each of these requirements, WHAT would you test (Test condition/scenario/objective)
Step #3: HOW would you test it (Test case)
Now, typically – we plan, document and execute. But, when you are looking at a real-life object and have to test on the fly, it’s going to be more impromptu and need not be documented.
Here is how I would go about answering this question and this is for an alarm:
“I would first get familiar with the clock. Understand the options. How can we set the time? How does the alarm go off and for how long? Can I snooze, if yes, how long? Can I set multiple alarms, if yes, how many? What happens if I choose a past time, will the alarm go off the next day at the set time? Can I change the alarm tone? Etc. Once I know this, I will have my requirements.
Some requirements lead to one test conditions. For example, requirement: alarm goes off at the set time. I can only check one condition-Setting the time and letting the alarm go off or ring.
Some requirements lead to multiple test conditions. For example, requirement: different tunes can be set. I will have to check for setting multiple alarm times with same tune and different alarm times with different alarm tunes.
So a requirement might yield into one test condition or many. Figuring out what they are is STEP 2. Once this is done, I would write down or find out, the exact operations to be performed in order to perform a test. For example, if I need to set the alarm, what button should I push, how long should I wait, etc.
After all this is done I would first look for the alarm being powered ON and then start testing by following the steps identified in Step 3.”
As you can see, this is quite a mouthful. It looks like a big, huge answer, but trust me it takes about 60-70 seconds to say it all. (Yes, I timed it :) ) But in case you need to better organize your thoughts, you can jot down a few points on a paper which will give you a better direction.
Note: Please let me know in the comments if this answer makes sense or if you would answer it differently.
Now, moving to the case at hand – “How do we test a media rich page”
Media can be images, flash files, video or audio files, social media widgets or icons, dynamic elements (like scrolling content, e.g. stocks) other hyper links etc.
Check this out, this is one example.
Most web pages of this category should satisfy the following considerations:
Important Areas that should be considered while testing media rich pages:
#1. All information should be “Find-able”. This has a lot to do with how pages are organized. The design has to be in a way that the page should be easy to use.
#2. It must work consistently on the most commonly used browsers and platforms
#3. Efficiency – The page should be able to do what it is supposed to do. For example: if you are accessing YouTube- it should let us watch a video as a guest or logged in. It should let you comments on the videos etc. If YouTube lets you comment, like and share the video but does a poor job of streaming and/or displaying the video- the site basically fails. Therefore, it must satisfy its purpose. This is true of all applications.
#4. Since there are various elements on the page, it should not load one before or after a significant time gap that the page appears incomplete and makes the user wait around. The performance should be acceptable. Also, it should not consume the resources of the user’s system so much that they have to kill everything to just to keep this page running. It must be reasonable in its resource consumption.
#5. It must be easy to use and should really keep in mind the user’s needs. For example: some web pages when you open them, they play a tune or song in the background. While it is great, there should be an option to mute or disable it as some users might find it unappealing to have a piece of music thrust on them.
#6. No broken links and broken images
#7. Dynamic elements if are being used should get updated without the user having to explicitly refreshing the page.
#8. Finally, an uncluttered, clean and organic rendition of content on the page can do wonders.
These are just few important points to consider while designing test scenarios/ test cases to test media rich pages. I am sure you can come up with lots of your own scenarios from these hints. Also we have not listed ideas for mobile, performance, load, security testing techniques. Hope you get my point. There is huge opportunity here.
Also read these helpful articles on web testing =>
About Author: Thanks to STH team member Swati S. for answering most common and important software testing interview question about web page testing.
And also thanks to Colleen for submitting this question to us.
As always, did I miss anything? How would you answer this question in the interview? Please let us know in the comments.