Ask DN: What process do you use to test your designs cross-platform?

over 7 years ago from , Product Designer at Facebook

I'm looking for service or process recommendations for testing a design in multiple browser and platform combinations. Ideally, this would also include interaction (e.g. sliding a menu) and allow me to select browser width for responsive designs.


  • Hadrien BHadrien B, over 7 years ago

    I personally use Browserstack, a simple website which allows interaction with simili-virtual machines in Flash

    4 points
  • Account deleted over 7 years ago

    I usually go with testing on the actual devices or virtual machines.

    Probably not feasible but other than my main work machine I also keep an old macbook with OS X Mountain Lion, Windows 7 and Linux 12.10 on it and I can boot into any of them using rEFIt. If I’m working on a problem for a specific browser + OS, I just launch that combo on the other macbook and work on my main machine, seeing the results with grunt and livereload.

    If I don’t have access to my other macbook or my VMs (I keep those on an external hd) I just use BrowserStack. Much slower and finicky than the real deal but it gets the job done.

    There’s also the wonderful world of CSS regression testing, but that only helps finding the symptoms: PhantomCSS and Huxley come to mind.

    1 point
  • Caleb WintersCaleb Winters, over 7 years ago

    I really like Edge Inspect for testing on mobile devices. I just stack 3-4 devices on my desk and sync them all with my computer. That way I can browse my site from Chrome and see it rendered on various mobile browsers simultaneously.

    For other browsers we've just been using VMs, but we've started playing with Browserstack more recently. The problem with Browserstack is that—while you can see how your site appears in other browsers—you can't get a good feel for how it actually performs.

    1 point
  • Christina FowlerChristina Fowler, over 7 years ago

    Browserstack :)

    1 point
  • Sasha MSasha M, over 7 years ago

    If you code yourself, Middleman (for static sites) and Livereload are useful tools. I open browsers in iOS simulator, Android virtual device and desktop, and every code change causes a page refresh everywhere.

    0 points
    • Travis Vocino, over 7 years ago

      Of course. I test on everything available to me (this happens to be a Rails app but I do second your love for Middleman). I run LiveReload via Guard and all that as well. That's not really the issue though.

      Not every platform/browser is available to me. Recently I've been having issues with Chrome on Linux using a responsive interface for an app I'm creating. I've received screenshots but it's not practical to develop like that.

      I'm just wondering if there's some magical process people are using.

      0 points
      • Tom NurseTom Nurse, over 7 years ago

        Personally I find running virtual machines pretty useful via VirtualBox. I run a full set of browsers on my Mac then IE6-10 and other Windows browsers on a set of free Windows testing VMs from www.modern.ie ranging from XP up to Win 8. Theoretically you could run Linux in a VM too.

        0 points