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As a Product Manager, one of my entry-level SQA Testers asked me an interesting question - "Should we be testing for zoom levels? ie, when a user magnifies or zooms out in their browser or an iOS user pinches to zoom."

In the particular site we are developing, she noticed zooming in was fine, but zooming out caused page elements to distort. A good case of a fresh mind asking an interesting question.

This should be a rare instance that people zoom out on our page, but on the larger topic of testing zoom levels, should this be a part of the test procedures these days?

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Leon, I think this is impossible to answer, other than - "it depends whether YOU care". It really will differ for every product, and quite possibly differ again for different features of the same product! –  testerab Dec 23 '12 at 17:43
    
Thanks @testerab. I can understand that similar to choosing which browsers to test being determined by what our audience uses. –  lalalalalalalambda Dec 23 '12 at 18:07
    
@Leon, so why people may want to zoom out pages of your app? What could be their rationale? –  dzieciou Dec 23 '12 at 19:24
    
Hi @dzieciou, as mentioned in my question, should be a very rare instance that people would do this for our website (zoom out), zooming in may be a lot more common especially for iPad/iPhone users, though this does not affect our layout as zooming out currently does. –  lalalalalalalambda Dec 23 '12 at 21:52

4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Yes, Pages should be tested at zoom level. Because its come under the quality of project. Website quality should not be compromise at any level. User can think in any way. So if on zooming Web pages alignment disturb then its come under bad quality site. We should focus on every point for good quality.

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So it depends on the quality goals of the project, you cannot state that ever project has to have good quality. Some projects and stakeholders may not care, a tester should understand the goals and business concerns of the project –  Phil Kirkham Dec 23 '12 at 20:42
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@Usman I disagree. There are no universal quality criteria. Every team needs to decide for themselves whether (and hopefully why) zooming behavior is important. –  user246 Dec 23 '12 at 21:05
    
Thanks @Usman. As a Product Manager, I'm conflicted with feeling that the product should of course aim for bug-free status, at the same time I don't necessarily have infinite resources, so need to prioritize for the use case of the assumed 99.9% of users vs the .1% who are zooming out and encountering layout issues. I think the bug found should be filed and I would not discourage AdHoc testers from reporting similar issues, but will not include it as part of any recurring test plans. –  lalalalalalalambda Dec 23 '12 at 21:55
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@Leon - have you actually determined that only .1% of your users are zooming out and would potentially encounter this issue? Or is that simply a guess? Think of it this way: What would you, as the Product Manager say to a customer or potential customer if they called you up after encountering this issue? You get to make the decision if this is a reasonable test to perform, because you are the one with the most in-depth knowledge of your market's needs. –  Joe Strazzere Dec 24 '12 at 13:21
    
Thanks again @JoeStrazzere, at this point, it's an educated guess based on the content on the site which does not people to zoom out (I would assume the same for say Wikipedia). Your point of what would I say to the customer is a good one, though and helps with perspective. Some more real user testing needed and if anyone mentioned zoom, I would assume more people would and even one potential customer's UX is worth the small time required to fix the issue. –  lalalalalalalambda Dec 24 '12 at 18:28

I agree with Usman. Your site should be tested at various zoom levels since most browser clients and devices support zooming functionality and your customers may zoom regardless of whether you want to support it or not. One of the primary purposes of testing is to provide information, help identify issues that highlight any disparity between what customers expect and what is being produced, and also help identify other various issues that could negatively impact customers.

As a product manager I assume that you have already defined your primary customer profiles or personas. Based on your customer personas it is your (mgt team's) responsibility to then decide whether or not issues reported by the testers will be addressed/fixed. You may decide not to fix these issues, but at least you know the level of magnification when your site begins to degrade visually.

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Thanks @Bj. Primary customer profiles exist, but without a set of personas. I think I can assume for now that zooming IN will be prevalent, but OUT very rare. –  lalalalalalalambda Dec 24 '12 at 18:30
    
@Leon - that surprises me. I'd expect anyone who zooms in, would at least periodically zoom out. With Google Maps I re-adjust my zoom often, for example. –  Joe Strazzere Dec 24 '12 at 18:56
    
Hi @JoeStrazzere, agreed in the context of Google Maps. For our specific site (think Job site, with lots of text info) we can definitely see zoom in cases, especially for iOS users (25% of our userbase). With iOS Safari, it does not allow zooming out passed the baseline zoom level AFAIK, so I'm basing assumption on that. Still, I think based on the feedback here and thinking about it more, in this isolated case, we will fix the bug. Going forward, we will test zoom IN levels for majority of information heavy pages and possibly OUT for specific contexts. –  lalalalalalalambda Dec 24 '12 at 22:26

Ashok, it depends on how much time you have. If a product is tested before deadline and still you think that product need to be tested on good quality measures than web pages can be tested for zoom levels.

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Welcome to SQA, ashok. Is time the only factor that impacts the decision whether to test zooming? –  dzieciou Dec 25 '12 at 10:06

It depends on the requirements or what the stakeholders want. Although ideally, zoom levels should be tested since there are users who use the zoom functionality.

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