Good morning,

I'm on my final semester on my BSc in Information Systems. As a part of this semester, me and two colleges are working on a project with a large company providing services mostly based on the SharePoint platform.

Our task is to revise their testing process, with focus on testing the responsive design of their SharePoint solutions, i.e. solutions run in browsers on different OS and different devices with different screen sizes.

My questions is therefore regarding design testing. I've been reading up on the general software testing process, from test case design to script writing. I can not seem to understand how (responsive) design testing is different from the "general" software testing process, if any?

Furthermore, I've been looking at numerous products that might aid the responsive design test process. This product in particular caught my eye:

From a professional point of view, would this product be viable for responsive design testing in a large company environment? Is there a more viable option? I know this question is vague, but I am simply looking for a professional opinion on this, since I have no professional experience with software testing.

Lastly, as @milinpatel17 stated in his answer to this question

No matter which emulator or tool you use, it will never give you proper result as the original device. The reason behind this being the difference in the environment. The environment, that is, the hardware and software that a PC operates on is different than the one's of a phone. Hence, the browsers are also different and they render webpages and their content in a different way. The emulators running on your computer will try to give you as close results to a phone as possible but never the actual result as you will get on phones. So sometimes all the emulators will do is change the screen resolution but it will not render the script as a mobile browser would.

I understand that the best way to test your products and solutions is on actual devices. Is this actually applied in practice? Are emulated environments the second best solution?

To sum up my questions

  • How is (responsive) design testing different from the "general" software testing process, if any?
  • Would BrowserStack be viable for responsive design testing in a large company environment? Is there a more viable option?
  • Are companies testing their solution on every possible handheld device, tablet etc. in practice? Are emulated environments the second best solution?

3 Answers 3


When you have question about usability, you will not go wrong starting your search from useit.com website by Jacob Nielsen and his group, which provides whitepapers (and free summaries) about usability testing for more than a decade. Treasure-trove of good information, stuff like:

If your company has budget, you can but whitepapers and get more professional advice than you can get from random well meaning folks from internet like I am. If you don't have budget, read the free summaries :-) and subscribe to newsletter. Highly recommended reading, I follow it since forever.

  • This sounds very interesting, I will look into it first chance I get. Thanks.
    – Marcus
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 8:45

Basically when you are going to test responsive design then make sure it works in all resolutions , Os , browsers and devices.

Testing diff. is just only one that you must focus on layout that how each and every element display in diff environment.

There are lots of tool available on market which can help you to do responsive design testing but according to my experience Nothing is better than actual devices for tester.

Now, If we talk about devices availability , If you have only 1-2 Ios devices then those are enough to test that how design working in Ios devices because Ios has really good standard way for all its devices , so by just checking in 1-2 Ios devices you can make sure that it will work perfect in all Ios devices.

But when we talk about android devices , you will have to check in diff. company devices because for ex: Design which works proper in Samsung device , will may not work proper in sony Xperia device . so here it require huge collection of devices for perfect testing.

In any company , if they say responsive it means design will work in all environment.

  • If I may ask, would there be any product solutions besides BrowserStack that you would recommend?
    – Marcus
    Commented Feb 16, 2015 at 9:08
  • No , Best solution is actual device. Because all read made tool have their specific algorithm for testing which they never update and shows us that things are working. But in actual many time same thing do not work proper in real device. Commented Feb 16, 2015 at 9:12
  • I understand. But besides actual devices, what's the second best solution?
    – Marcus
    Commented Feb 16, 2015 at 9:17
  • Emulators - second solution. Commented Feb 16, 2015 at 9:17
  • If you are looking for an option secondary to real device I'd suggest you install the android's SDK and ADT bundle on your system. It allows you to setup simulators for various android os and screen resolutions(it will require a good amount of physical memory). For iOS there is xmind but I haven't tried it yet personally. Commented Feb 16, 2015 at 10:59

Response dive design testing; as the name suggests its about testing how a piece of software responds to various platforms and screen sizes. Platforms may include hardware, os and browsers.

For example; you are testing a website then you may find that the design is not the same in Firefox I stalled in Linux or Mac OS than that in windows. Similarly you will have to see the design is consistent on various other browsers and OS.

Then you will have to see how the design responds on various handheld devices.

When you say large company, I guess they can set up a responsive design test lab, where they can purchase and maintain various different handheld device which developers and testers can use for testing. If they find its not feasible then you can go for Xmind for iOS and android SDK for emulators. If that too doesn't work then you can go for browserstack and purchase a license, but it requires a very high speed internet connection otherwise you will be testing a single page on a single devices for more than an hour.

Plus various OS instances can be installed on developer and tester's system in virtual machines. You can use software like VMware or virtual box for this.

  • Thank your for your answer. Indeed the company is well large enough for setting up (multiple) test labs. A concern using test labs would be the time required to test on all different devices. Would you say that BrowserStack would be faster, in contrast to testing in a test lab?
    – Marcus
    Commented Feb 16, 2015 at 11:17
  • I've had a practical experience where it took me 2 days to test a website using browserstack for 4 devices and to test the same website on 4 actual devices it took me approximately 6 hours... That's all I can say! Commented Feb 16, 2015 at 11:23

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