How important do you see browser testing?
We have now been conducting browser testing on our websites for over 4 years and are conducting a review on how we work. We split browser testing down in the following areas. Functional - All keys processes should be tested to ensure they continue to work. Automated Rendering - All sites should render in the same way on each browser Usability - All sites should maintain the same standard of usability across each browser. We find the quarterly checks on all sites to be time consuming, although have proven useful in maintain the standards of the site. What does everybody else do? How important do you see browser testing?
Where I work, there are three web applications that need to be maintained, with a fourth (which is intended to unify all three existing applications) in development. Each has a distinct purpose: Application 1 is an enterprise-level employee and payroll management web application used by both internal payroll specialists and externally by customers. Application 2 is a much smaller site allowing individuals to view and print their paystubs. Application 3 is an internal-facing portal for managing customers, schedules, and the like. The new application is starting with App 2's functionality and will gradually integrate with, then replace App 1 and 3. I'm the one and only test specialist here, responsible for all testing. My team is 10 people: me, 7 developers, and the leads. My plan is: Functional - for the new app, build automated regression around key functionality as it is released and stabilized. For the existing applications, only App 1 gets manual regression testing, and then only for a small subset of key functions (due to time constraints). I plan to automate this as time permits. Appearance/Rendering - this is not tested in a systematic fashion. I check all new features in the existing applications for consistency with the rest of the site (using all the supported browsers), then hope nothing changes it. Usability - apart from testing that the shortcuts the applications are supposed to allow continue to function, this is not formally tested. The internal users of the applications are quick to notify the team when usability is an issue. In general, I think you'll find that most places will automate functional testing as much as possible, and manually test appearance/rendering in different browsers. Usability testing will vary depending on whether the users are expected to be trained users or general public - for applications where the user base is the general public the specialist testers can often provide enough information about usability. With a user base of trained power users, it's often better to have them perform the usability tests.