Presenting Web Consistency Testing

Posted by Kevin Menard on November 30, 2011

Before I started working on Mogotest I spent a lot of time thinking about the current state of Web development and testing and how we might be able to improve upon it. I was frustrated with the seeming lack of progress being made because it appeared the entire industry was stuck on some local maxima. Having a machine learning and HCI background, I tried to think of Web testing in terms of what matters to a visitor and how a computer could automate that process. This initial work formed the basis for what would evolve into Web Consistency Testing and eventually started my career at Mogotest trying to advance these concepts.

Web Consistency Testing (WCT) is a new approach towards testing Web pages. It tests how a page is rendered — how it’s viewed by those visiting your site or using your web app. This is arguably one of the most important aspects of a site. Study after study has shown how a poor user experience is tightly correlated with loss in revenue. More recently startups have been relying on the design of their sites as a way to differentiate themselves from the pack. The look and feel of a site or app is what sets each of us apart, but it’s also one of the hardest things to implement correctly and maintain (regressions are all too common). On top of all that, we traditionally haven’t tested this core aspect of our sites & apps because there hasn’t been a good way to automate it and testing manually is laborious, expensive, and error-prone.

I recently was fortunate enough to present Web Consistency Testing at Google’s Test Automation Conference. The talk goes into the details of how it works and how to build a WCT system, with Mogotest serving as the vessel through which many of these concepts have been validated. I also set up a site at http://webconsistencytesting.com for the community to experiment, learn, and further develop the principles. We had always planned on opening up the work we do at Mogotest and we have opensourced a lot of code, but this is the first time we’ve really detailed how everything works. We’re happy to be the go-to company for Web Consistency Testing, but competition is good, and more than anything else we’d like to see the industry test smarter and spend more time making the Web a better place for all. I hope you enjoy.


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