Before you push, know it works!
One of the core goals of browser-based push notifications is conversions, and conversions only happen when your site is accessible. But there are several major browsers, with dozens of different versions, across a diversity of platforms, from Android tablets to chunky home desktops. This makes testing the site you push out a necessity, and fortunately, it’s easier than the scale of the problem makes it sound.
What Are Your Standards?
First, with any testing, the question to ask is what your standards are. Most sites will “translate” slightly differently across different setups for any number of technical reasons. The goal of testing is not to make your site look the same across every browser, because that might well be impossible. Instead, set goals that make technical sense: The text loads and is clear and readable, the images come across, the links work, and any redirects, such as clicking on a YouTube link, function. The standard question should be: Can your customer do what you’ve asked them to do, with an absolute minimum of frustration, regardless of how they access your site?
What Do They Use?
Much to the relief of your web QA guys, you’re going in with a rough idea of what your customers are using to browse your site. As a matter of course, you likely already collect data on which browsers, which versions, and which platforms are being used to access your site. Even if your site is entirely new, you can start with a look at browser market share, which several groups track across platforms, and use that as a beginning point, refining your testing as you go along. There will be edge cases, of course, that you should keep an eye on, but when you’re starting out, going with the most popular is usually a smart choice.
Before you push, test.
“Defensive,” in this case, is best defined as “thinking ahead to potential problems.” It should be said that things are better than they have ever been, in this space; if you’re using a modern browser and a relatively modern platform, you’re probably not going to slam into any huge brick walls, just stumble over the occasional pebble. But it will quickly become clear what common issues will keep coming up, especially if customers complain, so you should design with an eye to resolving them.
It will not surprise you to learn that there are plenty of tools out there that do this for you and help you debug pages and spot major issues. Especially if you’ve got a lot of browsers and versions to juggle, these tools can be a lifesaver; so try a few out, and incorporate using them into your page testing.
Keep It Simple
Much like your push notifications communicate one clear, urgent idea, the site you direct them to should do the same. Before launching a push notification campaign, look at the site and the elements you have and ask yourself what’s necessary. Sure, that video background is cool, but does what it adds to the site outweigh the risk the site won’t work for your customers?
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