Quality assurance testing your e-publishing website with Selenium

Example of a browser window displaying a web page

As quality assurance assistant and junior developer for Semantico I spend a lot of time developing and implementing QA tests. Testing an e-publishing website can be time consuming.

Even a simple test of search functionality has several steps; go to the designated URL, log in, search, verify the search results, check hit highlighting, start an advanced search, verify those results, check hit highlighting again, start another search with a different term… well, you get the idea. It’s repetitive. And there are many aspects to test, not just the search facilities.

After a while you might find yourself thinking that there should be a more efficient way to test your website. You can hire someone to do all your QA tests for you of course. But will they test your website in an efficient way? Will they follow your test cases to the letter; the tests you have spent hours designing, editing and documenting? If only there were an automated tool to do all this – and one which did not require a degree in Computer Science to operate. Read more

Web accessibility for online publishing sites

computer_monitorWhat exactly do we mean by ‘accessibility’? It’s not easy to define, since the term can cover many areas and aspects of a resource or product. But when it comes to web sites, “web accessibility means that people with disabilities can use the web”.  (definition courtesy of the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative). Simple as that. So then why is it so difficult, seemingly, for developers to create a web site that can be accessed by everyone, regardless of whether they have a disability or not?

To be fair, it’s not always the developer’s fault. There are times when their hands are tied, even though they may have the best intentions at heart, by budget constraints – or by a customer who is not willing to pay a little extra money for features that will make their website more accessible. There is also the lack of tools in their working environment which would enable them to fully test a web site (the cost of these tools is not inconsiderable). The aforementioned problems and hindrances can all add up to the development of a product that does not meet accessibility standards. Read more