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Blog / We Do /  Browser Resizing: To Test or Not to Test

February 20, 2017 - Cathy

Browser Resizing: To Test or Not to Test

With the prediction that share of mobile search will reach 80% by 2018, all website owners are concerned about making their websites responsive and mobile-friendly. In classical meaning responsive web design approach means that website layout will be adapting to the user’s behavior, platform and screen size. Thus, with changing screen resolution, layout of the website will be transformed accordingly to fit the browser size. It’s logical to assume that testing responsiveness of website means testing browser resizing and how well the website responds to it. However, not all scripts work so well on the fly and in many cases website should be reloaded after resizing in order to receive the final correct version of the layout.

Is Browser Resizing Worth of Testing?

During one of thorough checks of our own corporate website our QA Team considered the question whether they should count the need of refreshing the website after changing screen resolution as a bug. On the one hand, responsive web design assumes that website will adapt to the screen automatically, on the other hand – how many users in fact are going to resize browser? After a quick research, we failed to find up-to-date statistics on browser window resizing online. In order to answer this question, Marketing Team Lead advised to implemented resizing tracking as event in Google Analytics and see whether users are checking browser screen size in fact.

Using the simple lines of code below we set up resizing tracking in Google Analytics:

(function() {
  var resizeTimer;
  
  // Assuming we have jQuery present
  $( window ).on( "resize", function() {
    
    // Use resizeTimer to throttle the resize handler
    clearTimeout( resizeTimer );
    resizeTimer = setTimeout(function() {
     /* Send the event to Google Analytics
      *
      * https://developers.google.com/analytics/devguides/collection/gajs/methods/gaJSApiEventTracking
      * _trackEvent(category, action, opt_label, opt_value, opt_noninteraction)   
      */
      var $window = $( window );
      _gaq.push( [ "_trackEvent", "User Actions", "Browser Resize", $window.width() + " x " + $window.height() ] );
    }, 1000);
  });
})();

This is how event was written in Google Analytics:

browser window resizing event in Google Analytics

Screenshot of resizing event in Google Analytics

16.54% Website Users Resize Their Screens

In one month we measured results, which were quite interesting:

  • 16.54% of organic sessions are with screen resizes,
  • 33.57% of organic users do resizing,
  • 88.16% users on mobile resize the website.

High percentage of users resizing their screens on mobile pointed at possible bugs in mobile version of the website. So we explored deeper and rechecked precise screen resolutions. It turned out that the most “resizable” screen resolutions by device categories were:

  • 320×568, 375×667, 414×736, 360×640 for mobile (close to 100% of users resize on those resolutions),
  • 1360×768, 2560×1440 and 1536×864 for desktop (close to 20% of users resize their screens),
  • 768×1024 for tablet (22.73% users do browser resizing).

The whole picture looked as follows:

Website resizing statistics

 

Share of website visitors resizing the screen by different screen resolutions

Now We Do Test Browser Window Resizing

Results of this small experiment pointed to our team that resizing indeed should be tested, especially on mobile devices with resolutions 320×568, 375×667, 414×736, 360×640. On desktop resizing is reasonable to be tested on screen resolutions with above 5% of new users (1366×768, 1920×1080, 1440×900 and 1280×800 in our case). Additionally, resolutions on which above 20% of users do resizing are recommended to be tested once, as such high percentage points at the presence of some bugs, which provoke users change their screen resolution.

responsive web design QA

To all website owners we again would like to emphasize on the importance of full website testing, especially on mobile devices. If you have doubts which areas to test and what tools to use, feel free to check our list of tools for mobile testing or hire our QA team for in-depth testing of your website. We do testing in a smart way and always recheck Google Analytics data in order to determine popular pages, devices and screen resolutions your visitors use.

Contact us today to get a quote for full website testing including browser resizing!

Request a quote

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