Digital presence for an organization today cannot ignore its availability on mobile devices. Increasingly, content is accessed on the mobile, which brings in anywhere, anytime access as opposed to a desktop or laptop. This makes it very important for organizations to ensure their application or for that matter any digital presence they have including their websites to be mobile ready. Of the varied styles in which the content can be designed to render, responsive web design (RWD) is one growing in popularity. Simply put, if you just go with the name, it is one where the design is responsive to adapt itself to the screen resolution of the device it is rendered on. As opposed to a mobile app which has its own downsides/overheads of updates and going through the app store every time a change is made, or a mobile website which has to be maintained in addition to a regular website, a responsive web design brings in a lot of economies of scale – whether it is the overall app design or subsequent updates to be made or any marketing/SEO efforts, it is all done in one go. That said, this is not a solution with a silver bullet. It has its downsides of being an up and coming technology, a user experience that may not be maximized when the same experience is provided across screen sizes and in some cases, older screen resolutions that the RWD may not adapt to.
As a tester, mobile apps testing is inevitable today – this is a given. But the difference one can build is being equipped to test on varied styles of mobile app development such as the ones discussed above. Automation frameworks (including open source) are available in plenty today to support all of the above allowing room for customization as well on top of out of box solutions. Here is a webinar that we hosted in the last year on automated layout testing for responsive web design that will hopefully help you take on mobile apps testing with greater focus and at the same time a diverse approach to test across development styles.