Compatibility Testing: Essential in Today’s Multi-Device and -Platform World

Investing in compatibility testing during the development cycle will save substantial time, money, frustrations and potential product delays.

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One of the most significant issues that software developers face is whether their products will function as expected across all devices and platforms. The number of new computers, mobile devices, phones, and console systems continues to grow, while a subset of users remains active on older devices. New device releases frequently introduce new functionality and associated hardware components. Comprehensive compatibility testing is vital in ensuring proper hardware compatibility and software functionality which equates to a larger customer base and an overall improved user experience. Failing to make certain of a stable and functional product will lead to dissatisfied, frustrated customers and may cost the company financially as well as hurt its reputation.

Compatibility testing has an enormous impact on the entire software industry. Every website, software program and system should be cross-functional over all supported platforms. There are a variety of services that comprise compatibility testing:

    1. Configuration testing. Verification of product functionality and stability on a high market share of hardware across supported operating systems and multiple driver versions for associated hardware. Coverage is comprised of desktop PCs (OEM and custom), laptops, tablets, processors, hard drives, memory, sound cards, graphic cards, and related hardware chipsets.
    2. Multiuser testing. Verification testing on a multitude of networking hardware, multiple connection types, user count verification, bandwidth simulation/limitation scenarios, network services testing, investigation of connectivity issues and testing of various requirements to ensure proper functionality and a positive user experience.
    3. Photosensitivity & Epilepsy. Verification with the aid of specialized hardware and software to verify no graphic-related conditions exist in software that could trigger harmful reactions to persons that are sensitive to the display of certain graphics, lighting, and special effects.
    4. First Party Devices. Verification of stability and functionality across all relevant partner first-party devices while providing reliable metrics and a detailed user experience of how the software performs across these devices.
    5. Applications/Antivirus Accessories. Verification of title’s performance and functionality with high market share background applications, antivirus software and user-input accessories. Service includes verification of basic functionality and performance comparison to ensure no high-level issues or significant performance impact occur when running the application.
    6. Mobile devices. Verification of product compatibility, performance, accessibility, and stability on a high market share of mobile devices.
    7. Accessibility Compliance Verification. Verification of product support for all partner accessibility guidelines relating to functionality and network communication to ensure support for Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) requirements. This ensures ease of access for those living with a disability.

Thorough compatibility testing services play an important and vital role in ensuring the best possible user experience and satisfaction of consumers. The smallest market share translates into millions of potential customers. Due to this, hardware coverage and exhaustive test casing are imperative. Dependent on the product and functionality, it is recommended compatibility testing for all necessary services occurs before or at all major milestones. Investing in compatibility testing during the product development cycle will save a substantial amount of time, money frustrations and potential product delays. Addressing and fixing issues after a product has shipped is extremely difficult and costly.

For continued success, you should regularly invest in increasing hardware market share coverage, innovate to improve all services, and ensure all test casing is updated and relevant. This provides better test coverage for the products but, more importantly, a better user experience for the customers while increasing the confidence and satisfaction of partners and clients.


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Paul has delivered projects of all sizes and scopes throughout his tenure at Experis. This includes the design and build-out of the Experis compatibility test offering, design and management of multiple Experis Games Delivery Centers and management of Experis’ infrastructure operations. With his previous roles at Microsoft and Bungie Studios over the past 25 years, he has a solid background in software and hardware testing along with a multitude of test lab design and build-outs. Paul studied International Business, Economics and German at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington.