I’ve never been a girl’s girl. I never had pictures from Tiger Beat on my adolescent walls, I made fun of girls who went to see New Kidz concerts…and I pinky swear that I never wrote Mrs. [insert dude’s name] inside my Trapper Keeper. I’m an affectionate person, but I traditionally don’t do crushes. But pigs are flying everywhere because I found myself with a super SXSW panel crush: Moving the Web onto Mobile Devices. Now, doesn’t that just sound dreamy?
Why the change of heart? Easy: My day-to-day life consists of doing digital QA and some testing, and I spend many hours all alone in a cube fretting to the tech gods in the sky who listen to the prayers of people terrified that they can’t possibly be accounting for every tech gadget that comes out every week in our fragmented market. Or every possible browser version/hardware combination/permutation. It’s easy to assume all the lauded people in our industry have textbook testing set-ups that I too will discover with just enough internet research and cold calling. That’s why when panelists Kristin Long, Noah Broadwater and Scott Fegette freely vented their own frustrations about trying to test across iPhones, Android permutations and the recent onslaught of tablets, acknowledging that they were all taking some best stabs here and there…that I felt my heart flutter and near skip a beat. Finally, a panel that really understood me and made me feel special and wanted send me flowers. (Okay, there was no mention of flowers.)
I’ve enjoyed a lot of my SXSW sessions as my other posts will attest. But this session made me feel like I am not alone, that entrepreneurs and established, large companies are struggling in the rodeo test conditions of present, too. A part of me knew that already, but something about three panelists saying it in a fancy meeting room out loud made my heart sing. Call me a cheap date.
To keep things short, throwing out a couple nuggets from them:
If you don’t know jQuery, learn it. HTML5 is not necessarily the 2nd coming of Zeus, standards are not in place yet. HTML5 may be great when we are doing a browser-based experience…but it may not serve all your native work. Look for plug-ins/products that you already know have super testing behind them so you have a little pressure off you like Word Press and jQuery mobile. Products they mentioned as helpful were: PhoneGap, Dreamweaver CS5 for ability to view basic mobile sizes (non-Adobe panelist said that!), Device Central, WP Touch and Word Press. A recommended person to research was Ethan Marcotte and the term ‘responsive web design.’
(Putting this in our Curiosity SXSW category because testing will all get figured out one day; we’ll just have to keep exploring what we can do in the interim!)