You are designing a website for a client (maybe you partner with a web developer who does the coding for you). How do you test your final design to make sure everything looks correct on all the different web browsers and operating systems out there?
Unless you have a studio filled with testing computers, you can’t test all the combinations yourself. Here are a couple services you should bookmark that make testing your latest web design a breeze.
Browsershots.org is a free service that generates screenshots of your web design on a wide number of Windows, Mac, and Linux browsers. Enter your web address and click “Make Screenshots.” After 10-45 minutes (depending on current loads) you’ll get screenshots of your site as displayed on a variety of different Windows/Mac/Linux browsers. The interface can be confusing at first, but it is a great free service.
LitmusApp.com is a commercial web page testing service. You’ll pay to use Litmus, but the interface is clean, friendly, and fast. They provide tests on a wider range of platforms — with frequent updates. For designers who bill for their time, the modest fee may be worth it for faster results. Try it out for as little as $9/day.
BrowserCam.com costs more than the other two in our list, but provides testing on the largest variety of different OS and browser combinations. Two other features set BrowserCam apart: The first is a special VNC remote access service that allows you to test interactive design elements such as pop-down menus, rollovers, or flash animations. The second is inclusion of several mobile browsers such as BlackBerry, and Windows Mobile. BrowserCam.com offers a free 24-hour trial, with plans starting at $19.95/day.
Source: This tip inspired by some recent web and email work for Affirmagy.com — a fun new product line created by Seattle design firm Design Duo Inc (Their Love Blanket would make a great valentines day gift by the way!). This information is updated from a tip we originally ran in 2005 from QuickTips #60.