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Setting Up Your Workstation

Learn how to set up your devices and create your routine to start testing.

Nikolas Fantoni avatar
Written by Nikolas Fantoni
Updated over a week ago

Motivation

Every time testers accept a cycle, a routine should be followed to minimize mistakes while reporting problems and avoiding issues. In this article, we'll show you some of the mandatory actions that should be included in your routine to help you prevent future requests and rejections from our Team Leaders.

General tips

  • We first recommend ensuring your device has enough battery and is not running on any power-saving mode that could affect its performance.

  • Before recording, ensure your screencast software is set to record in .mp4 format and codec H.264. If you need help seeing which codec and file format your screen recording software uses, we recommend using ScreenPal (Formerly: Screencast-O-Matic).

  • On mobile devices, before starting the recording, please clear your notification center from other messages, emails, testNow notifications, etc.

  • When recording, the frame rate must be high enough to identify your actions and analyze the course of events.

  • You should always test in a quiet and reserved place. You are not authorized to share customer information with others not part of the test cycle or a recognized Test IO employee. That also means sharing data with relatives, friends or even other testers that are not part of the cycle is strictly forbidden.

  • Cabled internet will usually produce better results than a Wi-Fi connection. Also, the 5GHz connection (if you have it available) it's also faster and more reliable. If you have a portable device (a notebook, a phone or a tablet), staying as close as possible to your Wireless access point is an excellent option to avoid network issues.

  • You must close all apps and tabs that are not useful to understand the issue. Notifications from other apps can also be muted to avoid interruptions while recording a bug. When you take an app to test, you must be focused on the app at all times and pay attention to everything happening on your screen, so it's easier to do that if any content that might distract you is disabled.

  • When testing websites, it's a good idea to close all irrelevant tabs on your browser to ensure your device won't suffer from high Random Access Memory (RAM) usage.

  • Taking an internet speed test at the beginning of the test session is recommended to ensure your internet speed is fast and stable enough not to cause unexpected behaviours. For that, you can use websites such as https://fast.com or https://www.speedtest.net/.

  • Your device and/or browser language should be set to English or German for exploratory cycles, depending on the language accepted in the cycle instructions. All errors and relevant messages will be shown in the correct language. However, for Localization testing, you must set the language to one that you are familiar with and is part of the list requested by the customer.

  • Remember that customers might ask you to change the device location and languages to other ones, even on exploratory cycles. Still, such information will be explicit on the test cycle instructions or passed by the TL or CSM through the cycle Chat.

  • If you don’t see a chat bubble in the bottom right corner of the screen:

    your ad/tracker blocker or a browser plugin currently blocks an important tool we are using called Intercom. Make sure to disable your ad/tracker blocker or browser plugin, or to add an exception for the domains test.io and cirro.io

Testing on a Desktop device

For a desktop device, you will usually not need to change any major settings (unless you're running a customized OS). Our recommendations are:

  1. Ensure the screen resolution is set to the device's default and the text/image scale is 100%. Your browser zoom must also be at 100%. This will ensure you see the websites and apps under the correct resolution intended by the customer.

    1. For Windows devices, you must navigate to "Start > Settings > System > Display" and make sure the "Display Resolution" is set to the native recommended value and the "Scale and layout" is set to 100%.

    2. For Mac OS, choose "Apple menu > System Preferences > Displays > Display Settings" and select your display in the sidebar. Then choose Display and set the resolution to the "Default for display" option.

  2. You must have at least one standard browser (Google Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge and Firefox are the most requested ones by our customers) and one screen recording tool. Since you must show the mouse clicks on desktop devices, you might need to install an extra third app tool for that. Some screen recording tools (such as Screencast-O-Matic or Bandicam) can highlight the mouse actions without needing any extra app. Please refer to our Screencasts article for more information. You'll also need to be familiar with taking Screenshots on your Desktop.

    1. For Windows devices, we recommend you use the Snipping Tool to capture the screenshot of the screen you want to share. You can access it by searching for "Snipping Tool" on the Windows search or using the keyboard shortcut Windows Key + Shift + S. Your screen will be greyed out, and you can select the area you want to take the screenshot. A notification will be shown after you've taken the screenshot, and you can click on it to go to the editor tool.

    2. You can open the Screenshot app using the shortcut "Shift + Command + 5" for Mac OS. You can then select the type of screen capture you want (the entire screen or part of it) and take your screenshot. You will be prompted to save the picture, and you can then select the proper folder to save it.

  3. Before you start the test session, please make sure your browser settings are all set to default and you're not running any extensions that change the page behaviour (such as translators or ad/script blockers). We recommend you install multiple browsers and use one as your default personal web navigation and all others for testing purposes only.

  4. Resizing the browser might cause the page to show in tablet or phone mode (which is considered a forced behaviour), so it's best always to leave your browser covering your entire screen (resized to its maximum resolution) to avoid unexpected results.

  5. You must also make sure your screen recording app settings are correct. Remember, your screencast quality must be good enough to understand your issue, and you must always record the entire browser/app page. So, ensure the screencast resolution and framerate are high enough to be watched on most modern devices with no issues or frame drops.

  6. Windows and Mac OS will show the current date and time by default if you're not using any full-screen app. In case you've changed this default option and don't know how to change it back:

    1. For Windows, navigate to “Start > Settings > Time & language > Date & time” and select “Region”

Testing on an Android Mobile or Tablet device

You must complete a few steps for Android devices before testing our customer's apps. Depending on the Android version and the maker of your device, the options might be located in different settings. Please familiarise yourself with these settings on your device. If you have any questions, you can ask for our support help or find anyone with a similar device in our Discord Community server to help you set up yours.

  1. On Android 11+, you might not need to install any third-party app to record your screen in case your device already has an integrated recording tool on your notification bar. However, if your device is running Android 10 or less or does not have a built-in recording tool, you will need to install a third-party app to record your screen. Please refer to our Screencasts article for more information.

  2. To take Screenshots, you will need to learn what your device shortcut is for this action and if you need to press or hold the buttons quickly. The default shortcut options are usually by pressing the Power + Volume Down buttons or Power + Home.

  3. You must also enable the option to show touches by unhiding the Developer options menu. To do that, navigate to the device Settings and select the About device or About phone option. Then under the Software information, you must tap on the Build Number option 7 times. The "Developer options" menu will be unlocked and accessible on your device Settings. Finally, you can navigate to this menu and enable the "Show taps" option. You can find more information on this website here.

  4. To capture logs using a desktop computer, you must enable the USB debugging option under the "Developer options" menu. To do that, you can follow the previous topic to allow the dev to options and toggle on the USB debugging option. Since device logs are mandatory when reporting Crash bugs, we recommend enabling this option while testing. More tools and information about capturing Android crash logs can be found here from our Academy in this article.

  5. The customer usually provides a file with the extension .apk to install on your device. If it's your first time installing an app from a source outside the Google Play Store, your device might block you from doing that for security reasons. If that happens to you, please navigate to the Settings menu and search for the "Install unknown apps" option. You must grant permission to the correct app source of the .apk file you want to install (usually the browser or any file manager app on your device).

  6. The customer might also share the app via Firebase with you, an App Distribution platform provided by Google to help developers distribute staging/beta apps for testing purposes. You will need a Gmail account to accept the invites. We also recommend you install the App Tester app to make it easier to access the builds list. You can get it on this link here (you must access it using an Android device).

Testing on an iOS or an iPad device

You are not required to install any third-party app for Apple mobile and tablet devices since there's a built-in recording tool in all relevant devices for our customers today, which will be running iOS 11 or newer. You are also not required to show the touches/taps on these devices, although using the "AssistiveTouch" option is possible.

  1. To take screenshots, you need to use the shortcut Power + Home buttons for devices with a physical Home button or Power + Volume Up buttons for devices that don't have a physical Home button.

  2. For screencasts, navigate to "Settings > Control Center" and tap the green plus button next to Screen Recording to enable this option. The option will be added to your Control Center, which can be accessed by swiping up or down close to the vertical limits of the screen, depending on your device. Now you can start the recording, and the video will be saved to your device. Remember to mute your phone audio while recording only to capture the sound if it is required to understand the bug.

  3. The customer usually provides a https://tcl.ink link to install the app directly on your device. Upon downloading it, you must navigate to "Settings > General > Profiles or Profiles & Device Management", and under the Enterprise App, tap on the customer's name or test IO GmbH option. Finally, you must trust this developer to unlock the app.

  4. The customer might also share the app via Testflight with you, an app distribution platform provided by Apple to help developers distribute staging/beta apps for testing purposes. You will need an Apple ID account to accept the invites and to download the apps. You will also need the Testflight app installed on your device to access it. Keep in mind the app is only available for iOS 13 or later. You can get it on this link here (you must access it using an iOS device).

  5. To capture logs using a desktop computer, you must have the correct drivers, which can be obtained by installing the iTunes desktop app and then connecting your iOS device via a USB cable. More tools and information about capturing iOS crash logs can be found here from our Academy in this article.

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