❝This site can’t be reached❞: Location issues are No Bugs
Sometimes some issues are triggered because of our location, which is hard to spot, especially when starting with manual exploratory testing.
These are the main scenarios of how our physical location (our devices’ location) may affect the website's behaviours:
Geolocation permission errors: Some websites may require access to a user's location information to provide personalised content or services. If a user denies permission for location access, the website may not be able to function correctly, and an error message may be displayed.
HTTPS security errors: When a website requests a user's location information, it is transmitted over the internet as part of an HTTPS request. If the user's location data is intercepted or modified in transit, it could trigger a security warning in the browser.
Content access errors: Websites may be restricted or blocked based on a user's location. For example, streaming services may only be available in certain countries. If a user attempts to access content from a restricted location, the website may display an error message or prevent access altogether.
API errors: Some websites and applications use APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to access location data. If there is an error with the API, such as an outdated or incorrect location database, the website or application may not function properly or may display an error message.
Take, for example, this case at weather.com:
Scroll down to the bottom of Footer
Click on the AdChoices link
Click on the Self-Regulatory Program for Online Behavioral Advertising link, in the section ❝AdChoices: Learn More About Our Ads❞
Let's break it down:
Is this a bug on the customer's website, weather.com? No, it is not an issue that belongs to the website under the scope of the test cycle since ❝This site can’t be reached❞ message is shown on the expected page (www.youraddchoices.com), not at https://weather.com/.
Is this even a bug? This is not a bug; as we discussed above, there are many reasons why customers want to prevent access from specific locations, so they design their products to meet these requirements.
As far as the error is not a 404, the reasons for not accessing the webpage are unlikely to be a bug because a 404 error or ❝Page not found❞ error occurs when a user tries to access a web page that doesn't exist on the server. This can happen if the page is removed or renamed or the user types in the wrong URL. The server then responds with a 404 error message, indicating that the page cannot be found.
TIP: Google or ask Chat GPT about any error you get while testing to understand it and decide before submitting a bug report. This way, you'll avoid unnecessary rejections and learn a ton about browsers, servers, websites... an more importantly, testing!
Asos.com: Browser's Cache?
What's a cache? The browser's cache is a storage area in your web browser where it saves specific files to help web pages load faster.
When you visit a website, your browser stores some of the page's data in its cache to quickly retrieve it the next time you visit the same page. This includes images, stylesheets, scripts and other resources that are part of the web page.
By storing these files in the cache, the browser can avoid downloading them again from the server, which can speed up the page-loading process.
However, if changes are made to a website and the cached files are not updated, the browser may display outdated content, resulting in issues for the end user.
This is why Team Leaders and sometimes customers request to reproduce the issue upon clearing the browser's cache and cookies. This method removes the stored data the website uses to identify the user, especially if it’s a logged-in user when a session ID is stored in a cookie. This session ID lets the website keep users logged in and provides a personalised experience.
If the user is not logged in, the browser is still storing information, so clearing the cache and cookies will remove any website settings or preferences previously saved in the cache, or cookies will be deleted.
Therefore, clearing cache and cookies is often used as a troubleshooting step for resolving issues.
Take, for example, this case at asos.com:
Go to https://www.asos.com
Login with credentials
Tap on the hamburger button
Swipe to tap on ❝JEANS❞, under the men's category
When the user taps on ❝JEANS❞ , for some reason navigates to the ❝SHOES❞ category, which is unexpected behaviour; however, chances are that this was not the case when the user first navigated to these pages.
After clearing the browser's cache and cookies, this bug couldn't be reproduced.
TIP: If the behaviour of a website changes after long testing sessions, chances are that this is caused by a compatibility issue with the latest website’s resources, which is why it is always crucial to reproduce bugs upon clearing cache storage before submitting any report.
How to record Keyboard Bugs screencast?
Sometimes there are bugs produced when interacting with websites using the keyboard keys of the computer.
When this is the case, and because we must show the action that triggers the bug on the screencast, showing the keyboard input is mandatory.
Here is an excellent example of how to create a screencast showing keyboard input:
Good job, abhijitrathoreabsn516!