How Does Location-Based Automation Testing Help Web Development Projects?


I have listed some flavors of location-based tests, along with examples. Also, I've listed popular automation testing tools that support these types of tests. Ultimately, it will serve as a start-up automation guide for those new to automated location-based tests.

With the goal of globalization, many web development organizations have aimed at a broader geographically spread customer base. We have seen this trend in the diverse fields of e-commerce, health, and education, to name a few.

Web development organizations ensure high-quality testing of the website before being rolled out to the customer. However, how do they ensure the website will function and display perfectly across locations worldwide? This is where location-based tests come to the rescue. Thanks to automation testing tools, location-based tests are easy to implement and use.

Since testing location-based test scenarios are challenging when done manually, in this article, we will explore test automation platforms like TestProject.io that help resolve the challenges associated with manual testing. By relying on these tools, organizations can save time and money.

location based tests

The Need for Location-Based Tests — Scenarios


Web development companies aim to provide users a seamless experience, free of glitches when accessing websites or mobile applications from anywhere in the world.

Apart from the location associated with GPS info, the location may also be linked with:
  • Cellular stations network data
  • Wi-Fi location
For example:
  • An e-commerce portal needs to ensure that it displays the correct currency symbols as per the country of access.
  • A social media website may require geotagging to be enabled so that users may tag themselves from a particular location and share it with their friends.
  • An airport may enable an internal map for users to follow. As a passenger walks through the airport, it references each store/office in the terminal.
  • A health tracker mobile application may detect your location based on your walking or jogging actions.

In situations such as the examples above, applications that provide geographical locations and use them in creative ways require thorough testing.

Many mobile users are now opting to turn on location in their mobile device to get a better user experience when accessing websites internationally.

Did you know that these location-based services are expected to grow to 155.13 billion USD by 2026, up from 44.47 billion USD in 2020? The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.2% is projected for this period. So it is all the more important to meet customer expectations!

Flavors of Location-Based Tests


Location-based tests are plenty. But performing them manually is a challenge because of the resources involved. This section will list several flavors of location-based tests.

The flavors of location-based tests are:

1. Geolocation tests based on the GPS location


Here the user scenarios are tested by simulating access to the website from a particular geographical location. Automation test tools usually provide a map on which you can hover over to choose the location to be tested.

2. Geolocation tests based on the IP


Here, the user scenario tests are based on simulated access from a particular IP of your choice. Automation testing tools usually allow you to choose among several countries of origin for testing.

3. Geoblocking tests


This technology ensures that access is restricted to users from a particular geographical location. For example, you may notice that certain websites may block you when accessing their website from a particular country, as per specific government guidelines, e.g., gambling and cryptocurrency websites.

4. Geotagging tests


Geotagging is seen extensively in social media. For example, have you seen your friend on Facebook tag themselves visiting a restaurant?

5. Geotargeting tests


Geotargeting is a way of targeting customers as per their geographical location. For example, you've probably noticed that certain ads pop up as per your current location.

6. Localization testing


An e-commerce website may require that the product purchase functions detect the country of origin to display the default currency and language. Tests need to be designed around these scenarios.

7. Geolocation push notification tests


The apps may have certain notifications that appear as per the geographical location changes. These need to be tested as well. For example, as the mobile device user moves toward a particular grocery store, a notification may pop up from the food delivery mobile application, suggesting a recipe for a new dish or current offers running in the store.

8. Geofencing tests


This technology works by triggering a pre-programmed set of actions when entering virtual boundaries set by the application. For example, Alexa's routine functions are associated with your location. Or you may want the lights in your house to go on when you're nearing your home.

Confirm these scenarios are functional by executing them from various locations around the world. But is it feasible manually? Definitely not. This is when test automation tools can come to your rescue.

The automated location-based tests will:
  • Let you choose the location from which you'll need to test the scenario, and
  • Execute the test as though you have accessed it from that geographical location.

Now, those are just some of the basic geolocation tests that QA can execute.

Advanced Location-Based Tests


Let us think a step ahead. What are the advanced scenarios to test? Below you'll find a listing of tests that QA testers need to plan upon:

1. Security


Test if the location shared by the visitor to the site is not leaked. When users share their specific information on your website or mobile application, they wouldn't want their privacy to be at risk. In that case, tests should be planned such that QA testers test these valid security and privacy concerns.

2. Permission


You may have noticed that certain apps ask if you would like to share the location-based info? This scenario also has to be tested.

3. Accurate location


To ensure that the location detected by the website is accurate. There could be cases in which even the slightest variation could create issues. For example, in an emergency, you may need to share your location through a social media app such as WhatsApp. Location accuracy would be of the utmost importance.

4. Cross-platform testing


As necessary as it is to test the website across several locations or IP choices, it is also crucial that while you do so, the scenarios across several devices and platforms are tested as well. In effect, the all-important responsiveness of the website undergoes testing.

Note: A responsive website's design has a dynamic capability that changes its appearance based on the screen size, screen orientation, and access device.

5. Location updates, changes


To ensure that the app quickly picks up the shift in location upon a site change.

Examples of Automation Testing Tools


This section will list tools to try for hands-on experience on geolocation-based tests. Here are some tools that you can rely on:

BrowserStack


BrowserStack is a powerful tool that is used with ease for most location-based cross-platform tests.

Once the setup is ready, all you need to do is choose the location and test the website. You can choose among the several areas and IPs of your choice and choose which browser/device you want to try.

For example:
browserstack

TestProject.io


TestProject.io is an end-to-end test automation tool that also enables location-based tests. Below is a screenshot from the tool. It allows you to choose between longitude and latitude while building automated test cases.

testproject

One can use the Mobile Test Recorder and the Web Test Recorder to set the IP location as mentioned above.

This tool can also be integrated with the BrowserStack tool.

pCloudy


pCloudy is a useful location-based test automation tool. As with the other tools, you can choose among the operating system, the screens, the screen size, and the device location of choice to test the application.

pcloudy

Per the above screenshot, we can choose among several mobile networks.

Appium


QA Automation testers can also use Appium open-source tools for location-based tests. The best part about this tool is choosing among the various programming languages as you build the tests, including Java, Python, JavaScript, Ruby, C#, and PHP.

For example, we can script the following as per the programming language. We note the location coordinates associated with the latitude, longitude, and altitude in the code as follows:
  • Java - Here, associated with the java WebDriver object, we note the location to be set as the following:
    driver.setLocation(new Location());

  • Python - Here,
    self.driver.set_location()

  • JavaScript - Here,
    driver.setGeoLocation({latitude: "123.21", longitude: "15.56", altitude: "34.23"});

  • Ruby - Here,
    set_location()

  • C# - Here,
    driver.Location.Altitude = 91.23;
    driver.Location.Latitude = 134.21;
    driver.Location.Longitude = 14.56;

Thus, Appium is one of the most powerful tools to use for automation testing location-based tests. Tools such as TestProject have built-in capabilities associated with Appium.

Conclusion


Thanks to powerful automation testing tools like those listed in this article, location-based tests are not cumbersome. The Cloud has enabled the functioning of these tools and secured the testing process as well.

Already, most mobile device users choose to keep their location-based info switched on. And as noted in this article, we can expect demand for these services to more than triple within this decade.

Thus, QA Teams must build robust location-based test scenarios to ensure a seamless user experience for a growing customer base worldwide.


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