About once a month I’m approached by one of our call centre agents asking me if our website is tested on Macs. Invariably this question is sparked from a call where a customer on a Mac has had some kind of issue with our website. I usually give the short answer, which is “yes”, but the truth is slightly more involved.
Every release of the site goes through our QA (Quality Assurance team) who put the site through its paces and identify any issues. Major issues are passed back to development to be fixed before the release is allowed to go out, minor issues are added to the development queue. This testing is done primarily on Windows XP and Windows 7 using various versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome. If a specific issue calls for testing using a different setup then that setup will be used to test that issue.
Where are the Macs I hear you ask? For that we need to take a step back to where the website is actually developed. There the mix becomes more diverse and includes Windows, Linux and my own machine which is a Mac. These are all pointed at many different versions of the website in various states of completeness on a daily basis which means issues with those configurations are quickly spotted and raised. Our Head Designer also runs a Mac and will always point out any issues he finds. On top of that we also have the ability to simulate virtually any configuration if a problem is reported with it (I’ve had to run some really strange setups for some issues).
At the end of the day though, we still had a call and a customer still had a problem. Sadly it’s usually the case that they have run into a problem with the site that would have happened regardless of if they were on a Mac, or a PC, or any computer. We do try and squash these issues as soon as we find them, but sometimes they still sneak through.
So what can you do if you hit one of these snags? First and foremost it’s best to make sure you’re running the latest version of your web browser (this piece of advice holds for any website). Additionally, if you’re getting errors trying to place an order you can try logging out of the site (click “not me” to log out completely) and logging back in again. I know the whole “turn it off and back on again” thing is a hackneyed cliche but it does have a tendency of working. If that doesn’t work you can always call our call centre. One of our agents will happily place your order for you and they’ll also flag your problem with us so we can try and fix it.