Understanding Device Fragmentation in Relation to Web Design

You are reading this article as you want to know more about fragmentation between all the different types of web browsers and operating systems out there in regards to web design.

This page contains a watered down, simplified explanation of device fragmentation.

For a more in depth perspective of device fragmentation, please refer to the link below.

We do our best but there is a lot of different devices out there

We do our best to make sure that your website or mobile version of your website looks great on as many devices as possible but lets first explain how many devices there are and what the term "fragmentation" refers to.

More than 4 billion people across the world access the web through a combination of:

  • 9,000+ distinct devices, shipped with
  • 21 different operating systems (vendor + version), along with
  • 8 major browsers engines that power hundreds of different types of browsers

Combined, they make at least 63,000 possible browser-platform-device combinations fragmentations.

And those are the ones we are aware of.

Based on such a high level of fragmentation between these array of devices, coupled with a lack of universal interoperability on every possible combination of device, operating system, and browser in the market, you have to settle for its watered-down counterpart, compatibility.

When we create a new website we will test:

  • Recent versions of Chrome, Safari and Edge
  • Desktop, Mobile and tablet version

When we update/create a new page on your site we will test:

  • Latest version of Chrome
  • Desktop, Mobile and tablet version

In general, if it works in Chrome, it will work in other browsers, but again, the level of fragmentation between browsers suggest that it will not always hit the mark 100% and we rely mostly on compatibility between the browsers.

If we have designed a site or page layout which does not meet the desired outcome of a positive user experience, then we are happy to go back and use our testing tools to check and make sure that it does work correctly.

Our preferred tool for test is: Cross Browser Testing, known as Browser Stack: https://www.browserstack.com/

  • mobile, web design, fragmentation
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