Testing the BBC World Service

25-minute New Voice Talk

The BBC World Service reaches a worldwide audience of 456m people every week and our testing strategies must take into account diverse requirements.

Virtual Pass session


10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Tuesday 22nd


Room F1 - Track 1: Talks




  • Collaboration with both testers and editorial across the world helps us with the inevitable gaps in our knowledge
  • We must not only test our software from ideal conditions - these are not representative
  • During user testing, asking for extra open qualitative responses can help us learn unexpected and useful information to use to improve user experience
  • Data analytics of user behaviour can inform test strategy, for example with devices used to access the website
  • Screenreaders can be used for users with lower literacy levels as well as the visually impaired

Challenges, methods, discoveries and understanding our limitations, when testing a news website for worldwide users' diverse needs

The BBC World Service reaches an audience of 456m people every week, with users from many different countries and cultures, that have diverse needs. These users read the news in 41 different languages, from many different geolocations, device types, network conditions and data restrictions. How can 2 testers manage to sufficiently test the website with all of these different user requirements in mind? In this talk, I will present some of the different ways we test the BBC World Service online news, the challenges we face, and the solutions we come up with. This will include testing pages in languages we don't speak, cross-browser and device testing informed by data analytics, testing with screenreaders, reacting to the results of experimentation, and how collaborating with others can fill the gaps.

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