Quality assurance is a never-ending challenge due to the plethora of variables that could cause a domino effect to occur. Something everyone would happily like to avoid, if at all possible. To avoid this risk, conducting a thorough, efficient quality assurance review of your website or app is essential. These seven tips will ensure that your final product is as error-free as possible.
1. Develop a Testing Game Plan
Before diving into testing your product, sit down and develop a testing roadmap that includes specific elements of the product that are ready to be tested. This includes the environments (operating system and browsers), devices (desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile) that your product should be tested on to optimize it for production, functional features, cosmetics, and the user experience. In this blueprint, specify what the intended functionality is for each aspect so that you can quickly determine if the component passes or fails during the testing session.
2. Put Your Game Plan into Action
Ready, set, go! Work through your testing game plan as a checklist ensuring you have tested each element of your product to obtain a passing or failing result. Make sure to try out different testing approaches and document, document, document!
3. Keep the User Experience a Priority
During the process of design and development, the end user’s experience is crafted and defined. Once in the quality assurance process, there are many ways to verify the UX of your product including an expert review, user personas, usability testing, and beta testing.
An industry expert reviews the user interface and makes suggestions based off of any potential usability issues.
The description of the behavior, goals, and uses of the product for a hypothesized group of users.
A testing session with real users who have never seen your product before, to see how easy it is to complete specific tasks. This test session is observed to see where they come across problems.
A remote test session with real users who have never seen your product before, to see how easy it is for them to use the product without assistance and then have them provide their feedback on their experience.
Without ensuring a smooth user experience, your product may be dead on arrival. Factoring in UX testing within your quality assurance plan will secure that throughout the design and development of the project, the user’s experience is developed and satisfactory.
4. BREAK IT!
Making sure things function correctly is one thing. Checking that elements do not fail, however, lets you know that your product is working as intended, which is great, but it only tells you so much. Getting your product to fail, cosmetically and functionally, allows you to get down to the nitty-gritty and learn more about your product. Try with all your might to BREAK IT!
One way to easily break an element is to test content capacity. For example, testing global site search with a term that returns all results, a few results, and no results. This ensures your product can handle those results cosmetically and functionally.
5. A Perfect Storm: Edge Cases
There are rare bugs, referred to as “edge cases” which are issues that occur when the situation is just right, when the setting parameters are at an extreme. These issues may be hard to spot even for the trained eye as the testing conducted may have not hit the right combination of events to trigger the error. To combat edge cases making it through to production, test multiple elements on a variety of environments and devices to configure many combinations that trigger as many errors as possible during testing.
6. Documentation is Key
The individual(s) conducting the quality assurance review will likely be passing off these issues to the development team to fix. Therefore, providing an in-depth bug report is crucial to present the most information efficiently to the next department.
An example of a detailed bug report is below.
Title: More Information Link Opens in the Same Window
Description (*Always add a screenshot with the URL or a video whenever possible of the bug): The more information link within the body text is taking the user off the site instead of opening in a new window.
Steps to Recreate:
Navigate to http://www.example.com/
Click on the More information link in the body text
link opens in the same window
Environment (OS // Browser): Windows 10 // IE 11
Additional Information: This occurs on all OS / Browser
7. Repeat Frequently
Projects go through many iterations and to make sure nothing that was previously working was broken, regression testing should be run regularly. Any newly added element, a cosmetic enhancement or a functional feature, should go through the rigorous testing game plan you’ve created to catch any error. Testing on a consistent basis ensures errors are caught over time and fixed throughout the iterations of the project, instead of waiting until launch week to catch them all.
Conducting a solid quality assurance review is key to delivering a product that is as error-free as possible. Get started today by developing your testing game plan, and catch all the errors before your product launches. Good luck!