At first, I encourage you to read our previous article concerning the basic composition of the team working on Internet service – “What do you need to bake a delicious cake like website”. It describes the importance and requirements of each team member and clearly states that the whole machinery of application creation can’t work without every person included in the process.
When developers and graphic designers are the obvious assets among the team, testers usually can be treated as of minor importance. That approach can be caused by thinking that 10% to 30% of budgetary resources can be treated as an opportunity to save money rather than covering the costs of quality assurance. Driven by this reasoning, investors believe in their economical way of thinking, but in reality are risking subsequent multiplication of expenses.
At an early stage of the design and implementation, qualified team of QA (Quality Assurance, commonly called testers) is able to indicate inaccuracies in the specification, find the weak spots and suggest changes that will lead to better usability, and therefore cause the site to be more user-friendly.
At first it may seem that it’s quite pricy to use 1/4 of the budget and the time required to create a website. It is easy to recalculate the costs and say, "I do not need testing." More difficult to predict is the magnitude of the consequences of that decision, such as multiplying the costs of implementation of the amendments and, in extreme cases, even creating losses in the company's budget due to the deterioration of the image of the brand. Thoroughly created website can be a great incentive to use the services of the company, but “web blunders”, in the worst case scenario, can even lead to bankruptcy! Having a dedicated QA department in your team can help in eliminating errors, deficiencies and misconceptions, what can be reflected in the subsequent savings. Therefore, it is recommended to find a place for testers in the budget of your project.
Time devoted for testing seemingly postpones publishing the finished product. In fact, the work assigned to QA team is included in the agenda from the very beginning, as well as taking it under the consideration while calculating the costs. Isn’t it better to wait a little longer for completed work and then just be able to see how well our new site is received in cruel world of online communities? Testing allows to find, identify and eliminate inaccuracies or inconsistencies that may have escaped the early stages of work. Having a QA department eliminating the possibility of a situation when, due to serious bugs, website must be temporarily disabled and when users have to be treated with unpopular the message "Sorry, technical difficulties".
Quality first and foremost
The role of testers is not to just find bugs, but also to control the quality - QA team is the first customer and user of the site. They are first to browse through it, sign up, shop, use the administrative panel and look closely at the written code. They are also the first ones to tell if site is consumer-friendly and whether developers need to focus more on usability. Another responsibility of this department is to stress test the site - because of their work rest of the team can ensure the highest quality of the project.
It is worth remembering that, because of amendments in the early stages of development, the process of work can be much faster, easier and cheaper than rewriting the entire code in later stages, when end users submit comments about bad functionality of the site.
Attention to image
You need to remember that users do not forgive. Modernity makes people lazy and causes the need of efficient and quick solutions. More and more services are adapted to be available on different devices - home computers with different systems, tablets or smartphones. The end user wants fast service that is easy to access, convenient and intuitive on every device that he uses.
The range of responsibilities of QA team also includes testing between the platforms. It is their job to verify that the service works correctly on flagship representativeness of different platforms. It reduces the number of reported complaints on the operation of the site. Hours devoted to checking the quality of desktop and mobile versions of the service can help in eliminating most of the problems and inconveniences. It is positively reflected on overall acceptance of the final product as well as on the customer opinion about the work of our interactive agency.
Nothing makes more trouble than defectively functioning website published online as an example of how something is not supposed to work. This is impossible to be forgotten, especially with low patience of internet users. Image that is once tarnished can lead to significant financial losses, and we all want to avoid that.
Designing stage can’t take under the consideration the variety of ways that users can move around the website. It can be predicted in the process of work of QA department, as well as identifying possible errors or threats to the security. Testers inspect not only the front-end part of the website, but also back-end section, where they search for possible gaps in the logic of the page. To answer the question “What will happen, when…?” they check every element of the application, deliberately trying to force errors. Stability of the operation is extremely important in Internet projects and lack of it has a negative impact not only on the reputation of the site, but also on the brand that it represents.
Web applications are with us almost everywhere, regardless the industry. From retailers and e-commerce businesses, to HR departments and social network sites. Applications of this type, that are based on databases of customers and users, are vulnerable to attacks, not just by hackers, but even by companys own employees. No need to explain how serious this threat is and what losses and costs it incurs - data leakage is no longer just a problem of the service, but much more of a serious affair. Such accidents are preventable with the work of QA team and their cooperation with developers on increasing the security. Developers could not notice every mistake in their own code and may lack the distance from their work. This is the responsibility of testers, who can look at it with the fresh eye and prevent possible security threats.
Predicting the reception
Skilled QA department have the capability of “empathize” with end users. They know what the recipient will want and because of that can assess the service without attachment to their own habits and experiences. This ability is extremely useful and helps in evaluation of the website both from the perspective of accustomed user and of the beginner, for whom easiness of usage is extremely important. Testers, with their valuable comments and suggestions, can propose modifications that will increase usability and facilitate navigation through the site. They can predict reception of the site and prevent its negative factors, what will at the end improve the final evaluation of the project.
QA department is necessary in every professional interactive agency and it’s not profitable to give up their participation in the work of creating a website. This skilled team is the first recipient of created service, who can not only find errors, but also significantly improve the functionality of the project, and thus guarantee good reputation of customers brand. The number of amendments can be significantly minimalized thanks to their work, what can also greatly affect the savings in the budget. Initially, they turn invested money into successful, user friendly and safe website that will be gladly revisited by happy customers.