How QAs can broaden their Testing Strategy : Best Practices
Shreya Bose, Technical Content Writer at BrowserStack - February 27, 2020
In software development, the margin for error becomes slimmer every day. As more websites and apps emerge to serve every possible customer need, companies cannot afford to release software with a sub-par user experience. Every user has thousands of options and will switch to a competitor’s product if they encounter bugs and glitches in the current software. 34% of users will switch to a competitor’s mobile app if they are unhappy with the one they are currently using.
Also, once they encounter a bug, it is unlikely that they will consider you later, even if you have updated your application.
Naturally, comprehensive testing of every website and app has become a necessity from both technical and business perspectives. This article will discuss a number of QA best practices that routinely add value to businesses. Implementing these practices is guaranteed to help organizations provide better customer experience and protect their revenue streams.
Top 5 QA Best Practices to add value to a business
- Perform competitor analysis
By studying competitor products, testers can identify which features are most prone to disturb the user experience. Within an industry, websites and apps are likely to have similar features and offerings. This means that, with a little research, testers can find out what to test on priority. Additionally, they can analyze the strengths and weaknesses of their own product against competitors.
If testers know how other companies are implementing usability, performance, accessibility, functionality, and security, they can ensure those qualities are being adequately offered by their app.
Study the competition through fact sheets, demos, news, web seminars, blog posts and narrow down the features that are most relevant to user experience.
- Review in-app messages
One of the most effective quality assurance practices is to study and run tests on all in-app messages. This is because no matter how well designed the test suites are, multiple scenarios often remain uncovered by test cases. They become visible only during usage.
To resolve this, developers can make a list of all messages they have coded into the software – info, warning, error, verification messages and more. If testers know what messages are to be displayed by the system, they know what scenarios to create tests for. Furthermore, if the testing team finds a message on the list that they did not come across during tests, they know that a scenario has been missed in the test suite.
- Collaborate with customer-facing teams
No one knows customers better than the people that interact with them closely. These could be customer success, customer support, product managers and sales teams in an organization – On the other hand, testers may be biased or have blind spots because they are continuously using the software. Testers might think a feature is expected by users, but real-world users may see it as unnecessary or disruptive.
Customer-facing teams can provide usable, real-world information about what users like and don’t like. This helps testers shape appropriate test cases that verify if the software behaves in accordance with user expectations.
Remember, the customer’s opinion is the only one that matters and should be the primary data used to make usability decisions. Forming close connections with customer-facing executives is an easy way to run tests that serve customer interests and, in turn, boost business.
- Perform extensive UX reviews
Often, product teams build code quickly and only start work on stabilizing the codebase after the software reaches a certain growth metric. Now, in Agile setups, releasing quickly is of utmost importance, at least in the initial stages. But as the codebase grows, higher chances of anomalies, inconsistencies, and bugs will occur.
When the product is being stabilized, testers must pay special attention to eliminating UX inconsistencies.
- A thorough UX review of the application is mandatory.
- Test the icons, text, features, workflows.
- Study user personas so that tests can predict user behavior and offer them undisturbed navigation of the software.
An important aspect to consider is the touchpoints for users. How are they being handled? Do any garden paths exist in the application? Ask the right questions so that users don’t have to.
The user experience is what makes money for a website or app and its parent organization. Extensive UX testing ensures that users do not have to be bothered by preventable bugs. Since good user experience is the source of all revenue, testers have the responsibility of ensuring that the UX is pristine.
- Implement tools for automation
Automation testing frameworks like Selenium or Appium, when used effectively, are a life-saver. They save time, money and human effort. Every tester knows that by automating the right tests, their lives become infinitely easier.
QAs should always be looking for opportunities to implement automation. Tools can be used for a variety of actions –
- Functional checks
- Creating test data quickly
- Replicating production data
- Detecting patterns in test logs
- Triggering actions based on pre-set rules and much more
It is not enough to suggest that certain actions need automation. QAs must be knowledgable about tools available in the market, and how they can best serve the organization’s needs. For example. BrowserStack offers a cloud Selenium grid of 2000+ real browsers and devices for automated Selenium testing. The devices and browsers are also available for automated app testing.
Know what to automate, what tools to use, and how to create good test cases are among the most valuable quality assurance methods and practices in existence.
The QA best practices described above are instrumental in ensuring credibility and healthy revenue streams for businesses. However, each of these practices must follow one basic rule – test on real devices. Customers will access and use websites and apps on real devices. Hence, there is no substitute for real devices as the testing environment.
Be it manual testing or automated testing, real devices are the key to ensuring accurate results. If the software is not tested in real user conditions, testers will inevitably miss bugs which, in turn, will contribute to inferior user experience. Consequently, the business will suffer.