Four Perspectives, One Recommendation for Web Application Quality Assurance
Building an excellent web application is hard, especially if your web application quality assurance isn’t what it should be.
But, you can make it easier if you do a little thinking and preparation about QA prior to starting your web application project.
Your quality assurance and testing methods will determine how efficiently you and your team deliver your web application project and achieve your goals. That’s right. QA is often the critical factor even though it is typically the last or next-to-last phase of a web application project.
The Payoff for Success and the Cost of Failure
You might be wondering, “Is web application QA worth it?” This is a great question, particularly in light of the limited budgets that we all have for our projects. Your web application project is probably important to you and your business. You probably expect to grow your business with this project, right? You’re making an investment in your business and you expect a return, right? This is the Payoff of Success for you!
But, your web application project could fail, too. You probably won’t see a complete and total crash of your server. In fact, it’s what you WON’T SEE that will hurt you.
The payoff for success for using web application QA can be very lasting. This is because web application QA will save you money in the short and long term due to the reduced development costs and the growth it provides.
- Reduced costs: This might seem counter-intuitive because paying for QA services seems to add to your costs. In order to fully understand how QA reduces cost, you must understand the steps within software development where you can be charged. Web application QA identifies and eliminates bugs within your application. Just by taking care of bugs early on, QA starts saving money for your application immediately. With fewer bugs and catching all the other problems early on, the costs for development initially can be greatly reduced.
- Growth: One of the most important aspects of growth is reducing customer churn. With web applications, customers can leave your app for many reasons. Bugs, slow performance and other user related issues are some of the primary reasons that customers abandon apps. QA can test your application at all stages of development to ensure the least likelihood of customer attrition and churn. With QA, your application will retain more customers because it will not have bugs and it will perform much better.
What are your biggest risks without web application QA? In most cases, losing current customers is your biggest risk and not converting new prospects is your second biggest risk. What you probably WON’T SEE is current customer or new prospects that experience a “bug” in your web application. Not a big BUG, but just enough to cause them to feel uncertain or frustrated. They either COULD NOT do what they wanted or they were SURPRISED and CONFUSED when the see an unexpected error message.
This can have several multi-layered consequences that can damage your business. The customers that had difficulties with using your application because of a bug can generate bad marketing for your application. This bad publicity with your application can damage your brand significantly. What do these customers and prospects do when this happens? They LEAVE your web application and your business suffers from that loss.
Web application quality assurance can help you find and correct these before your customers and prospects get a nasty surprise.
And, It’s Easier than You Think
How hard is adding web application QA to my project? Adding testing and quality assurance to your web application project is much easier than you think – even if you’re nearing the end of your project.
Here’s how TESTCo makes it really easy:
- Contact us via our webform and we’ll get in touch within 1 business day – sometimes within a few minutes!
- Schedule a 30 minute phone call with us so we can answer your questions and learn a little more about your project.
- If you like what you hear as we answer your questions, then schedule a 90 minute scoping with us where you “Show and Tell” us about your project. We also have a list of questions we’ll ask so we can prepare a custom proposal for your project.
- Within a day or so, you’ll receive our proposal that contains several strategies that we’ve evaluated and a recommended strategy, plan and estimate for your project.
- Tell us when you want to start!
Your investment of a couple hours could turn into a game changer in the quality of your web application project. We ALWAYS find defects.
Consider These Four Perspectives to Dramatically Improve Your Success
- Technical Accuracy – is your web application built on a technology stack that is mature and aligned with your project goals? What risks does my technical stack add or remove from my web application? Or is it based on your lead developer’s most current fascination with a new technology? Proven technology stacks that are purposely built to match your project’s goals can eliminate up to 50% of your web application quality assurance time.
- Functional Accuracy – are your requirements and specifications documented and stable? Word-of-mouth testing (where your developers tell your testers what needs to be tested) is a terrible strategy and almost always results in post-launch defects. Usually big ones! Documenting your requirements and specifications provide a road map for your web application quality assurance team to build accurate and meaningful test cases that reflect exactly what you web application does.
- User Accuracy – what do your users expect when using your web application? Are they Mobile First or are the desk-bound Knowledge Workers? Do they already know everything they need to successfully use your web application? What kind of prompts, help, support or training might they need? Can those basic user needs to eliminated through features in your web application? What browsers and operating systems do they use? Knowing how your users will use your web application can reduce your web application quality assurance time by as much as 25% by eliminating unnecessary scenarios.
- The Cost and Certainty of Success – You want to achieve your goal. You’ve invested time, money and a little bit of yourself in the pursuit of your goal. You’re close and now you want or need some testing to finish and launch your software. Web application quality assurance reduces the risk of failing to achieve your goal. Do you know what you’ve invested, thus far, to achieve your goal? Does each unique user represent a potential sale? Would a defect prevent that potential sale? You don’t “have” to test your software if you’re OK with the potential cost or revenue loss of a defect. And, you (or we, or anyone really) won’t catch and prevent every defect. How many defects can you afford before you fail to achieve your goal?
The first three perspectives focus on the technical side of making your application work. The technical accuracy perspective focuses on ensuring that the fundamental tech stack of your application is right. This is vital because without the right stack, the rest of the application will crumble. The functional accuracy perspective focuses on strategies and actions of your QA team to make sure the application is flawless post-launch. User accuracy focuses on enhancing the user experience and solving other user-based issues, while the fourth perspective focuses on the business and objectives of the project.
These four lenses examine your approach to QA and your application from a holistic perspective. Each perspective addresses a business or technical need that are required to be solved prior to application launch. By viewing this from all of these angles, you will have an answer to any issues that arise during testing and development. These are important questions to pose to any QA provided and your internal team. If they cannot figure out specific questions like why your application is using a specific technology stack or what can your users expect when using your application, this can lead to more fundamental and root issues with your application. The questions provided should be explored periodically throughout the testing and development stages until the application is thoroughly refined and ready for the market
A Recommendation from Me to You about Web Application Quality Assurance
Get talented help! – You wouldn’t ask an inexperienced designer to build your UI/UX, would you? You wouldn’t hire a HTML coder to build your web application engine, would you? Of course not!
We recommend that you hire the best software testing talent you can find. Be aware that there is a difference between testers and Test Engineers.
If you’re in the middle of a web application project and need quality assurance help, we can help with on-demand testing.
We’ve saved more than one development project at the last hour.
If you’re just starting or just thinking about your next web application project, give us a call. We’re happy to share what we know so your QA plan will contribute to the success of the project.