When it comes to website testing services, you might not be smarter than the average bear. Or, you might not know if you are.
That’s OK, I can help you sort through some of the techno-babble about getting some help with website testing so you can quickly become smarter than the average bear.
You see, when it comes to software testing, hunting, farming, being a Dad, or training a dog I am smarter than the average bear.
If you ask me about psychology, event management or finance then I’m definitely not smarter than the average bear. Best we stick to the subject of website and web app testing right now, okay?
Cutting Through the Clutter of Website Testing Services
As I scanned internet articles to see what was being written on the subject, I noticed a few things that could be confusing or misleading to the average bear.
Let me sort through those things now to help you find an outsourced website testing company that work best for your unique need and business goals.
Set the Right Goal
First, set a goal. Know what you want. A SMART goal is great – even if you don’t know all of it.
But, you may not have a “goal” and that’s OK, too. Use these simple questions to figure out what you really want from your website testing services.
- Do I want website testing because it’s something I “should” do or because I’m concerned about the cost of losing customers and prospects to bugs and glitches? This answer will help you (and us) understand why you want website testing services.
- What does it cost me to get a new prospect to visit my website or eCommerce store? What is the lifetime value of one of my customers? This answer will help you understand the risk of loss from bugs and glitches that website testing can help you prevent.
- Do I have time before I need to release my website to fix the bugs and glitches that the website testing finds? This answer will help you understand if you will get real value from your website testing work.
There are not any right or wrong answers to these questions. The answers are important but the thinking and reasoning you do while answering those questions will shed light on what you really want and we can easily help you turn that into a website testing services goal.
Here’s why knowing your goal is important. Testing is an activity – and it can be performed for as long as you want it performed – regardless and without respect to your goal. You’re probably more interested in the outcomes of testing – defects, bugs, test plans, test cases, etc – than just knowing someone is testing it. If you know your goal before you start looking for help with website testing services, you’ll get the outcomes you’re looking for. Otherwise, you’ll definitely get some “testing” but you won’t know if it is helping you achieve what you actually want.
Don’t Be Over-Sold by Tool Vendors
Second, Tools! (Hat tip to Tim the Toolman, who always got excited about tools and machines.
Almost everything I read on the internet about website testing services seems to be about how a great tool can solve your problem.
Yeah, like having a hammer get’s you a birdhouse. Not so much. Tools are only as good as the person using them. So, this begs two questions.
- How long will it take to learn how to use the tool? They seem easy in the demo but have you actually tried using it? It may not be as easy as you think.
- Even if you know how to use the tool, will you know where to use it most effectively? Just because you can easily and quickly run a bunch of tests, how will you know they are the right tests applied to the right place in your website?
Humans are more important than tools. Tools help humans be more useful.
The Human Element in Website Testing Services
Third, Testers! Now we’re getting to the heart of the matter.
I’ve learned that there is a difference between a Tester and a Test Engineer. We don’t hire testers and you should look very carefully before you hire them yourself.
Testers do very well when they are told what to do. They don’t do so well when given a testing problem to solve. They just don’t have the mindset, education and ongoing training to come up with good alternatives or judgment to select the best course of action.
Test Engineers are seekers, finders, and solvers of quality problems. They have university level degrees in math, engineering, and computer science and are actively engaged in ongoing training in quality assurance and control. Sure, they cost a little more – so does a nice car – for a great reason. They both deliver more value per dollar than a less expensive choice – like a tester.
Name Dropping in the Buzzword Jungle
Fourth, Buzzwords like Services, Technology, Systems, Industry, Functional, Performance, Security, Usability can lure you into a trap. Remember, you’re hiring website testing services, not a copywriter.
When it comes to website testing services, having deep knowledge and experience in some set of buzzwords is far less valuable than having seen and completed hundreds of website testing projects.
If you’re looking for a match between your situation and what the website testing services company can provide, look to the references and testimonials and give them about 10 times the weight you’d give to their buzzwords matching your buzzwords. Even better, reach out and talk to the reference/testimonial yourself!
Trust Your Brand to a Crowd of Strangers? Really?
Fifth, there’s the whole crowdsourcing thing.
Sure, some things might be better, faster and cheaper when crowdsourced. But, when what you’re interested in crosses the line from “opinion” to “expert advice”, you’re probably going to get better and more valuable results from an expert rather than “the crowd”.
I know (and so do our clients) that a dedicated QA Team with a QA Manager and a Test Engineer, even for a tiny project of a day or so, can deliver a far more valuable set of results than a semi-random group of internet users.
Automate All the Things!
Lastly, there’s automation. Automation really means using test automation, AI or Machine Learning software to perform a task. If you believe what you read, then literally everything can be automated – especially “low skill” activities like data scrubbing, sending emails and software testing.
There are 2 challenges to successfully automating anything with these tools.
- Automation Tools don’t run themselves. Someone has to instruct or configure the tools. Even then, an incorrect or old instruction can cause a bucket load of False Positives. This might cause you to spend more time diagnosing and fixing your automation tool than just performing the task with a human in the first place. If you’re going to use Test Automation, you might want to consider that you’re writing more software to test your current software. Who’s going to watch the watcher?
- Website Testing is a “low skill” activity. I beg to disagree with this idea. Yes, Testers, doing what they are told and manually running a known set of regression tests for the 32nd time is a low skill activity that should be automated. But, that’s not a common problem and probably not your problem. Most website testing challenges aren’t known and aren’t covered by a test case that you know about ahead of time. Most of the defects discovered during website testing aren’t covered by a test case. Testers will seldom find these defects because they aren’t obvious. Test Engineers, however, will definitely find them! Quality and Test Engineering are definitely not “low skill” activities.
So, before you drink the flavored punch that say’s “automate all the things”, double check your goals and constraints. You might not have the time and budget to “automate all the things” and you probably won’t be happy with your first set of outcomes, either.
At TESTCo, we believe in honoring promises. We take the time to make sure our testing work focuses on and delivers the value you need to achieve your business goals. Here’s a page about our website and web app testing services.
We’d like to help you achieve your business and technology goals.