What Is QA And Why Quality Assurance Is Important in Web Development Process
Quality Assurance ensures that end-users get a functional user interface and the best user experience when using a web app or website.
A website or web app is the business counter for any business that’s done online. As such, it should be a point of elegance and smooth operation. A website might be very intuitive and tastefully made, but it’s going to drive away customers if it doesn’t work as expected or is ridden with irritating bugs.
Quality Assurance (QA) ensures that end-users get a functional user interface and the best user experience when using a web app or website. It examines a website or web application to try and uncover any flaws that might have been overlooked during design and development.
Quality Assurance usually involves:
- Requirement testing
- Design evaluation
- Functionality testing
Requirement testing takes into account the requirements that were expressed by the client as well as other client-approved design documents. The QA tester compiles a list of expectations and requirements and uses them to evaluate the layout, prototype and/or alpha version of a website or web app. Requirement testing is essential throughout the development process to ensure that the project team meets all of their mission objectives.
Design testing looks at the appearance of the web app or website. When testing the design, the QA tester checks whether the look and feel of the web app or website are in line with the proposed design and overall layout. The process of design testing is multi-faceted and includes such activities as browser testing and mobile testing.
Functionality testing evaluates both the UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience) of a web app or website. It usually is the final step in Quality Assurance testing. It is a rigorous process that ensures that each link, button, form and all the other features are operating as they should. The website or app is tested across various browsers and platforms to ascertain that the end user will have no problems browsing or using the site or app.
Quality Assurance Vs. User Testing
Many people, including some web developers, wrongly assume that Quality Assurance and User Testing are one and the same. There’s, however, a difference between the two.
User testing is the assessment of how users utilize and experience and website or app. It involves:
- The evaluation of how people really perceive and use the app or website
- An exploration of the app or site to try and find any unclear or vague points which are likely to confuse a visitor or user.
- Gathering information about how different users experience the app or website and how those user experiences are different from the intentions of the developer.
Unlike User Testing, QA is mainly focused on the site or app itself and not the user. That notwithstanding, user testing is complementary to Quality Assurance. Consequently, Quality Assurance often incorporates user testing data to provide a more comprehensive result.
Why Is QA Important?
Quality Assurance is a prerequisite for any process that is keen on delivering high-quality products. QA testing should be undertaken routinely even after development is complete. Doing so allows you to continually locate and correct any issues that might crop up within your website or web application. The benefits of routine QA testing are far-reaching and include the following:
- QA Assures You That Your Web Application or Website Works Perfectly
Needless to say, there’s a need to confirm that something is working correctly before you push it live online. A QA tester uses various testing tools such as Virtual Machines (VMs) to simulate different online interactions with your app or website. In so doing, the QA tester confirms whether or not the product is delivering all the expected functionalities.
- QA Testing Will Help Boost UX
Quality Assurance measures the usability of an app or website. Usability is in turn directly linked to User Experience (UX). QA, especially when backed by user testing data, will help you find ways to deliver maximum usability and subsequently optimal user experience.
- QA Strengthens Your Brand
Five things happen when you give users a product that doesn’t function properly or one that doesn’t work at all:
- Users will become frustrated with your product
- You will appear inept and/or working with an incompetent team
- Your product will be assumed to be of poor quality and not worth buying or interacting with
- It will look as though you don’t really value or care about your work
- You will eventually lose your customer’s trust and credibility.
Conducting proper quality assurance is thus critical in minimizing all of the above outcomes.
- QA Testing Prevents Disasters from Happening
Programmers and web developers are human, and they too are predisposed to making mistakes. It is not uncommon for them to make errors when coding. They may also write code that doesn’t work as expected or even one that’s incompatible with some of the technologies being used in your app or website. Some of these mistakes could go unnoticed until one day they cause a catastrophic crash or breach of security and privacy. Proper testing is thus recommended to help reveal some of the critical errors that could potentially cause problems within your web application or website.
QA is crucial and shouldn’t be dismissed during the development lifecycle of websites and web application. It ensures that your product delivers excellent usability, functionality, and performance. It’s thus highly recommended that all web development agencies invest in a QA team that will work hand-in-hand with project developers, designers, and clients in delivering high-quality product and solutions developed from scratch.