How many times have you downloaded an app just to have it crash before getting to use it? I don’t know about you, but I don’t even waste any more time on the app after it crashes on the first try — I just delete it right then and there. First impressions are everything.
With the increased complexity of web and mobile software, QA (quality assurance) has become a much larger portion of the development lifecycle. So much so that industry reports show a 10 percent increase in spending on QA and testing. A company’s reputation lies within the performance of its app or software. A breach of security, horrible user experience and a handful of additional snafus can tarnish that reputation. Think about Target, Home Depot and even the U.S. government.
According to the World Quality Report, a survey commissioned by top tech consulting firms, QA is rapidly rising to the top of the list in IT departments, and that’s because it’s a great way to ensure that UX, user loyalty and corporate reputation exceeds from the ground up. Although QA wasn’t traditionally at the top of the CIO’s priority list, it’s becoming ever more evident that users demand a flawless user experience with little room for glitches. The increasing stress for a seamless customer experience across all devices, browsers and channels makes QA testing exceedingly important and complex. Especially in competitive environments where the risk of negative feedback could go viral.
The same report showed that “protecting the corporate image” was identified by CIOs and IT leaders as the most important strategic priority, so now it’s really just a matter of connecting the dots between UX and corporate image. Re-prioritizing QA to focus on UX is an incredibly important aspect to preserving or establishing your company’s standing among today’s most discerning tech users. So from CIOs downward, UX needs to be bumped up to the top of the priority list.
Building a prototype is a great way to assist in user experience testing, because prototypes demonstrate to the QA analyst what exactly the user experience needs to be. Properly evaluating a user’s point of view, goals and behaviors before your app is live can effectively reduce the number of download-and-delete users and increase positive reviews. In today’s fickle tech world, corporate reputation can make or break a startup or even a well-established company.
Originally published at prototype1.io on March 4, 2016.