Tests – they give sleepless nights not only to the pupils at school, students, or future drivers. For online businesses, tests are a practical tool that allows to confirm the quality of the product or the service you offer. Moreover, by increasing your tool’s reliability, your users’ satisfaction gets enhanced, which makes them come back to buying in your e-shop or using your application will be satisfied and will come back again. Why is quality so important in the process of creating an e-store or a mobile app? Who should control the quality and – above all – how to get down to the issue?
In the age of the Internet and increasing digitization, there are many programs, apps, and websites created, and hundreds of thousands of people use them. Today, the Internet is not only a source of information or a place you can get entertain with. For many companies – no matter whether small/medium-sized or large corporations – it is simply a business tool.
E-shops were a crawling business no longer than a decade ago. Today every self-respecting store has its online counterpart. It’s a great convenience for customers who do not have to leave the house to buy everything they need. But what gets the e-commerce outstanding and successful is its top-quality – the key factor that makes a customer stay longer on the website, make a purchase, or use the service offered instead of running away after entering the site.
For this to happen, the website or application used by the user must be of top-quality. It is key to any software – no matter whether it is an online store, a search engine, or a simple landing page with small amount of information. The end-users require ann app or a website to be transparent, stable, and work quickly and adequately, regardless of the device it is used on. Do you know that worldwide over 60% of all website visits come from mobile phones? Before the online tool is released, the people responsible for quality control must verify and make sure that the product works according to the specified requirements and on all most popular devices.
What is quality?
To put it in a nutshell, quality is a set of specific features that define the ability of software to meet requirements, such as reliability, efficiency, and stability. For example, if the app lags once every thousand launches, we can safely say that it is stable. However, what if the app lags once every ten starts? Then it doesn’t look so optimistic. With this simple example, you can see that quality management and control is not a ‘nice to have’. It is a process required when creating software, that ensures that the application meets the expectations of the most demanding users.
There are many different models of software development. One of the most popular is the V model, where a dedicated testing process corresponds to each phase.
At each level, a unique set of test scenarios is created. It is performed manually or automatically using the appropriate tools, which results in verification whether the given level has met the quality requirements.
It is worth taking care of choosing the right testing model because the consequences of the lack of quality in the project are both financial and reputational. The situation gets serious when a software failure can cause someone’s death – for this sake, for example, autonomous systems in cars require enormous investment during quality control processes.
Who is responsible for quality assurance?
Although job names in IT companies are quite fluid, we can easily distinguish two types of specializations in this area: Tester and Quality Control Engineer (QA Engineer). The first one is responsible for checking whether the actual test result is the same as the expected one, while the second has a much broader role.
In addition to testing (yes, QA Engineer is also a tester, i.e., they test software), their task is to control software development processes. The product quality depends not only on the right code with the fewest errors but also on the methods according to which the product is created. For example, having great developers onboard operating without a well-planned and monitored software development process, the result may be a product of very low quality. Similarly, sometimes deficiencies in a team can be made up for by a well-developed process of creating and developing software. The person controlling the given process should identify gaps and shortcomings, proposing better solutions and continuously checking whether the software and the mentioned processes meet all the requirements set by the client and company standards.
How to start the quality assurance control?
First of all, it is crucial to point people responsible for quality in the team. The programs get more and more complicated. Therefore it is necessary to employ a full-time person competent in this area, as opposed to forcing such tasks on the developer or another team member, e.g., a Project Manager.
Quality control begins with the collection of requirements and the scale of the project. It is at this stage that QA engineers determine which of the conditions and functionalities are testable at all. Moreover, they indicate the places where the software may be exposed to the most significant number of defects. Often at this stage, the first defects appear, which saves time and money during the development – the requirements can be changed before a developer starts coding.
The next step is to define the entire test process for the project, i.e., the type of planned tests to be performed and the way they will be implemented. All these activities take place before the coding begins. You really need to define the quality thresholds that will be required. How much code must be tested, what the CI/ CD process is, which error is critical, how many of such errors may be accepted for the given release, etc.
With the start of work of the developers, graphic designers and the whole team, QA begins writing test documentation, such as the given software use cases, on the basis of which test cases are built, defining whether a given functionality works properly.
In the following articles, we will share information about what quality thresholds need to be designed, what tests and processes should be required when creating software. Stay tuned.
If you care about the quality of your online store or application, please contact us.