Quality assurance is a costly process, and you should allocate only your leftover budget to it, right?
Developers who bug test their web applications after the deployment of the final product are in for an unpleasant surprise.
The relative cost of fixing a software issue in a post-deployment stage is 15 times higher than preventing the same problem during the development stage.
Proper quality assurance workflows will help you streamline bug-fixing in your web application from the start. This means that you won't have to waste web development budget on new releases as new bugs are found (usually by frustrated users).
So, how do you properly implement the best QA practices into your next web project? Read this guide to unveil the seven essential steps of any QA testing process for web-based projects.
What is QA Testing in Terms of Web Development?
Quality assurance is a streamlined process of testing your application to identify bugs and areas for improvement. You must QA test through the entire development process.
QA's primary goal is to align the actual performance of the web application with the business expectations and make sure that the end-user experience is flawless.
Quality assurance is done by dedicated QA testers who are working closely with web developers.
- Define software test cases (based on all the different user journeys and used platforms).
- Test the software functionality manually or using testing automation software
- Submit their findings to developers who fix bugs
- Repeat the same process until the software is ready for deployment.
To put it simply: QA experts ensure the highest quality of web development services.
Now that we know what QA testing is, it's time to dig deeper into the seven main steps involved in this process.
#1: Project Requirements Analysis
Before QA experts test your project, they need to understand what it is all about. They usually do it by creating a thorough technical requirements document, which outlines the following aspects of your web project:
- Platforms/Frameworks– What are the main pillars of your web application?
- Use cases– What issues are you trying to solve with your web project?
- User Journey- All the paths users can take within your web project.
- Development Timeline- Complete Feature Development Schedule.
- Target Audience- A set of assumptions about the end-user.
- Project requirements– Final page load speed, number of web pages, integrations, plugins.
Once QA experts understand the assumptions of your business model, they will proceed to create test cases for your web project. You must provide them with the complete information and answer any questions.
Ensure to sign an NDA if you did not do it previously to keep all your application data safe.
#2: Creating a QA Testing Strategy
The core focus of any winning QA strategy is to deliver an error-free, scalable, and user-friendly web app. This requires careful planning and strategizing.
Here are some things you should keep in mind when creating a QA testing strategy:
- Testing by Device Type: Consider all the different devices on which your web app will run. Create different testing methodologies for each one.
- Test Iteratively: Separate app development stages into multiple sprints (if you are using Agile methodology). Afterward, align your development calendar with the QA items to be tested.
- Test Cross-Browser: Make sure to run separate usability tests for each one of the supported browsers.
- Team Work Makes the Dream Work: Get your software devs opinion on items to be tested.
The QA testing strategy is a top-down view document, which outlines all the possible items you need to test without going too much into detail. Once you approve this document, QA testers create a much more detailed execution plan during the QA design phase.
#3: QA Test Design
Now that you have the skeleton of your tests, QA experts have to turn it into an actionable timeline of items to be tested. This is a critical step of every successful QA test.
For instance, if you are developing the desktop version of your eCommerce web project, here's how part of the testing timeline can look like:
- Week 1: Testing the checkout page interface on Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Chrome
- Week 2: Testing the performance of the website UI on desktop devices of different resolutions and aspect ratios (720p 4:3, 1080p 16:9)
- Week 3: Making adjustments to the scaling based on findings
QA test design is an extension of your strategy created in step 3. Once the strategy is approved, QA testers create this execution plan.
#4: QA Testing Execution
Once QA experts pan out the entire testing schedule, they will proceed to test execution. Here are some things to keep in mind when running your tests:
- Take a fresh look at your web project every time: Invite performance testers who have never seen the app before – they might spot some hiccups that you won't.
- Encourage 360-degree testing: Run your testing plan by the entire development team for a comment – their expertise can help you spot some holes in your strategy.
- Always take notes: Each test you run should be carefully documented and uploaded into a bug-tracking system of your choice. These will help you make the findings useful for future bug-fixing.
QA testing is an iterative process, and you should repeat it when any new feature is added. Doing this will help you save money and time on future web app releases (such releases cost more than proper QA tests). This is why having a rigorous QA testing design framework is essential.
#5: Data Analysis and Ticket Submission
Once QA experts document all the data from the quality assurance tests, it is time to present the information to developers for bug-fixing. Here, QAs will turn all the testing data into a set of technical support tickets.
Ensure to include specific data about the bugs experienced and prioritize more urgent fixes, setting reasonable guidelines for devs. Remember- every QA tester is also a part-time project manager.
#6: Regression Testing
Once QA experts submit their findings and devs work their magic to fix identified problems, it is time to confirm that things are working well. This is when the regression tests come in handy.
From a technological standpoint, regression tests are exactly the same as the original QA tests we already ran. The only difference is that we are not documenting the bugs themselves but measuring the positive changes brought by developers' fixes.
For instance, let's say that after you have fixed your page speed issues, the website speed improved by 4 seconds – these are precisely the kind of changes we want to measure and document during regression testing.
Please note that it is also important to check during the regression tests that new changes did not cause any new bugs. Very often, this is the case, so make sure to check thoroughly.
#7: Deployment and User Testing
Voila! Now that you tested all items on your list and all the dev support tickets were fixed, it is time to release your product to the market!
Even though your web project might be running well from the first glance, there's still a chance that some pesky bugs got through to the final release.
You still want to monitor the app's performance carefully and encourage users to submit reports about any bugs they might have experienced. Once you hear about new issues from your users – you will need to run a few more quality tests. At last – your developers will have to fix these problems and deploy the new release of your web project.
Quick Recap Before You Go Test Things Out
Quality assurance is all about testing your web project to ensure top performance before deployment. This can help you save time and money on future app releases. When you create your QA strategy, keep the following things in mind:
- QA testing requires the involvement of the entire web department
- It spans across all stages of development
- It is a time-consuming and iterative process
- It requires cross-device and cross-browser testing
Following these seven steps outlined in this article will help you streamline your QA testing process to ensure the highest efficiency.