Understanding the QA and Testing Process
Posted by Danielle Holmes | April 15, 2022
Before we talk about QA and testing, you need to be in the right headspace. So, take a minute. Breathe. Center yourself. And take another breath.
Now, close your eyes and bring to mind the biggest mistake you’ve made on a client deliverable. I want you to sit with it and fully imagine the moment you realized the mistake made it through your process.
I think most of us have experienced this at least once. See the diagram below for your own digital delivery mistake nightmare.
And the takeaway:
QA and product testing is vital
Before we get into what QA is and how we screen for mistakes at Primitive, let’s look at the big why with Web Designer, Morgan Mann.
What is QA?
QA stands for quality assurance. And for the digital products, QA is part of a testing process to screen for user experience issues, problems, bugs, and mistakes. You’ll see QA for products like websites, software, and anything with multiple contributors.
Why Use QA on Your Website or Software?
Academic and industry research tells us that users form their first impression of your site in 50 ms. That’s less than a second. So, that typo that didn’t actually impact the content—it changed a potential client’s initial impression. And if a typo or design is enough to turn a customer away, imagine what a bigger issue in software might do.
Agile Process & QA
The other reason for a QA is your process. At Primitive, we use an agile process. Agile is an umbrella term that refers to the methodologies which engage in an iterative process. This means our experts use a team-effort that is continually evolving, not waiting to show a finished product at the end.
Agile processes are often faster, more efficient, and allow for greater creativity. Rather than working in silos, you’ll find our web copywriter Slacking our web designer to come up with the perfect way to present your top audience categories. Our developers are probably working on creating a page before there’s finalized design and copy.
This many people working on a project means it’s easy for small mistakes to be overlooked. So, in comes QA and testing.
The Primitive QA & Testing Process for Websites and Software
At Primitive we have a planned QA and Testing process for both our web design and software processes. We plan this into our processes because we try not to put our team through the nightmare of delivery mistakes. And to make sure that any Primitive website or software product will pass that 50ms test.
Let’s go back to the idea of ownership. When we create a Primitive website, we want all of our implementers to fully own their own part of the website. We depend on QA throughout the process and a final QA to deliver a flawless product.
For website copy, all copy goes through an early QA where another expert copywriter leaves edits and suggestions. The design is checked for functionality by developers and the web strategist. And similar to the copywriters, developers check each other’s code throughout the process.
Final Website QA Testing
After all the pieces of the website (design, copy, development) have gone through their early QAs, and after we have a fully functional version of the webpage, the whole team does a final QA. This QA is open to the whole web team. Our account manager makes sure the entire team is tagged in a task to check the page. Everyone looks at the staged version of the site and either: fixes any mistakes or issues they see or tags the appropriate person for a bigger fix.
What you need to know: your website has gone through layers of QA before we show it to you. And this all before it’s live to the public. We do final checks for functionality and content before any page is launched.
Everyone fully owns their part of the project—from start to finish. This means greater buy-in for an epic end product before a client ever sees a website.
Software QA & Testing
Much like our website process, software goes through extensive QA and testing phases throughout development. In software, there is a greater emphasis on testing for functionality earlier in the process. This helps catch any issues with code or UX before any issues are difficult or expensive to fix.
Since software also uses copy and design, you’ll see the same process as website design for the design and copy elements of software.
“Because there are so many moving parts in the GDD process, it is crucial that we finish the product completely and that every participant gets to check off on their part of the website before delivery.”
-Morgan Mann, Web Designer
“Desktop to web issues can be easily overlooked when developing a site. Without the QA process, the quality of the content wouldn't meet our client delivery standards.”
-Matthew James, Web Developer
“QA gives me peace of mind that a minor copy issue hasn’t been overlooked. And I appreciate the chance to make changes for copy to better fit the design.”
-Danielle Holmes, Web Copywriter
“QA is essential to the process for two reasons:
To ensure the design was implemented as intended.
To ensure the usability of the product.”
-Jeremey Giovannetti, Product Designer
“QA is absolutely vital to any and all projects. The details are what set our sites apart from the rest. If you are hyper focused on the details— and make sure that everything is clean and precise—this results in far fewer edit requests from a client.”
Why Should You Care about QA & Testing on Your Next Project?
The short answer is you can’t afford not to. It’s more than just passing the 50ms visual test. Bad UX, typos, and poor design all affect credibility. And whether you provide a service or product, credibility is key to converting a potential customer into a loyal customer. What we want you to hear is the time it takes to QA a website or software product is a less expensive investment than the cost of loss revenue. Hold your credibility close and ask any agency you work with about their QA and testing process.