There are a number of factors to consider during a web project. We frequently discuss user experience, manageability, marketing and web content management systems, but what about quality assurance?
The presentation of your website speaks volumes to a potential client. Whether it’s the layout of your store, the aesthetics of your product, or the design of your website, first impressions are crucial. When it comes to a website, a lot of things can unfortunately go wrong. Code can get complicated and errors can be overlooked if no one is specifically looking for them. This is where quality assurance (QA) comes into play.
Quality assurance is a combination of three basic types of testing: requirements testing, design testing, and functionality testing. Requirements testing is exactly what it sounds like: once the requirements and design documents for the project have been approved by the client, the QA tester compiles a list of these requirements. From that point, any comprehensive layouts, prototypes, or alpha versions of the website will be tested against this list. This process ensures that a development team does not finish a project only to discover later that a requirement has been omitted.
The next step is design testing. Design testing ensures that the "look and feel" of the website is correct based on the design requirements and any comprehensive layouts presented, for a vast majority of users. Design testing usually involves browser testing across the three most popular PC/Linux browsers Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Mozilla Firefox, as well as Safari for Macintosh users.
The final stage of quality assurance testing is on the functionality of the website. Functionality testing means that every link, button, calculator, form and other features on the website is tested extensively across multiple browsers. Functionality testing ensures that the website functions as intended and that a typical user is not likely to see an error when browsing.
Quality assurance is an essential part of the software development life-cycle and having a dedicated resource and defined process is essential to the success of any web project.