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Ensuring Excellence: How To QA a Website

QA

QA (Quality Assurance) is the process utilised to ensure a high quality website is delivered.

Quality assurance, user experience, user acceptance testing, usability – these are all related disciplines. QA is a concern of every area of a project from design, development and testing. The end goal always being the same, to deliver an optimal experience to the end users. It’s a good idea to get someone from outside your organisation to test every page, every feature, every aspect of your website from the viewpoint of a real live user.

The more complex the site, the more time will need to be dedicated to the testing process. Whilst a basic brochure style site may be thoroughly tested within an hour, a larger site with custom functionality, advanced interactive elements or eCommerce may require several days of QA testing before it’s ready to go live. We have comprised a QA checklist which covers the main areas we evaluate throughout the testing process, helping us to deliver a flawless website every time.

Design

The initial phase in the QA procedure is checking the structure of the site against the idea of the concept, that have been agreed by the customer. We'll be reviewing that all elements used and have been designed to spec. This can be anything from fonts, font-sizes, alignment, page flow, image usage or even the colour scheme. A mistake here can be costly further into the project

Navigation

Navigation and outlay of the path a user will take through the website is an area we typically agree with the client early into a project and is something we constantly review to ensure no features detract from this. The main aim of navigation is to enhance accessibility, it should be simple for a user to find the information they are searching for in just a few clicks. A hard to navigate website will create a frustrating experience and will ultimately deter users from using or returning to your website.

Content

Good quality content is always imperative. Quality content should be informative, well structured and engaging. We always review content for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors whilst ensuring appropriate colour schemes and font sizes are adhered to, to ensure readability is never compromised. 

Link Validation

Broken links are bad on a range of fronts ultimately leading to a bad user experience. We will check your website for broken links and rectify any which are found to ensure a pleasant, flowing experience for users. This includes everything from linked images, documents, buttons and everything else.

Forms

Forms need to be thoroughly tested for functionality as an integral endpoint of engagement with users. Testing a form includes checking all input fields are correctly posting, required and non-required fields are functioning correctly, the email which a customer receives is well-formatted, spam scoring of emails and of course the emails sent are delivered to the correct email address.

Interoperability

Extensive testing to the website delivery and performance is integral to a good website experience. We exhaustively test browsers, devices, and different screen sizes.

popular mobile devices:

  • iPhone X, XS
  • iPhone 8, 5
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+, S9, S8
  • iPad Pro 12.9
  • iPad Pro Safari & Chrome

Desktop/Laptop Screen sizes:

  • 1366×768
  • 1920×1080
  • 1280×800
  • 1024×768

And browsers:

  • Google Chrome – C72, C71, C70
  • Firefox – FF64, FF65
  • Internet Explorer – IE11, Edge 17
  • Safari – S12, S11
  • Opera – O58

During this part of the testing process we also check on:

  • Intrusive pop-ups
  • Phone numbers and email addresses are linked up correctly
  • Buttons and icons are large enough to be clicked by people with larger fingers
  • Site navigation is simple and content layout has been optimised
  • Performance of interactive elements and custom functionality is not hindered depending on the device or screen sized used

Bespoke Feature Testing

If we have created any bespoke features into the website we intensively test the usage from the perspective of the end user. We test from different scenarios to ensure its functioning optimally to the specification. This can include anything from testing forms, creating accounts, making a booking, subscribing to a newsletter.

eCommerce

eCommerce sites typically require more time and attention than a brochure site, this is due to the sheer number of pages created by products and the functionality behind each. We test for the following for any eCommerce site we create:

  • Individual product pages have no errors or missing content
  • Shopping cart is updated upon increasing the quantity, editing the contents or making a purchase
  • Coupons and discounts are functioning as they should
  • There are no duplicated products and they’re displaying correctly
  • Filtering options are working correctly
  • Currency converters are set correctly
  • Social Media sharing options have been enabled
  • Shipping costs are being calculated correctly, based on region and tax rates
  • Notification emails are being triggered and received as specified

Undisputedly one of the most important factors in testing an eCommerce site, is checking the payment gateway process. We’ll be testing the payment process from start to finish, as if we were a customer using the site, considering:

  • Whether the payment gateway is working as it should, looking at all different payment options offered, such as PayPal, SagePay, Credit Card, Online Banking etc.
  • Whether the customer is prompted to register for an account during guest checkout
  • Whether account creation is simple and appealing to the user
  • Whether login and checkout options are functioning correctly
  • Page timeout limits
  • Whether confirmation emails or texts are sending and delivering correctly.
  • Order statuses are correct at each step

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

Prior to launching any website, one of the final checks we make is to ensure that the site is fully optimised for ranking well on search engines.

This includes checking that:

  • Google Analytics & tracking has been set up – to track and monitor website visitors, engagement, and goals on an ongoing basis.
  • The site has been added to Webmaster Tools and a sitemap has been submitted – this helps Google to discover a completely new site and index the pages faster. For a redesign of an existing site, this helps Google figure out what page urls might have changed and how the site’s structure has been altered.
  • The site is displaying properly on mobile devices and Google can ‘see’ the elements on the page – We typically use Webmaster Tools ‘fetch and render’ for this process.
  • Meta Tags have been populated and optimised for keywords – If it’s a redesign, it’s an important part of making sure that the existing rankings are preserved.
  • Loading speed is up to scratch – another ranking factor, it’s important the site loads fast on both desktop and mobile for a good user experience and to help rankings.
  • The site has been validated for syntax errors –which ensures that the site is crawlable by search engines.

In Summary

Sites that don't work, don't convert. You will find the QA process is a good catch for picking up any initial bugs, errors and delivering a pleasant user experience. You may need to re-evaluate your site from time to time as your business grows typically so will your website. If you need any assistance with bug fixes, updates or anything else, please don't hesitate to contact us.

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