Quality assurance (QA) is important now more than ever. If the quality of a web application has bugs or glitches, the user may take no time at all to leave and switch to another.
Fact: 13% of users will tell 15 or more people if they’re unhappy. On the other hand, 72% of consumers will share a positive experience with 6 or more people.
Often QA is only considered as to check, to see if there are any bugs in the web application — however, this is not the case.
QA is also to make sure that the web application is fast, seamless, secure and user friendly too, with different testing techniques which are used to test different software scenarios.
Why QA is a must for web applications
QA acts as a bridge between software developers and users. Developers often miss what the user is expecting from a specific functionality. QA allows test-users to test those scenarios and inform the development team, so appropriate action can be taken.
This makes the QA role essential and here are a few significant factors that explain why QA is necessary for web applications.
To enhance the user experience
User experience matters the most.
Making it seamless, easy access to the next steps and helping the user instead of making them work more is one of the prime examples of a good web application.
QA testers keep that in mind and test the whole flow of the web application in order to make their suggestions.
To test out unknown scenarios
The development team always try to cover all scenarios. However, most of the time there are unknown scenarios which wreak havoc when the web application goes live.
Take Samsung Galaxy Fold by example:
- It was a perfect blend of optimal performance and the future of mobile phones. However, there was an unknown scenario.
- Little did Samsung know people would try to peel off the screen’s topmost layer as it looked like a screen protector.
- Low and behold, because of this unknown/untested QA issue, the Samsung Galaxy Fold became a poor product. The same can apply to untested/poor web applications too.
QA makes sure to look for unknown scenarios (often known as border scenarios) and find as many as possible before a web application goes live.
To avoid hacks and vulnerabilities
The internet is a vulnerable place for data, but also hackers.
Perhaps one of the most important risk factors in a consumer’s mind is their data’s privacy. As what’s the point of a data-driven web application when a user’s data is not safe?
Fact: Juniper Research predicted a 2-trillion US dollars loss to companies because of cybercrimes in 2019. They predict it will increase to 150-million US dollars more by the end of 2020.
This is where security and penetration testing comes into play.
QA users of all backgrounds (including developers) try to hack into their own system, in order to find any vulnerabilities that can lead to the output of sensitive customer data.
Regular security testing is necessary for all web applications (at all times, before and even after the web application has been made live). This is because software attacks and viruses keep evolving.
Fact: Deloitte Advisory analysed that the impact of the cyberattacks can be seen long after the attack, almost after two years. Their analyses also mention that 90% of the impact is not even quantifiable.
To test if any new development has a bad impact on an already running web application
To keep up with today’s fast-paced IT world, regular updates are a part of all web applications. However, that often leaves a room for harmful impacts on already running software features.
- Imagine if a development team has added a postcode field to a student registration form within a web application.
- Little did the development team know this would mess up a search feature for searching students by their ID number.
- Now, the web application starts to bring up sensitive information, such as the student’s home postcode for the public to see.
QA makes sure that even newly developed web application features have no bad impacts on the previously developed features.
QA makes brands more professional
Imagine a user is visiting an e-commerce store. They’re wanting to buy a wristwatch and this e-commerce store is the number-1 seller through Google:
- The user clicks on the website and in the search bar, they type the product’s name.
- Instead of returning results with the available watches, the website crashes due to too many products loading at once within the one page.
- With that crash, the customer has left the website.
- They’re now not going to buy any products from that website, as the brand is now not considered to be reliable, nor professional.
That’s all it takes — a single crash and all the marketing, development and hard-work is wasted.
With a web application that has passed QA testing, scenarios like the one mentioned above are avoided, therefore, establishing the brand as a professional one.
This scenario could have been easily avoided by adding pagination to the search results page, however, was overlooked by the developers due to poor QA testing.