Yes, it is finally here. You finally have that software that you being slaving over the design and spent nights dreaming of its features into something semi-solid. As you stare at your beta model, your heart begins to sink as you think of your next steps – letting others use your product. It is time to let you baby free into the scary intense world of the SaaS industry. You are ready to jump into QA testing. QA testing can be a large and daunting task. If you end up doing it wrong, it can be a huge waste of money and even worse it could ruin the foundation of your new business. Here are some QA testing tips that everyone should know.
1. Intense Categorizing
Okay so now you have this software. You are just going to give it to your testers to click around in right? Well, yes and no. It will make everyone’s life easier if you set up a document categorizing the different aspects to your software. Then within these categories create sub-categories. From this spider-web that has dissected your software into categories and subcategories, find a bug reporting software with its own independent web platform. For mobile apps, Effi is the best (and its free!). Create projects titled as your main categories and folders titled as your sub-categories. This will lead to organization across the team and clarification to all parties. These two things are basic needs of QA testing.
2. Create Pre-Test Criteria
When you hand-off software to QA testers (especially at the beta stage) also hand them a document of “Pre-test Criteria.” Pre-test criteria lists what you want to receive from QA testers – what you want them to focus on, what you already know, what you want them to avoid and so forth. It is like an instruction sheet of sorts. One easy way to create a pre-test criteria document is take the document you created in step one. In each one of these subcategories list 2-5 questions you want your QA testers to answer along the way. Even if there is no problem with a particular section, you will still be able to see how comfortable or natural that part felt to the user. It is like killing two birds with one stone: beta testing and QA testing at the same time.
3. Be as Detailed as Possible
When you find that bug (and yes, it is a when not an if because all software has bugs) what should you do? This is where you need to find a bug reporting tool to help you. If you are creating a mobile application, check-out this article on the Top 3 Bug Reporting Tools for Mobile Apps. These apps will help you be able to make detailed reports of each bug. For example, just saying the link on this button does not work is not enough. The link on the button could work perfectly fine under other conditions than that of the one QA tester. You need to have a report detailing how the tester found the button – what were their steps before, what type of phone they have, what is there operating system, and so forth. Remember a bug is never just what is not working but the environment that surrounds the problem.
4. Know When to Test and When Not To
This is the hardest QA testing aspect for every business – to know when and when not to test. There will always be bugs so we should always be testing right? I already have my product on the market so I should not be testing anymore right? No. The truth is there is no true timetable to optimal QA testing. Just follow these three guidelines and you should be close to having the best timetable for your business:
- If you start to feel like your spending a lot of time on testing and not getting different results you should stop.
- If you thinking to hard about the last time you QA tested and you can’t remember how long ago it was. You should probably run a few QA tests.
- You are ultimately your hardest critic and customer. If you feel your software is ready than stop testing. If you feel your software seriously needs more work and not just tiny-detailed design aspects than continue QA testing.
5. Proper Communication
As listed in point one organization and clarification of all team members is the main aspect to successful QA testing and ultimately a successful software launch. A healthy flow of communication between members is needed. Sometimes this can be hard in a software company as we are always on our computers and some people may even work remotely. However, there are so many communication channels on line now. Use these. Some bug reporting softwares even offer communication capabilities. Use those. Ask questions. Praise good work. Point out errors that needs to be fixed. List problems you want to be solved. Communicate the solution to every party and not just the person fixing it. Make everyone a part of the team.
There you have it 5 QA testing tips everyone should know. Implementing these tips may be quite hard but don’t give up or try to take shortcuts. Often times shortcuts turn out to be longer routes in the end. Skipping a step in the beginning can have drastic consequences down the road. Happy QA testing!