True quality comes from quality-minded people. Here are some best practices we recommend QA to follow while testing any application.
1. Focus on the user’s experience
Testing is crucial during all the steps of a project, but the most important thing to consider is the user’s experience. If the UX is bad (causing pain and frustration), it inevitably means the quality is sub-par. Never lose sight of why you are conducting testing in the first place, that means putting end-user interest first.
Always consider the software from the user’s perspective and take into account how it needs to work in order to deliver on the promise of helping users do something better, faster and easier in their daily lives. You also need to recognize that the user’s experience is not just about a person going through different steps, but rather using the software to improve something they do day by day.
2. Bug Prevention
Preventing software bugs can be a tricky task since they can occur as a result of all sorts of reasons. Some of them could come from improper testing, messy codes, miscommunication or inefficient specifications. We know QA is trained to ‘catch’ bugs; however, a resourceful QA will also think about preventing them in the first place. The trick here is thinking about how to understand them, and not how to fight them.
3. Smart Testing and Quality Over Quantity
Complete and comprehensive testing can sometimes be challenging, since many teams may lack the time or resources to go through with every possible combination of cases. However, you should pay special attention to how and what you test. This means, communicating with the team in order to find small test cases or user flows that will uncover most of the bugs. These cases come from the collection of happy, alternative and exceptional paths.
When testing focuses on more critical bugs rather than on smaller or cosmetic ones, and the user discovers some of them before we do, those bugs should become our priority to get fixed as soon as possible.
4. Manual Functional Testing
Manual testing is mostly done by using exploratory testing methodology, and the errors found are either fixed right away or prioritized and recorded to the task/story/error management tool. The exploring part of the app or service can start right after something functional is “ready”.
5. Error Management
Issues which are found are recorded into a specific board with the severity, priority, environment, steps to be reproduced, actual result, expected result, time, date, and a screenshot of it. Tools like Jira, Trello, PivotalTracker, Github are actively used for error tracking.
6. Work as a Team Member and Questioning
Work closely to the team and any other stakeholders; testers can take a big step towards eliminating these challenges and in order to keep an eye on the bigger picture and test while taking into account the user’s experience, you must ask questions to have a complete understanding of how something works.
7. Adopt: Technical Product and a Client Attention Mindsets
Work closely to developers, run the required tests to catch deeper level issues and fulfill modern testing requirements faster. Testers with more technical capabilities often help the delivery team by debugging software and offering solutions, as well as setting up automated tests for new software.
Start by understanding your client, their business and their needs. Focus on achieving the customer’s delight, balance priority, risk, value and learning opportunities to determine the next steps in building the right product. Create a product roadmap with frequent releases. Deliver value, no features, as product value is not measured in the number of features, but it is in how simply those features solve a problem.
Remember: every component of the application needs to be adaptable to the ever-changing business needs.
When a customer presents a concern or an issue, it is important that you use active listening skills. Listen to what they are saying, repeat back to them in your own words their concern, and then clearly explain how you can help them. It is important that you put yourself in your customer’s shoes, so you can understand their pain and frustration and see things from their point of view.
Also, you should continuously work in order to gain more knowledge and understanding about your company’s products, procedures, and policies. Customers will trust you and your expertise.
8. Build Credibility with Business Stakeholders
You need to know how to present your case to business stakeholders. This often involves lengthy meetings during which you need to discuss why fixing one bug should take precedence over another one.
9. Choose your Release Criteria carefully
You cannot test everything in a production release, and fortunately, you do not need to do so. Focus on the areas where the most significant changes were made. Before a new sprint, our team has a meeting with the product’s owner to understand which parts of the product will be touched by new or updated features. Use that information to prioritize the testing efforts. If you know something worked well in the last release and you are not using it in a new release, then you do not need to spend too much time testing, so set your release criteria on the new code which is added.
10. Perform Sanity Tests and Simulate Customer Accounts on Production
Perform post-release sanity tests on production account to validate that everything works as expected, including all third-party systems. First, perform tests by using an existing production account, then create a new account to validate that the process will continue working correctly as new customers sign up.
Since you’ll maintain customer data in your databases, you must ensure that it remains compatible with any new versions that the team release. Use this account to continuously generate data and populate your databases. When a new version is released, run updates to check that no data was harmed, and if you find any data-corrupting bugs, those become your highest priority.
The best quality assurance testing practices should inculcate building software applications which adhere to the specifications whereas looking at the product from the end-users’ perspectives, all while ensuring to comply with all the fundamental principles and industry practices.