The Impact of QA on Design

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Designers seek for perfection, and as for us QAs, paying attention to details is our job. We both want a quality design, and in order to get there, we first have to address the many issues on the user interface that could end affecting the user experience, meaning that we must ensure designs get implemented as intended.

Why is a good design important?

Consistency is very important to achieve good product designs; Over time as a product is designed and developed, inconsistencies inevitably pop up and can turn into “design debt”.

This happens when teams focus most of their time on speed and feature delivery rather than on visual integrity (which is easier to cut down).

Velocity vs. Quality

It is common to see teams getting into a feature delivery mode, losing sight of the bigger picture and attention to details while trying to close as many tickets as possible before the Sprint ends.

As a team reaches the end of a Sprint and increases velocity, this may create a scenario where the integrity of the design implementation can fall behind as a “time-saving” measure.

This is where QA comes in! Even though we focus on the functionality and the details of the story and system, we can also catch visual inconsistencies that could have been missed, and flag them so they can be fixed. We can review the coded version of the UI and work with the developer(s) to make updates to the UI in the code.

How to make a good review?

Follow these key components:

  • Coordinate with the UX and design teams in order to verify the integrity of the user experience.
  • Employ the scenario-based use cases written during the user research phase to test the implementation.
  • Check interaction with the developed product rather than static screens or prototypes.
  • Read everything and look at everything.
  • Try to trigger front end flaws/errors.
  • Create an effective bug report.

And finally… Work as a team

To ensure the quality of a product, encourage your teams to involve designers when things are being coded, and developers throughout the design process; The more isolated they are from one another, the more challenging the whole process will be.

  • Designers must talk through potential design solutions with devs prior to starting the design process.
  • Have a designer review the attached design on a ticket before it is placed in “Ready for Dev”.
  • Do designer/developer pairing (review the design in code and make changes in real-time) prior to pushing the ticket to QA.

Combine the expertise of each area to reach the common goals and deliver high-quality products.

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