Creating software is a complex process full of intricately woven and wound code, graphics, and other assets, designed with care and attention to detail to provide your users with an experience that they will enjoy and appreciate.
It’s true that if you’re in the industry and involved in the process, the idea of software testing is so obvious that an article explaining why you need to do it is trivial. For a decision-maker outside of the design workflow and process.
However, this kind of spend and budget approval might feel like a bitter pill to swallow for something that you might think is easy to do in-house or for the developers to do.
If you need any convincing that you should always test your software before launch, here are some very good reasons that should satisfy you from a user experience perspective, and from a financial perspective, too.
Discover Those Hidden and Obscure Bugs
Some bugs are glaringly obvious, and you can pick them up on the first run no matter what you’re doing or what your level of knowledge is. It might be a graphical issue where text overflows a button or it might be a menu item that doesn’t function properly. Some bugs, however, are far more obscure and require a very specific set of circumstances to replicate.
These are the bugs you’ll want to use your QA team and software testing systems for. It’s also true that the sooner you get your software testing systems up and running and integrated into your development workflow, the better.
Well before you reach your first milestone of the release of your MVP (minimum viable product), you’ll want to be getting consistent and useful feedback from your QA team. All the way through the alpha and beta phases, you’ll want to be testing your software.
Stress Test Your Infrastructure
There’s a good chance in the modern era of connected software and software as a service that you are going to need some form of cloud service or server infrastructure that is going to deliver content to your application or assist with backups or data synchronization.
Or any other of a dozen different things that cloud infrastructure would be used for. It’s incredibly important that the capacity and ability of this infrastructure can handle the demand that your users will put on it and you have the ability to scale it – both up and down – according to demand.
Before releasing your software or application, this infrastructure needs to be properly stress-tested. You should have a good idea of the demand required.
Use Testing That Works for Your Product
The world of software testing is one that caters to any scenario you can throw at it. Global App Testing, a leader in the field with a deep knowledge of what it takes to correctly test your software before launch, has a great post about types of software testing.
The right kind of software testing will mean a much more productive spend for the results you need. Being able to run tests against specific deliverables like localization tests or regression tests and understanding the benefits of these and more will inform your decisions about what will get you the most benefit for your spending.
Don’t shy away from automated testing either. If your software is right for automated testing, it’ll likely produce results quicker and cheaper than manual testing. It certainly won’t replace the need for manual testing, however, particularly user acceptance testing.
User Acceptance Testing Is Everything
Getting your product in the hands of those that will be using it and getting their feedback is quite possibly the most important testing of all. Once your bugs are squashed and your code is flawless, your users need to actually use your product.
This means that your user interface and design choices take center stage, and real users can give you feedback straight away about their experiences with the application. They can tell you if they found it intuitive or if they struggled to navigate to specific areas or functions.
They can tell you what is missing or what features they thought were unnecessary. This isn’t a function that should be reserved for post-alpha testing either. Getting this kind of feedback can happen early in the development cycle and can help guide further development.
Receive and Use the Feedback You Get
Once you start getting this feedback, don’t let it lie untouched. Use it to action changes and improvements to your application. Remove pain points and improve interface issues where users reported that they weren’t ideal. This kind of feedback is absolutely great and adds a layer to your software testing that you might not be able to get in-house.
Release Your Product to Your Key Customers Early
Being able to get the software to key customers for testing allows you a unique opportunity to get feedback and test results from their actual environments. This is when you start to get real feedback on those cloud-connected services and whether live environments respond well to your codebase.
If there are enterprise customers that can run early builds of your software, get them on board to do so. It’s going to be mutually beneficial when the software reaches maturity, and you’re getting ready to launch, particularly if they are strategic or key customers.
Spend Now and Save Later
Software testing isn’t the cheapest part of development, but it’s definitely not a part you want to cut corners in. The very reputation of your business rides on your product being of a high quality out of the box.
Creating an amazing piece of software that functions incredibly well in-house but falls over in the wild can be easily avoided with a robust testing and QA process.
Prepare Your Support Team Properly
Testing doesn’t stop after the release of your product. Once users start using your software, your support team is going to start receiving support calls. Empowering them and ensuring that they are able to assist customers quickly.
And easily without having to escalate past first-level support will leave those customers that require the support feeling confident and build trust in your brand. Good support isn’t just about solving problems that your customers are experiencing either. It’s also about using this customer support information as another source of test data.
Don’t just discard the support calls you’re solving either. Use them and the data they can provide you to better shape your application after launch. If you find trending support calls, you might also find that the solution is a simple one and a quick patch or change to the user interface is all that’s needed.
Use this information to better improve your product. From everything explained here, you’ll likely now see that software testing covers a wide range of considerations when it comes to your software application and its robustness and ability to provide the functionality that your users expect in an easy to use and streamlined application.
It also proves that the backend infrastructure like servers and cloud services that will support it have enough capacity and the ability to deliver what it needs to the application and its users. Always test your software before launch to avoid costly mistakes that might damage not only your reputation but the future uptake of your product.