Catching Up on Quality Assurance in the Dog Days of Summer
Summer goes by fast, but it can feel really slow when you’re stuck at work — especially when it seems like the office is empty and everyone has taken the week off. But just because there may not be any urgent projects demanding your time or teammates demanding your attention, it doesn’t mean you can’t be productive during the summer months.
So sit back in your chair, picture your happy place, put on some relaxing music, and enjoy the AC as we go through all the testing you can get done when time feels like it’s standing still.
- Cross-Browser Testing: You should be regularly testing on different browsers, but if you don’t often go beyond the most recent versions of Chrome, this may be a good time to look at some more obscure versions. Try out your website on different versions of Internet Explorer to see what it looks like — or if it even works at all. Have you heard of UC Browser, Dolphin, or Camino? They may be worth checking as well.
- Load/Performance Testing: No one wants to wait for a slow web page. Check your application to see which sites are loading the slowest. Record load times and research strategies for improving speed. Consider simulating an extra load to see how the site responds under pressure and find out how prepared you are for peaks in traffic.
- Accessibility Testing: People of many different abilities are going to be accessing your web app, which means if you haven’t done some basic accessibility testing, now is the time to start. When there are so many simple steps you can take to make your website more inclusive, there’s no excuse not to. There are many simple accessibility tests you can start with that will still make a large impact on your users.
- Exploratory Testing: It’s impossible to test everything on your website, but having extra time to look into some of the more unexplored areas of your application is never a bad thing. Go off the grid and see if you can find a new bug. If you run out of ideas for test cases, take it to mobile and see what's still to be unearthed there.
- Pair Testing: Find a developer, analyst, marketer, another tester, or anyone you think could bring a valuable perspective to your testing. Sit down with them and go through a few scenarios, asking for feedback on what works and what doesn’t. Have a discussion on what could be improved, and have them try their hand controlling the keyboard and mouse running through different test cases. Just don’t save this one for a Friday when everyone is “OOO.”
- A/B Testing: Figuring out what your customers want doesn’t have to be a guessing game. By A/B testing two scenarios at once, you get deeper data-driven insights into what resonates with your users. Analyzing the results will help provide more informed feedback and allow you to perform more intelligent testing advocating for your end users, which is the entire point.
- Negative Testing: Sometimes the path less travelled is also the most telling. Your users are unpredictable, and so can your application. While you want to execute predictable user scenarios to make sure common functionality check out, it’s also helpful to test the edge cases. Negative testing pushes your application to its limit and allows you to see what causes it to break or crash so you can report those bugs before a user finds them.
Make the workday go by faster by staying busy so you can leave on time, enjoy the weather — all while being happy with your productivity. The dog days of summer are upon us, but instead of staring out your window wishing to be on the beach, make the most of your week by catching up on testing that has gone under the radar so your end users are getting the best experience.
Alexandra McPeak is a content marketing specialist at SmartBear, a provider of software quality tools.
Alex McPeak is a Content Marketing Specialist at Zaius, the B2C CRM that connects customer data and orchestrates your campaigns. In her role, she strives to assist marketers at every touchpoint in the customer journey and stay atop of the trends of retail and e-commerce.