web testing represented by cartoon computer

Web Testing Basics

From a simple form on a website to a whole new customer relationship management (CRM) or enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, web testing is key to maximizing benefits and minimizing problems. And, as a business, you can save a lot of time and money (and prevent a few hits to the reputation) by doing a better job testing new software implementations.

But, like most things, there’s doing it – and there’s doing it right.

Who Conducts Web Testing?

The team already involved in product or system deployment is the first to conduct web testing, as well. This is because those involved in purchasing and designing or developing the system will test to be sure things work as expected at a very high level. For example, ‘Did the lights come on and are they green?’ If yes, then it’s working.

All too often though, these are the only folks who end up testing the website or software application. Quality assurance stops there.

For most systems, a group of users who are familiar with the functions of the system should help create test cases, or a condition used to determine if a software application and its features are fully functional, because they understand the goal functionality. They are also the best barometer of how easy the new system is to navigate and use, and help determine whether or not the functions they use daily are easy to access. Beyond this, external, third-party testers are trained to thoroughly test the system.

Why is this? Because ‘fresh eyes’ will inherently boundary test the system by not having learned orders of operation. They will push wrong buttons, use incorrect data, and submit forms in the wrong sequence. The trick, though, is to ensure these fresh eyes also have QA testing experience and can turn their findings into actionable bug reports that can be instrumental in speedy fixes.

Software Testers Don’t Test for Success

Perhaps the biggest mistake most businesses make regarding internal testing is that they test for success, not failure. If you test to make sure a system works, the most likely result will be that it does – in that very specific scenario.

Consider this example: when testing a new phone system with your employees, they should ideally call the main number, enter their work extension, listen to the recording, and leave a message. All good, right? But what happens if a customer uses the new phone system but they don’t know the right extension? They may get into the company directory but misspell the person’s name and end up in an endless loop of recordings. Not good.

Trained QA engineers help make sure that a test plan focuses on trying things that should not work, and then make sure the resultant bug reports clearly illustrate the function that failed and how to make it fail again. This allows the design and implementation folks to ensure that the system responds correctly to real-world usage.

Web Testing in Various Environments

To give the truest result, many different environments should be tested. Test on the worst computer in your user pool, not the best. Test on spotty networks that your clients might have, not your rock-steady internal network connected directly to the servers. If the system has a mobile component, test on every device possible: smartphones of different flavors and resolutions, different browsers, and operating systems.

No matter how hard you try, there will still be things you didn’t anticipate or that internal testing didn’t identify. However, a thoughtful, organized test plan developed by QA testing experts improves website testing results while minimizing time and money spent.

Web testing is a general term used to describe a broad scope of website testing types. There are many different types of software testing that can be conducted on websites. Experienced testers and project managers can help determine exactly which web testing services are right for you. Contact our sales team to learn more.

In your experience, what’s the most important thing to remember about web testing and quality assurance? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.