When you’re creating any type of product, it’s essential to verify its functionality before releasing it. If you’re designing an app, developing new software or rebuilding a website, quality assurance testing is a critical element of the process. By using a variety of methods to test your product prior to launch, you can ensure that it functions optimally and delivers the intended user experience (UX).

While most people are aware of how important quality assurance (QA) testing is, they aren’t necessarily aware of how to implement an effective QA testing regime. Of course, the process of quality assurance is only as good as the individual elements you use to test. Essentially, if you want to get meaningful answers, you need to ask the right questions.

With this in mind, it’s important to understand the best practices for QA testing. When you do, you’ll have the knowledge needed to identify which types of QA tests are most relevant to product. In short, knowing more about quality assurance testing will enable you to release apps, software or programs that are fully functional, secure and offer an impressive UX. To learn more, take a look at the best practices for QA testing now:

1. Identify Clear Goals

Without clear objectives, you won’t be able to determine when your QA testing is complete or what the results really tell you. Do you want your testing cycle to confirm that your software is free from defects? Are you running a QA cycle to confirm your program runs reliably every time it’s launched? Should your QA processes confirm that the intended audience will be satisfied with the product?

All of these examples are valid QA goals, but they are distinct from one another. From a creator, developer or client’s perspective, the obvious answer when it comes to QA is to test everything and ‘make sure it works’. However, identifying clear goals enables you to streamline the QA testing process and cover all aspects of the product. Furthermore, working with creators or clients to define QA testing goals helps to manage expectations and sets of clear criteria regarding the testing that’s to be undertaken.

2. Manual vs Automated Testing

Once you know what your QA testing goals are, you can determine how to achieve them. By devising a testing strategy, it’s easy to decide which tools and testing formats will give you the answers you need. As part of this process, you’ll need to assess whether manual or automated QA testing is most useful.

In most instances, both manual and automated tests should be carried out. Typically, one type of QA testing is better suited to a particular aspect of a product. Automated QA tests can be used to assess technical functionality and reliability, for example, whereas manual QA tests are best-suited to user-based assessments, such as the feel of a product or usability tests.

Although a combination of manual and automated testing enables you to use the best methods to fully assess a product, it can also reduce costs, speed up the testing process and streamline workflows. When repetitive tasks can be automated, for example, manual QA testers are not required to undertake this work. For creators or companies, increasing automation where possible can increase efficiency while minimising expenditure.

3. Use the Latest Tools

The world of quality assurance testing is evolving all the time, which means you need to stay up to date if you want to undertake valuable assessments. As new tech is developed, innovative testing processes must be created prior to mass launches.

Keeping an eye on industry news is a useful way to stay on top of what’s happening, but following specialist QA blogs can give you easy access to the content you really need. To find out which software QA blogs can keep you at the top of your game, take a look at this post from Global App Testing now. Known for their cutting-edge approach to QA, Global App Testing offer multi-platform, localised testing in more than 189 countries. With a team of professional testers and bespoke automation options, they deliver comprehensive QA testing packages and have an innovative, interesting and insightful take on the latest developments in the industry.

4. Use Regression Tests

Testing one thing at a time gives you a measurable outcome that’s easy to verify. In terms of QA, having a defined objective, testing one thing and obtaining a measurable result makes your testing valid and valuable. However, testing something only once isn’t enough to confirm its functionality, reliability or the level of user satisfaction it delivers.

Imagine testing an app prior to launch. With all bugs identified and fixed and positive feedback from manual testers, your app launches to rave reviews. In the weeks that follow, you develop new features to add to your app. Once again, you put them through their paces with rigorous QA testing before releasing the update to users.

This may seem like an effective way to test but, in reality, there is a critical step missing. Testing new features, without verifying the impact they have on existing ones, leaves your product at risk. While the new features may function optimally when tested in isolation, what impact will they have on the functionality of the app as a whole? It’s not uncommon for new code to affect how the existing structure of an app works, which is why regression testing is essential.

By conducting regression testing, you can ensure that any changes made to your app, software or product don’t have a negative impact on what’s already there. Furthermore, regression tests give you the opportunity to confirm that no new errors or bugs have been introduced by implementing these changes.

5. Create Useful Test Cases

QA professionals use test cases to undertake defined testing. With clear guidelines, test cases instruct testers how to carry out a test, what the goal is, how to measure the results and how to record these results. Essentially, a test case underpins the actual test procedure. When it comes to manual QA testing, it’s vital to have a wide range of test cases in operation. If you want to be able to confirm that a particular feature works for users from various demographics, for example, you’ll need test cases that represent the characteristics of these varying demographics.

With so much riding on the quality of your test cases, it’s critical to ensure that they’re well-written, comprehensive and goal oriented. If your test case doesn’t add value to the testing process, then it shouldn’t be included. Instead, test cases should be written by experienced QA professionals who have the knowledge and expertise to ensure that all tests will contribute to the overarching goal.

Create a QA Testing Strategy Now

Some creators or companies assume that QA testing can be carried out quickly, immediately prior to the launch of a product. However, viewing QA testing as an afterthought rarely ends well. By taking a strategic approach and incorporating QA testing into the design, development and production of your app, software or product, you can identify potential issues as soon as they become apparent. By doing so, you’ll find that QA testing best practices allow you to create the best possible product in the fastest timeframe and at the lowest cost.