Common Mistakes in Digital Quality

To err is human, to catch those costly errors before they reach production and wreak havoc on the user experience and damage your brand’s reputation is divine.

Software testing is a necessity for any company that launches digital products in any industry. But, from there, the nuances begin. How much emphasis should you place on X, what should you invest in Y, and do you need to shift testing in Z direction? It’s easy to misstep in your QA approach, especially as you aim to move quickly in delivering products to customers. How fast is too fast; how slow is too slow? There’s no firm consensus.

So, what is a common mistake organizations make when it comes to digital quality? That’s the question we posed to expert guests on the Ready, Test, Go. podcast. Here’s what they had to say:

(These responses were edited for brevity.)

Kristin Jackvony, Principal Engineer in Software Testing at Paylocity

The biggest mistake is that automation is going to solve everything. Even though automation is wonderful. Automation allows teams to iterate on their software more quickly. Automation allows people to be alerted when some bad code gets in as soon as it happens. And all of that is wonderful, and I highly recommend that. But we will never replace human eyes and hands and ears that are interacting with an application, and human brains that are thinking about all the possible things that can go wrong here. When you write test automation, you are not doing anything creative like that. Test automation, is it going to suddenly one day say, ‘Hey, but what would happen if I tried it with this user?’ That's up to the human brain. So we need to make sure that we are still having humans involved in testing.

Gary Larkin, Chief Strategy Officer at Marker Trax and Koin Mobile

Over-engineering. I think spending too much time striving for the perfect outcome instead of stabilizing good. I think a good product, well rendered, will be a perfect product [even though] it keeps failing every day. I think be good whenever you can. Perfection is to be dreamed about.

Amy Reichert, Freelance QA SME/Test Engineer

They push off the fix, especially for display items. So if the display isn't quite right or maybe there's a spelling error, they just leave it in there because they don't want to fix it. And, to me, that is the most annoying thing. When customers look and something in the spelling's wrong, they're not going to have a lot of faith in you. And if even the simplest display things are off. It just doesn't give you a good image.

Jeff Payne, CEO of Coveros

They underestimate their security risk. They know security is an issue. How can you avoid it? We just had another big vulnerability get discovered the other day, and it seems like it happens every day now. So I think people are aware of [security concerns], but everybody seems to think it's somebody else's problem. So, they do the basics, but they underestimate the risk that they're under, and how sophisticated some of these attackers can be.

We teach a security testing class, and we say that you don't have to be 100% secure. You just have to be secure enough that the attacker goes to your competitor. It's like your house security. Your windows aren't secure. You just want it to look secure enough that they go to something a lot less secure. People just don't think that through, and really need to.

Adonis Celestine, Director of Automation at Applause

Being in the quality assurance field, I think sometimes [organizations] tend to ignore quality. There is a need for speed. They want to push a lot of features to perfection. They don't care about testing. For me, that's quite an important part of your development process.

Inge De Bleecker, Founder of outriderUX

Skipping steps [in usability testing], and having to bear the consequences of that. In this day and age, especially when we think about consumer-facing applications, [or] any application at this point in time, whether we're talking about the employee experience, the consumer experience, across the board, it really matters. So, if that experience isn't right, for whatever reason, where corners were cut, those are big mistakes nowadays.

For more insights from experts in digital quality, subscribe to the Ready, Test, Go. podcast today.

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