The words Testing, Test or “Quality Assurance”, to give its official name, can mean to some people, confusion or, at worst, a dis-interesting or unimportant matter, especially when it’s carried out on digital products. However, in the world of digital, testing is a crucial element that should be taken seriously to obtain stronger and more accurate results. And as drpdigital’s official tester, I’m talking from experience.
Pros and Cons: Manually Testing Websites
As with most things in life, there are pros and cons to manual testing.
One method of testing digital products is doing it manually. Testing a digital product this way can be time-consuming depending upon how large the product is. Yet by testing products this way, you stand better chances of noticing things than you would through testing any other way. Manual testing means you would use test plans where you are following a set of conditions written within the plan which ensures the application works properly.
Pros and Cons: Automated Testing of Websites
In short, automated testing is based on pre-scripted tests which are run by a computer automatically. The main purpose is to compare results with your expected results. Automated testing is great for testing software interfaces to see if the graphical user interface (GUI) meets all requirements.
However, manual testing requires 2 important things: people and time. Whereas automated testing reduces resources and prevents the risk of human error.
5 Most Important Things You Should Test in a Website
I would say there are more than 5 things you should test in most website/application products, but if I had to list 5 of the most important then it would be these, in order of importance:
- Functionality – most websites/apps have some sort of functionality, such as adding a product to a shopping basket within a typical shopping site
- Cross-Browser/Device Testing – all users use different web browsers and on different devices, so it’s very important that a website/app is thoroughly tested across various different browsers and devices
- User/Accessibility – this is becoming more and more important when testing, as essentially all websites and apps should be accessible to all users, from the fit and able to the less able, or the tech-savvy to the technophobes. Websites such as Remploy (http://www.remploy.co.uk/), for example, have a basic template that has big, bold elements and colours that don’t clash, making it easy to read for the visually impaired
- Styling/Appearance – not all styling code is accepted across browsers so styling code will need to be altered depending upon which browser the product is executed
- Typos – because websites/apps are hand–built, there can be typos. These can be hard to find but some can be embarrassing once found, not only to the development team that built the product, but also for the client you are representing
Preparation is Key: Know Your Website Before Testing it
As with everything, the better prepared you are the better the testing experience will be.
In order to prepare, it’s best to look at designs/drawings and layouts as well as understand acceptance criterias to ensure you are properly prepared before testing any digital product.
Have a clear working structure in place when you spot an error – make sure it can be easily mentioned so that a developer can immediately be aware of what you’ve found and resolve the issue efficiently.
We recently practised what we preach with our own brand new website testing! https://www.drpgroup.com/