Why we need Quality Assurance

Quality Assurance is a necessary and integral part to the production and release of any technological product. Whether it is a video game, web or mobile app, computer software, or any other digital solution- a thorough QA will make the difference between a mediocre product, and the one with the best User Experience.

To achieve the best UX, the user must be thought of in the very beginning conceptual phases. If it doesn’t benefit the user in some way, no one will use the product. Quality Assurance can happen after something is conceived, and blueprints are drawn up.

How the Process Works

For FIREANT, much our QA process is done for websites we develop for clients. As Marketing and Production Coordinator, it is my job to complete this task, with the help of the Project Manager. The PM tasks each of these processes according to schedule and available hands:

1. Initial Discovery & Creative Brief
2. Wireframing
3. Design
4. Development
5. Launch

I am sure you would expect Quality Assurance to occur after development, in order to ensure the product is ready before launching or sending to the client for approval. While QA does occur after development, the initial round actually begins after wireframing.

The wireframes are checked against the initial discovery to make sure every element originally discussed in the scope is present. View more about FA’s extensive interactive wireframing and the benefits for both parties in conceptualizing the end product before design begins. Once wireframes pass through a Quality Assurance check, and are approved by the client, the design can begin!

After Design

After the design phase, a second QA check takes place. This round ensures all style tiles are properly adhered to, and also that these designs can meet all future functionality requirements of the wireframes that will be implemented during the development phase. Changing with the ever-growing technological landscape, FIREANT now also uses this round of checks to make sure that proper SEO is accounted for with the placeholder copy in the design comps. This includes space for appropriate headings, gorgeous calls to action (which are always defined during the initial discovery), sufficient space for website copy, and a clear flow of what the user experience will be once the solution is translated to an interactive realm.

After Development

After development and before sending to the client, a third QA occurs. This round is critical to check every aspect of the site’s functionality and make sure all elements are present. Typically, there are no remaining design issues from the previous round, and we can focus our energy on browser and device testing, and making sure every link, image, form, all elements are in their correct place and do what they are supposed to.

Only once this Quality Assurance has taken place can we send a staging link to the client to get their additional feedback and complete any last changes. Then the product can be pushed to it’s final resting place, the production site.

The end of Quality Assurance?

Not quite. After the site is living in it’s production state, the final round of QA happens to make sure nothing broke during the transfer, and a final check for any forms and correct production links are in place.

FIREANT takes extreme pride in not being a interactive agency shop that pushes out a website and leaves the client stranded in the digital landscape. We take time to complete the proper assurance and make sure the product is finely polished and something both companies are proud to have published.

While this process might seem extensive and not necessarily a designer or developer’s favorite thing to have every pixel pushed and analyzed, it all comes down to one thing: the best product possible. If more time and resources can be allocated to testing the legitimacy and efficacy of the end product, I am sure most companies would make that happen. That is why FIREANT believes in an integrated Quality Assurance process.