Testing an eCommerce website before it launches is an important part of ensuring its success. Standard quality assurance (QA) processes include requirements gathering, developing test plans, executing test plans, etc., but incorporating these five strategies into your testing approach can produce big positive quality impacts without a lot of extra time or effort.
1. Require clear, specific acceptance criteria
Using the Agile sprint methodology, user stories should have clear and concise acceptance criteria. It is these criteria against which the user story will be validated and will provide reassurance that end-user needs are being fulfilled. This seems straightforward, and what success will look like may seem obvious for a particular user story, but don’t be fooled! What may seem clear-cut to QA may be interpreted completely differently by the developer.
In the urgency to get started on development, there is pressure to rush through this step. Take the time to create client-approved, detailed acceptance criteria for each user story before development begins. You’ll be glad you did.
2. Establish a buddy-system for frequent communication between QA analysts and developers
At times, team members get so focused on doing their part of the project that not a lot of regular communication occurs between QA analysts and developers. Utilizing the approved acceptance criteria is a good first step, but making sure everyone is on the same page at all times will result in much better overall quality. Sharing details on how functionality will be developed will help QA dig deeper into the nuances of the user story.
All team members should attend daily standup meetings (at a minimum), and QA and development should be joined at the hip so issues found in sprint testing can be addressed immediately.
3. Insist on a large test dataset
Avoid mocking up hypothetical test data. Create test scenarios that will test the limits of the functionality, then ensure the test dataset includes enough variety to cover those scenarios using a subset of the real data. Having a large enough test dataset will help ensure testing later with the full dataset goes smoothly.
4. Think like an end user
The user story passes via the acceptance criteria, but does it fulfill the ultimate goal? When testing a small part of the site or a certain piece of functionality, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture.
Take a minute to think like the end user – is the site easy to use? Does this piece of functionality contradict another piece of functionality? Is it easy to locate products and check out? If not, raise the issue and have a conversation with the team and the client.
5. Involve the client as much as possible
Through status meetings, ticketing systems, email, phone calls, etc., make sure the client and the team are communicating about the tactical aspects of the site. The client can provide real-life insights and examples into the way their end users actually interact with their business. This is invaluable information for building a robust test suite.
Often, the QA team and the client don’t communicate directly at all. Push for this interaction. Client involvement throughout the entire project will help ensure the highest quality.
For more information on eCommerce testing or how we can help with your testing efforts, please reach out to us.