Quality Assurance – and why it’s important?
Samaa Enany (Junior QA Tester)
I am Samaa Enany, Junior QA Tester at ZAUBAR, where we make time travel possible through immersive tours. My job is to test the applications in the development process in ZAUBAR, such as the ZAUBAR Tour app, which will be dropped out in the market soon. It’s a surprising, innovative approach to worldwide touring. Let’s not drift far and get back to our aim from this article, introducing you to QA.
What is quality assurance?
The software testing procedure is conducted to provide information about the quality and reliability of the product or service under test to ensure that the organisation is able to deliver a winning product or service to the market. Securing a consistent level of quality helps build up an organisation’s reputation. And with the right reputation, a startup is able to gain recognition within the business market.
For example, in simple words, quality assurance within ZAUBAR is the process of testing if the applications introduced by ZAUBAR on AppStore and PlayStore meets the requirements, functions, and performance promised.
From my perspective, QA in software concentrates on four key factors in the process of developing a product/service:
Members of the development team have the same understanding of software quality expectations and specifications as they work in a collaborative atmosphere, and they remain in touch with detected quality problems and risk management activities. As a junior QA tester, I have direct communication/contact with the developers. We work hand in hand on improving the quality of the services we provide. At the same time, I’m also in close contact with the other department teams, such as the designers, project management and also marketing. So it’s not only my job to test the apps as such, but also to keep an eye on the demands and expectations of the individual teams. In this way, QA also ensures that ZAUBAR as a whole team remains in constant exchange during app development.
Keep track of bug reports:
As a QA tester, I find bugs and report them to the development team. Right then, they may easily locate the correct lines of code for testing and guarantee reliable coverage status by allowing a complete life-cycle of quality traceability from detecting and tracking problems and their origins to ensuring accurate and reliable results and performance status.
Since the development team can monitor bugs to meet quality goals and implement priority features with trust, this quality assurance approach helps achieve more reliable cost, scheduling, and quality. After reporting the bugs found within the application, ZAUBAR’s development team starts setting up a plan to monitor bugs, starting with the critical bugs to normal bugs alongside updates and new features.
Tracking and monitoring on quality assurance:
Our process of tracking and monitoring consists of a general testing and a specific testing of newly added features. I record and analyse my test and forward it to the development team or the design team. When reporting new features, I usually mention what I expected to happen and what was the action promoted by the application. However, when the development team updates new features to the application, I’m not always told everything about it, as we want to know how a new user experiences the app and reacts to it. This takes us to an important part which is User Experience.
The user experience testing plays a massive part in assuring our app’s quality as it helps set our testing objectives. So to start with, we outline the goals of the user test. What is our aim behind the experiment and what results are we looking to learn from? At ZAUBAR, our aim is to ensure a fun simple way to explore our app and platform. Let me give you a brief introduction to what we are working on.
ZAUBAR’s team goal is to reveal what lies beyond the visible. Our vision is to deliver scenes from the past into tours to help present a time travelling experience. By bringing you the past, live to your screen, our app engages with your sense of vision and hearing as our tours are visually historical location-based. With the help of our app, you get to experience an educational yet entertaining tour throughout the city. ZAUBAR wants to present you with a phenomenal and immersive tour experience; therefore, user testing is quite important for us to ensure we reach out to our audience in the best fitting way.
In the procedure of Quality Assurance, User Testing is an essential factor to keep track of in the process. Think of the difficulties the user might face and how to make it easier. As I already described in the previous section, the app must also be usable by users who open the app and have no idea at the beginning what certain buttons or functions do. The app must be designed in such a way that it is either self-explanatory or a few slight hints are sufficient to be able to use it. However, in order for the app to work in this way, it must also be tested with this initial situation: the tester should not yet be too involved or, ideally, have no prior knowledge at all. Since it is not always possible for us to have every little feature that is added tested by a person with no prior knowledge, it is even more important for me to decide whether new features should be tested from a user perspective (in which case, in the best-case scenario, I may not yet know how the feature works 100 percent) or whether I already know the feature and am just looking for bugs. In both cases, it is essential for me to document or even record my tests, which leads me directly to the next topic.
Recording your test and analyzing the results of your tests
To record your test, you need to have a screen recorder on. I personally use ScreenFlow, which is available for Mac and iOS, but there are plenty of options out there. You also need a microphone to capture your voice. If you’re on a laptop, you just need a built-in microphone to get started.
Write down notes as you go along, which will help you when marking things up later. As you work your way through the application. You can also note down possible recommendations to be implemented into the app and run it by the developers and designers.
One of the benefits of recording your test is that it makes it easier to figure out the pattern that leads to a reactive bug in the app later on in the process of analysing the results. The next step is to write a ticket explaining briefly what went wrong and what was expected to happen and what didn’t.
No matter how much planning you do, the only way to really know if your product is good is to get people using it.
To sum it up, quality assurance is important for the optimal development of an app and is also a lot of fun. Being a QA Junior tester is like being the middleman. You get to learn and experience chapters from each field within the startup such as programming and design, which is definitely an educational position to be in. At the same time, I know that by testing the app, I can also directly influence and advance the development and thus also help to shape its success. That’s the reason why I like this job so much.
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