by Randall CraigFiled in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Technology, WebTagged as: Technology
Most marketers understand the basics of putting up a website, but rarely get a glimpse into what is likely the most important part of the process: testing. Done properly, testing is time-consuming. When the schedule (or budgets) are tight, unfortunately, it is the first thing to go. And when this happens, errors creep in that can destroy user trust, and sap long-earned brand equity.
All testing is not the same: each type of testing has a specific purpose. If it is omitted from the web process, risk increases; when it is done, the budget increases, as does the project timeline. The challenge on every project is to choose the right balance.
Here is a list of the types of testing that are possible:
An excellent test program rests on three key principles:
1) Process: Behind every test, there must be a process to ensure that tests are as positive as possible. This would include a robust design and development methodology, code reviews, test cases, and more. It’s far easier to build quality in, than to apply it afterwards.
2) Testing technology: Just about every test can benefit from the use of technology to automate the testing process, improve the efficiency when manual processes are required, and track/report testing results.
3) Separation of responsibilities: While it does make sense for a developer to perform unit testing on their own work, all other tests benefit from having a separate (and independent) testing team. Developers spend their time developing “in the trees”, and often can’t see (or don’t want to see) a buggy forest.
Are all of these tests on the to-do list as your site is being developed? This week, find out. Bonus points if you you share this note with any of your colleagues who might also be interested.
Marketing Insight #1: Testing is not just about squashing bugs. A key goal of a holistic testing program is to identify mid-course corrections that can help the website better achieve its business objectives.
Marketing Insight #2: “Testing” is not just a website development activity – it applies to everything. In the context of writing, for example, it’s called “editing“.
Project Management Insight: Most projects are now delivered using an Agile project management methodology, where all of this testing is integrated within the context of each development cycle/sprint.
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