Blog Posts

Building a Great Website: 11 Tests before Go-Live

December 15, 2016 by 108 Ideaspace

2016_blog_graphics-14Testing is central to the process of website creation, but many marketers rarely examine this critically important step. When done properly, testing is time-consuming. Thus, when the schedule (or budgets) are tight, unfortunately, testing is the first thing to go. And when this happens, errors creep in that can destroy user trust, and damage 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:

  • Information Architecture Validation Testing: To ensure that the navigational schema actually makes sense – and is scalable.
  • Design Testing: To ensure the emotional connection connects the user to the brand (and to the goals of the business).
  • Unit Testing: To ensure that each module of code delivers on the technical requirements.
  • Integration Testing: To ensure that the whole system works together as expected.
  • Usability Testing: To ensure that real users can intuitively perform typical tasks using the system.
  • Stress Testing: To establish the point at which the system can no longer handle the volume of transactions without failure or excessive slowdowns.
  • Speed Testing:  To identify the components of the system (or page) that are causing slow page loads.
  • Security Testing: To prove that known security issues have been addressed.
  • User Acceptance Testing: This is the “official” sign-off testing process that is done by clients to identify any remaining errors.
  • Regression Testing: To ensure that any fixes did not introduce additional errors.
  • A-B Testing: To ensure that the pages are optimized to achieve the business objective.

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.

Marketing Insight #1: 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“.

This week’s action plan: Find out if these tests are on the to-do list of your website or web landing pages.  If they are not, educate your colleagues on the importance of testing and integrate these tests into the development process.



No Comments

Leave a Comment