Have you ever been browsing a website and found something that just didn’t work? If you have, you might realize that stuff like that sticks out and is often easily remembered. But when a website or application works well, you don’t really think about it. This is why testing is such an important piece of the development process. No matter how big or small the change, modification, or application itself, it needs to be tested.
So how do you go about testing? Well the simplest way is to manually go through the application. This is also the most thorough form of testing. A person is able to click and open everything, as well as enter every input. Another good thing about having a person going the application is that they can enter “bad data” and see how the application reacts. By this I mean, for example, entering alphabetical letters in a numerical entry field. This allows the tester to check for any possible scenario that may happen while a user interacts with the application. One more really great thing about having a person going through your application is that they can make notes and check for any usability issues. Aside from bugs and non-functioning code, the way a person is guided through an application is also essential to the overall experience and making sure they are guided to the relevant parts of the application easily and intuitively.
Another way of testing an application is with automated scripts. These are very fast, but not very comprehensive. These scripts are good for things such as proper basic functionality and for checking the expected results of calculations or actions. Automated testing is a great way to save time, but remember that the scripts must be manually coded beforehand which on its own takes time. These types of scripts make up for the initial time investment because they are reusable for regression testing later on.
Speaking of regression testing, this is something that is often forgotten. Whenever a change is made to an application, no matter how small, there is always a chance that something may have been adversely affected in one way or another. That is why whenever a change is made the related pieces of the application need to also be tested to ensure that nothing may have gone wrong in the process.
Testing by its very nature is a very time consuming process. The good news is that the time required can be reduced by keeping the entire team in the loop with all changes and usability requirements. The usability aspect is usually the longest part of testing and the more focused on that aspect the team is from the start, the more polished it will be on the first pass reducing the overall time an projects spends in the testing phase.
Overall, testing is what makes sure people don’t associate your online presence with errors and frustration. At Palm Beach Software, we take testing seriously and we have enough experience and expertise in the field to allow us to make sure we get your application right.