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Creating a holistic digital testing plan
Posted On: January 31, 2023
11 Min Read
The digital world has become the primary point of interaction for businesses worldwide in the last decade. With the shift in technology and human behavior, businesses that could quickly adapt to digital-only operations were better prepared for the challenges of a global pandemic.
Today, customers expect a seamless, fast, and accessible digital experience, and as their preferences change, so does how they interact with products and brands. Research from Gartner shows that 75% of companies see a direct correlation between customer satisfaction and revenue growth through customer retention or lifetime value.
Creating a positive customer experience is crucial for building loyalty and repeat visits. According to Forrester, 35% of US online adults said they returned to a retailer because of a good previous experience. To ensure a superior customer experience, it is essential to have a robust digital testing plan in place. In this blog, we will discuss how to create one.
What is Digital Testing?
Digital testing is a comprehensive approach to testing the overall user experience of a digital product, such as a website or mobile application. This type of testing typically involves automated tools and manual testing to ensure that the product is accessible, easy to use, and free of bugs or other technical issues. The goal of digital testing is to ensure that the product is easy to use, visually appealing, and provides a seamless experience for the user.
A typical digital testing plan includes several different types of testing, such as:
- Usability testing: This type of testing focuses on evaluating how easy it is for users to navigate and interact with the product. It typically involves observing users completing tasks or interacting with the product and collecting feedback on their experiences.
- Performance testing: This type of testing evaluates how well the product performs under different conditions, such as high traffic or slow internet connections. It helps to identify any issues that may affect the user experience, such as slow load times or errors.
- Accessibility testing: This type of testing evaluates how well people with disabilities can use the product. It helps to ensure that the product is compliant with accessibility guidelines and that as many people can use it as possible.
- Security testing: This type of testing evaluates how well the product is protected against potential security threats, such as hacking or data breaches.
- Compatibility testing: Compatibility testing is the process of testing software or hardware to ensure it is compatible with different platforms, devices, browsers, operating systems, or hardware configurations. The goal is to identify any issues that may occur when the product is used in these different environments and to ensure that the product works as expected.
- Responsive testing: Responsive testing is a type of compatibility testing that focuses on verifying the proper display and functionality of a website or application on various devices with different screen sizes and resolutions. The goal is to ensure that the user interface adapts to other devices and that all content is easily accessible and usable, regardless of the device used.
- A/B testing: This type of testing compares two or more variations of a product to see which one performs better. It is often used to test different design elements, such as the placement of buttons or the color scheme of a website.
Digital testing is an essential aspect of a software development process. It helps to ensure that the product is user-friendly, visually appealing, and provides a seamless experience for the user. This can improve customer satisfaction and increase the chances of success for the product.
How to create a holistic digital testing plan?
Creating a holistic digital testing plan involves several steps:
- Define the goals and objectives: Define the goals and objectives of the testing plan. This should align with the overall goals of the digital experience project.
- Identify the target audience: Identify the target audience and user personas for the digital experience. This will help inform the testing scenarios, and user flows that need to be tested.
- Define the testing scope: Define the testing scope, including which devices, browsers, and operating systems need to be tested.
- Outline the testing scenario: Create a test plan that outlines the testing scenarios, user flows, and acceptance criteria that need to be tested.
- Prioritize test cases: Identify and prioritize the test cases based on the risk and impact on the user experience.
- Coordinate the testing plan: Coordinate and execute the testing plan, including recruiting test participants, conducting the testing, and analyzing the results.
- Identify and prioritize issues: Use the test results to identify and prioritize issues that must be addressed before launch.
- Communicate clearly: Have a clear communication plan for all stakeholders to report the progress, issues, and feedback for the testing.
- Set-up a dedicated testing infrastructure: As a part of your testing strategy, it is advisable to plan and set-up a dedicated testing infrastructure. You can use cloud infrastructure which can be easily scalable and accessed by remote teams for better collaboration.
- Test automation: Create a test automation plan to automate repetitive test cases. Choose and implement correct frameworks that would be used for both test automation and implement those test automation in continuous testing cycles.
- Test environment management: Create a test plan to automate the management of the test environment, including the provisioning and configuration of test machines and the set-up and cleanup of test data.
- Continuous testing: Create a test plan to implement a continuous testing process that runs tests automatically whenever code changes are made.
- Code coverage analysis: Create a test plan which includes using tools such as JaCoCo and SonarQube to analyze code coverage and identify areas of the code that are not being tested.
- Test result reporting: Create a test plan to automate the reporting of test results and integrate test results with other tools, such as bug tracking systems and continuous integration/delivery pipelines.
- Test maintenance: Create a regular test plan to maintain and update the automated tests to ensure their continued effectiveness and relevance.
- Test optimization: Create a test plan to continuously optimize the testing process to reduce test execution time and improve test coverage.
- Test environment set-up: Create a test plan which involves choosing the appropriate hardware and software and preparing the test environment, including tools, data, and configurations.
- Test design: Create a test plan which includes identifying the types of tests to be performed (e.g., functional, performance, security, accessibility, compatibility), determining test data, and designing test cases.
- Test execution: Create a test plan that involves executing the tests, tracking the results, and log defects.
- User Acceptance Testing (UAT): Create a test plan to include end-users in testing the website and gather feedback on the functionality, usability, and performance.
- Plan Test Regressions: Create a test plan to ensure the changes to the website or its features do not introduce new defects or cause existing defects to reappear.
- Integration testing: Create a test plan to verify the integration of the website with other systems, such as payment gateways, shipping systems, and customer service systems.
- Test for different localizations: Create a test plan which involves testing the website’s localization, i.e., its ability to handle different languages, time zones, currencies, and cultural differences.
- Continuous integration: Create a test plan involving the continuous integration process to automate the website’s building, testing, and deployment.
- Monitor and measure the performance: Continuously monitor and measure the performance of the digital experience after launch and make improvements as needed.
Importance of Digital Testing
Digital testing is vital for several reasons:
- Improving User Experience: Digital testing helps to ensure that the product is easy to use, visually appealing, and provides a seamless experience for the user. This can improve customer satisfaction and increase the chances of success for the product. By testing all aspects of a digital product or service, from usability to performance, a holistic testing plan can help ensure that users have a positive experience.
- Identifying and Fixing Issues: Digital testing helps to identify any issues that may affect the user experience, such as slow load times, usability issues, or errors. Identifying these issues early in the development process can be fixed before the product is released to the public.A holistic testing plan can help identify problems that may not be apparent when testing individual aspects of a digital product or service.
- Increased efficiency: By simultaneously testing all aspects of a digital product or service, a holistic testing plan can save time and resources compared to testing each aspect separately.
- Meeting Business Goals: Digital testing helps to ensure that the product meets the business goals, such as increasing website traffic, conversion rates, or mobile app downloads.
- Improved collaboration between teams: A holistic testing plan can bring together different teams, such as development, design, and user research, to work together and ensure a cohesive digital experience.
- Compliance: Digital testing can be used to ensure that the product is compliant with accessibility guidelines and standards, such as WCAG, making the product available to more people, including those with disabilities.
- Security: Digital testing helps to ensure that the product is protected against potential security threats, such as hacking or data breaches. This can help to protect the company and its customers from potential security risks.
- Cost Saving: Conducting digital testing early in the development process can help identify and fix issues early on, saving time and money in the long run.
Overall, digital testing plays a crucial role in developing digital products, helping to ensure that the product is user-friendly, visually appealing, and provides a seamless experience for the user. This can improve customer satisfaction and increase the chances of success for the product.
The three key components required to build a digital-first company
Having the desire to create digital experiences is only the first step toward success. To truly excel in creating engaging and effective digital experiences, it is essential to have individuals who possess a “builder mentality.” These builders actively listen to customer feedback, envision and improve upon the customer experience, and have the technical skills to bring their ideas to life. They can come from various backgrounds, including development, marketing, sales, or any other field that prioritizes creating compelling customer experiences.
Another crucial aspect of adopting a digital-first approach is breaking down the barriers between different departments and teams within an organization. This allows brands to deliver a cohesive and consistent experience across multiple channels and throughout the customer journey. To truly facilitate collaboration and teamwork across silos, fostering a culture of alignment and empowerment is essential. This means aligning teams and individuals around shared goals for both the business and customers and providing them with the necessary resources and support to work together and create compelling digital experiences.
The final aspect of a successful digital strategy is utilizing cutting-edge technology such as test observability, test orchestration, configuring CI/CD pipeline, etc. This also includes implementing agile methodologies and providing developers and testers with flexible, extensible tools.
According to a PwC survey, a majority of consumers in the US consider speed, convenience, helpful assistance, and friendly service as the key elements of a positive customer experience, and they are willing to shop around to find a company that meets these expectations. The survey also found that 59% of customers would stop using a company or product they previously liked after several negative experiences, and 32% would leave after just one bad experience.
To ensure that your digital experience is seamless and meets customer expectations, it is crucial that your testers thoroughly test new and existing features to ensure they are functioning correctly. Empowering your testers with the right set of testing tools can greatly improve their performance. The company is responsible for providing testers with the necessary tools and integrations, so they can focus on writing test cases and quickly and efficiently build and deploy error-free products, leading to a better digital experience for customers.
Creating a digital-first company requires a shift in the mindset and culture and takes a lot of effort. Becoming one can help you satisfy your customers digitally and increase business revenue. To provide excellent customer experience for your customers, ensure you have a top-notch digital testing plan in place and all the technical team members are adhering to it without fail.
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