How to test the website: main types and testing objectives
On the one hand, any web resource is a complex multi-component mechanism which should ensure user’s effective interaction with usability in order to provide maximum utility and comfort for the visitor. On the other hand, site development involves the achievement of the owner’s goals: sales growth, services, company’s positioning, product promotion, etc. At the stage of creation and in the further development, one of the most important steps is site testing that allows evaluating the functioning parameters from the point of view of profitability, efficiency for the owner and attractiveness for the user.
What are the methods of site testing: QA and QC
Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC) are interrelated inseparable steps of testing and providing the normal functioning of the web site. The first method is preventive, i.e. aims to achieve quality of work implementation at each stage of development. QC is an element of the QA and it is aimed at eliminating possible defects of the final product in order to ensure compliance with the requirements and indicators specified by the owner.
That is to say, the QA test seeks to prevent, minimize the number of bugs at the time of creation of a web resource, QC – works with what has been obtained as a result of development, and aims to eliminate, adjust shortcomings. The first type works with the process, the second – with the final product, that in combination allows getting a comprehensive quality testing.
To understand how to test the site, it is necessary to consider all types and techniques used by experts. Their checklist usually includes standard steps aimed at consistently testing each aspect of the web site.
Functional testing of the site
A basic method that allows you to determine the correctness of all options. Checklist may include testing:
pages on which registration and authorization is carried out;
purchase algorithm (ordering, add to “bag”, payment, delivery choice);
the ability to edit the entered data.
In order for the functional testing of the site to be the most complete, it can be performed, combining several types of testing.
Ad-hoc. The fastest way to involve the assessment of basic functions without preliminary preparation. It allows identifying shortcomings in key aspects as soon as possible.
Exploratory testing. An intuitive integrated technique that combines directly checking the functional with in-depth study of product capabilities and design on the basis of the information received.
Negative testing of the web site. First of all, it implies the study of errors in carrying out various actions. It allows you to understand where bugs may occur and whether they are displayed to the user.
Application of grade equivalents. In this case, tests are used that are aimed at identifying one particular error and give the same results. They guarantee a high probability of bug detection.
Load Testing Site (stress test of the site)
This technique is always included in the integrated audit of the site, as it allows you to identify real possibilities, the degree of endurance, the system stability level, to determine the boundaries, the transition for which can withdraw the web resource.
The checklist of this technique includes the use of various methods that create the possibility of accessing the comfort zone. Web project work is checked and analyzed here under certain conditions:
increasing the database volume;
presence of a significant number of visitors;
excessive workload (site load testing);
moving beyond the planned functioning parameters (stress test);
Long continuous operation in intensive mode.
During such testing, the real number of page load, response time, bandwidth, and the possibility of expanding, scaling the site in the future is defined.
Usability Testing: UI / UX Testing
This stage makes it possible to assess the usefulness of the resource for the user, the availability and simplicity of access to the necessary information, comfort while working with the functionality, and carrying out various actions. Objectives that allow to achieve usability testing (UX Testing):
Determine the degree of convenience for the visitor.
Eliminate unnecessary elements that make work with functionality complicated.
Evaluate the simplicity, the clearness of the navigation.
Analyze the user’s attitude, the degree of satisfaction with the work of the resource.
Navigation check. It allows you to make sure that all buttons are in working condition, the user can get to the main menu from any page;
Easy operation. This makes it possible to estimate the understanding of the structure, the degree of loading of unnecessary, meaningless elements;
The main methods used at this stage can be divided into two categories:
Laboratory. Behavior, emotions, the testers’ impressions performing various actions in the application are analyzed here. All data are recorded by observers who are in the same room.
Remote. These are types of the site testing, with the implementation of which testers who operate with the system functionality and perform the tasks, and observers do not work together. The behavior of users is recorded using existing automation tools, and then are analyzed by specialists.
Testing of site design
In a different way, it is indicated as UI Testing and is actually an element of the UX Testing. It checks compliance with the claimed requirements of the graphic component of the web project.
Testing of site design includes not only the analysis of its convenience for the user, but also an assessment of the meaningful load of graphic content. It should reflect the main message, a mission, brand or a company’s objectives, so the attention is paid not only to the compliance of graphics standards interfaces, but also color scheme, stylistics, size and type of fonts.
To assess the visual component, both specialists in the development of web products, marketers, designers, and testers from the target audience, which is focused on this project, can be involved. They aren’t experts in this area ,that’s why they will be able to estimate the attractiveness, the usefulness of graphic content from the point of view of the user.
Adaptive layout and cross browser testing
One of the most important stages of the resource testing on which a web studio evaluates the possibility of its work on various devices, the ability to adapt to changing dimensions, resolutions of screens, browsers, etc.
Standard layout testing includes checks on:
correctness of the display of basic blocks;
compliance with the approved layout;
the ability to use various resolutions without distorting the picture;
displaying translation correctly;
accessibility of clickable elements (links, buttons, icons, etc.);
highlighting prompts, where it is provided;
availability of captions to images when they are switched off;
correct display of blocks when the text is introduced into them;
At this stage it is also determined the possibility of the normal functioning of the web site in various conditions:
Site testing on mobile devices, tablets, laptops, PCs of various models.
Correctness of displaying content in browsers, at least the most common Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, Firefox, Safari.
Ability to work with any resolution screens.
Compliance with operating systems of various types: Mac, Windows, Unix, Solaris, Linux, etc.
The main tool for determining reliability, the degree of resource vulnerability to external influence, the level of protectiveness from cyber attacks. The main goals, the achievement of which should contribute to testing the safety of the site:
confidentiality. Protection of personal information from unauthorized intervention;
integrity. The possibility of full recovery of lost or damaged data after a viral or other kind of attack;
accessibility. A clear definition and observance of the hierarchy in access to information from various privacy levels.
At this stage of the security audit, the following aspects are inspected:
SSL protocol functions, site testing for errors during the establishment of communication and exchange of commands between the server and the browser.
Correct display and work of captcha.
No external access to closed pages.
Algorithm for saving errors and information about hacking attempts.
Automatic completion of the user’s work session after a long break.
The correctness of the work of registration and authorization mechanisms.
The result of the web project audit at the creation stage or during the work can only be ensured by integrated testing of the site layout, usability, security, cross browser, functionality and productivity. Errors in one of the operation aspects usually may be a consequence of unsatisfactory work of a completely different mechanism.