The term “quality assurance” in software development refers to a set of measures designed to confirm that the product conforms to the standards and requirements set by the customer or the industry as a whole. Contrary to a popular belief, the product, in this case, is not only the software itself, but also any data, documentation, and paperwork associated with it.
While it’s safe to say that quality assurance has been known for as long as software development, many companies still view it as an unreasonable use of their time. However, quality control has several major benefits for the business, and today you’ll learn about the 5 most important ones.
How Does Quality Assurance Work?
Software QA is a complex notion that includes several essential activities that determine the satisfying quality of the product. Unlike quality control, which is mostly implemented after the product is released, quality assurance should be done on every stage of the development process. The most common QA procedures include:
- Testing the release of the software and properly documenting the testing process.
- Evaluating the software and associated documentation to make sure it conforms to the standards.
- Follow-up testing the software and checking whether all issues from the initial testing have been resolved.
- Using various software measurement techniques and metrics designed to access the quality of the software.
- For a software development company, implementing quality control usually means hiring a dedicated team and the subsequent increase in expenses. Nevertheless, there are at least 5 reasons why your business will benefit from QA, and here they are.
Unsurprisingly, the biggest advantage of including QA in your software development cycle is the unmatched quality of the product you’ll receive in return. Quality control allows you to find bugs and other issues in the software before the software becomes operational. It means that with proper QA procedure, none of those bugs will make it to the final product. Not only does it make your company better in the eyes of the customer, but you will also simply enjoy the quality of your work. Plus, when you are consistently delivering high-quality products to your customers, it’s the most effective marketing strategy you can implement.
2. Customer Satisfaction
No business can function without customers. You create your product for the customers, and only if they are happy with the product, your business can continue operating. Without proper quality assurance procedures, you risk putting out bug-riddled software that will definitely not give you any customer praise.
Quality control of your products significantly increases the levels of customer satisfaction. Customers who receive a bug-free product that works steadily and helps them achieve their business goals are very likely to turn into returning customers. Plus, constantly putting out reliable software increases the chances of existing customers referring new customers for your services.
Plus, software that is free of bugs is more likely to win over the competition. If you have an app in a highly competitive category, often all it takes for the user to delete your app and move on to a similar one is just one instance where the software isn’t working as it is supposed to. On the other hand, steadily working software the performs every function that is described in the manual will not cause the customers to seek an alternative app.
While skipping the QA stage of the software development process may seem like a way to save money, this decision will eventually cause you to spend even more money. Even though the initial setup of the quality assurance process and hiring a team means additional expenses for your business, in the long, run proper QA can save you a lot of money.
There are many components that make quality control one of the best decisions for cost-effectiveness. Most importantly, QA is able to detect bugs and other software issues at an early stage of the development process, where they are much easier and cheaper to fix.
Moreover, software that has gone through thorough quality control is significantly easier to maintain. Whether you are managing your own application or doing the maintenance on the customer’s behalf, supporting the software that has been through the QA process is nothing compared to the amount of work that needs to be done on untested software.
4. User Experience
When testing the software, quality control specialists are not just looking for issues with the app’s performance — they are also making sure the UX is up to the commonly accepted standards.
You can always tell when the software has gone through little to no quality control. If the app is seemingly free of performance mistakes but has a complicated interface and is designed without any consideration for the end users, it means that the QA process at the software development company responsible for the app leaves a lot to be desired.
If the application is intuitive, easy to use, and free of annoying bugs, it means that the quality assurance team has done their due diligence and determined that the software is ready to be released.
Software today faces a growing number of security threats that put corporate and personal data at risk of being misused. While there is no way to protect the software that is 100% effective, you can significantly lower the risks through quality control.
Professional QA can easily identify weak spots and vulnerabilities of the software, which, if left unchanged, can result in valuable customer data being stolen by malicious hackers. Again, it’s much easier and cost-efficient to prevent those issues than to deal with them after the fact!
When you’re spending so much time and effort on developing outstanding software, having customers complain about bugs and spending even more money on fixing them can be very frustrating. Luckily, QA is an efficient and cost-effective solution that more software developers should use.