Putting your systems and interfaces through extensive testing in your own labs is not enough, including UAT (user acceptance testing), even if you test on many platforms, browsers, and user set-ups. The only way to know how well your systems perform – or if they work at all – on customers’ and users’ own local, native systems is to conduct extensive remote testing.
A core function of the Human-Computer MasterMind Academy is to guide you through the tools, processes, and principles of verifying ‘Functional’. Here’s what that includes, in addition to your standard UAT:
- Based on and built from your QA and User Acceptance Testing results
- Starts by defining targeted systems, functions, and performance goals
- Employs testers with targeted systems and we add randomized
- Incorporates all Usability and Usefulness testing procedures
- All functional issues are replicated, prioritized, and characterized
- Coordinates closely with your IT, UAT processes, and programming teams
- Once identified and remedied, retests all fixes to validate
- Includes testing and recommending ways to optimize speed
The number and types of computing devices and platforms is exploding. A few years ago, testing your systems on a Windows platform with Internet Explorer provided high confidence that the majority of your visitors, customers, and users were covered. The times they are a-changin’.
With mobile computer, smart phones, tablet devices, Mac and Windows, and many old systems still lingering out there, the need for comprehensive, exhaustive, and rigorous functional testing is critical. Build on your UAT and ensure all customers can succeed with what you offer them.
Plus, in addition to all these devices, the variety of different browsers, email applications, social media tools, chat and IM options, wired and wireless Internet and broadband connections, the number of permutations of these for any random user is growing exponentially. And it takes only of these links in the chain to fail for the user’s session to fail, or access be denied, or their system to lock, or any other failure that stands between you and doing business with them.
You should continue and expand your in-house testing to ensure that you can cover the majority and most common of these computing contexts – but don’t stop there. Putting your systems and interfaces through extensive testing in your own labs is not enough, even if you test on many platforms, browsers, and user set-ups. The only way to know how your stuff performs – and if it works at all – on customers’ and users’ own local, native systems is to conduct extensive remote testing that puts your systems in their homes, offices, labs, pockets, and enterprises.
There is no other way to validate this. Why invest heavily in your customer-facing systems and not ensure they work with all customers?
With my methods, you’ll gather all your in-house QA and UAT results, work closely with you to define targeted systems, functions, and performance, and recruit users with specific targeted systems. Then, we’ll randomize the recruiting because there’s no way to accurately predict what systems and combinations of technology they world may send your way.
This functional testing is tightly integrated and is a standard feature of all the MasterMind Academy and all the Usability and Usefulness testing methods I teach. When we find functional and performance problems – and we will – we replicate, prioritize, and characterize all findings and coordinate with your IT and programming teams to ensure they have the required specifics to permanently fix the problems, optimize throughput, improve performance, or whatever is needed. Then, we’ll retest all fixes to validate the fixes are complete and the performance acceptable.