You’ve designed and built the next hit app. Or maybe you’ve created a web app that will transform your customer experience. Whatever the case, before you launch, you must ensure that it’s high-quality and that it can be maintained. Why does quality matter so much? And how are you supposed to gauge it? In this post, we’ll explore what you need to know.
Quality – The Most Important Metric for Success
The software development industry is more competitive than ever before. Add to that the fact that business users and consumers are savvier than ever, and you have a situation that requires your software products to be the best they can be right out of the gate. Think you can get by with a minimum viable product (MVP)? Think again.
According to statistics, one out of every two apps is uninstalled within just 30 days. Interestingly, 71% of users stop using an app after 90 days. The primary reasons for people uninstalling an app include:
- UX flaws
- Ad-related issues
- Slow loading
- Glitches and bugs
What does this mean for you, the developer/publisher? Simply put, you need to ensure that your app is ready for prime time on (or before) launch day. You can’t put out a work in progress and expect your users to be forgiving and patient. These statistics also apply to software outside the traditional app ecosystem – if you produce a web app or software designed for standalone operation and it’s filled with bugs or offers a less-than-ideal user experience, you can bet that it’s going to fail.
How do you go about rectifying the situation? What’s required to verify quality, fix bugs, and then maintain the best user experience moving forward? It comes down to finding the right software development company to handle your quality assurance.
Understanding Quality Assurance from a Software Development Company
Quality assurance, usually abbreviated as QA, is essential in the development process. At its most basic, QA involves bumping the finished project against its development specs to ensure that it offers the originally intended functionality, features, and capabilities. However, it’s easy to get it wrong, which is one reason why companies choose to outsource.
However, QA with a software development company can go much deeper than this. It’s also possible that quality assurance occurs throughout the development process rather than at the very end. This is the hallmark of Agile methodology, and it helps to save time while also ensuring that the highest quality product is delivered.
Adopting a Quality Assurance Mindset
Now that you know more about the importance of quality in your finished product, it’s helpful to understand how to adopt a mindset that ensures it’s always a priority.
1. Test, Test, Test
If there’s one step that can help you avoid bugs, detect flaws, and revamp the user experience before you go live, it’s regular, ongoing testing. Put your software through its paces frequently at each stage of development (another Agile characteristic). By doing so, you’ll identify problems before they become huge issues that cost you customers and/or market share. The golden rule here is “test early, test often”.
2. Ensure Testing Is Done Correctly
While ongoing testing is important, it’s equally vital that those tests are performed correctly. Implement policies and procedures that ensure testers are consistent and thorough. If necessary, consider training your testers and using a flexible framework that covers all the important steps, but also offers leeway to customize the process to your project’s specifics.
3. Eat, Sleep, and Breathe Quality
Creating quality apps doesn’t happen by accident. It’s the hallmark of a culture of quality within your organization. Of course, creating a culture that values quality isn’t something you can do overnight, and you’ll need to follow some specific steps. First, make sure that there’s a sense of empathy and connectedness between your teams. You also need to have agreed-upon quality metrics in place from the beginning and direct line to decision-makers involved with the QA process.
4. Design for Users
Want to ensure that you’re producing the highest-quality app possible? Design with your end-user in mind. This seems like common sense, but it can be easily overlooked. All too often, design teams are focused on adding all the “bells and whistles” or they’ve been charged with implementing a decision maker’s vision regardless of how that vision affects users. Here’s the thing, though. The users are the ones who utilize the app. They’re the ones who decide whether it’s worth their time and possibly their money. If you fail to design with your end-user in mind, your user experience (UX) will be subpar, and you’ll lose them to competitors.
5. Put on the Brakes
As a final note, it’s worth slowing your headlong rush to publication. Yes, you want to be able to push that launch button and get your app out there in the world but rushing the development process does no one any good.
The tighter your deadlines, the more pressure there is on your development team. As pressure increases, the chance of serious flaws also rises. So, if you rush the development, you’re very likely to end up with an app that suffers from major bugs.
By slowing down your development process, you ensure there’s ample time for best practices, alleviate the pressure on your team members, and ensure ample time for testing at all stages. Anything less is a recipe for disaster.
Quality is of paramount importance for your app or another software project. If your in-house team lacks the time or you don’t have the people to handle best practices, frequent testing, and in-depth evaluations, make sure you partner with a trusted software development company that understands how critical quality is in your final product.