Quality Assurance (QA) is a critical part of any web or application development project. QA helps to verify that a project has met the project’s requirements and technical specifications without bugs or other defects. The aim is to identify issues prior to product launch. Most QA initiatives focus on following predefined test cases, which meticulously outline required functionality by stating an input and expected response. In order for QA to be successful, requirements must be clearly articulated and changes must be communicated effectively.
As User Experience professionals, we often rely on our QA teams to help verify that a design works as intended during development. However, it should not be assumed that traditional QA can validate that your product is facilitating the desired user experience. QA is very effective at identifying technical implementation issues (e.g. system errors, incorrect calculations, etc.) and often issues with front-end design implementation (e.g. CSS misalignment, cross browser differences, etc.). However, most QA processes do not focus on the quality of the user experience in regards to usability, affordances, findability, content clarity, or appropriate placements of items within the experience. Nor should they. The quality of the User Experience needs to be evaluated separately from technical quality assurance.