Software Quality in eCommerce: Why Your UX Needs QA
Talk to anyone well-versed in eCommerce, and you’ll likely hear the same refrain: the user experience (UX) is king. But while no one’s disputing that, it’s important to note that the reign of UX has also signaled the ascension of another two-letter acronym: QA—or as it’s also known, quality assurance.
So, after years of being the very first thing cut from an encumbered IT budget, why is QA so hot right now? That’s simple.
If you’ve ever shopped online (and I’m betting you have), I’d imagine you understand how important the user experience (UX) is—even if you didn’t necessarily know it already.
Think about how many times you’ve abandoned a shopping cart after the site you were on crashed during checkout, or when you’ve headed to another website after not being able to find the product you were looking for. That’s UX—and it’s the proving ground of the high-stakes eCommerce industry.
In fact, by 2020, UX is expected to overtake price and products as a key brand differentiator in eCommerce. Which isn’t all that surprising, considering the fact that online retailers have been in an arms race to outdo one another for the last half decade or so. But what’s really interesting (well, to those of us in software testing/QA circles at least) is what’s ascended alongside UX. An oft-neglected part of the software development life cycle (SDLC), quality assurance (QA) is finally having its moment.
So, after years of being the very first thing cut from an encumbered IT budget, why is QA so hot right now? That’s simple. As e-tailers battle to build better user experiences, they’re looking to their quality assurance engineers to get involved in every step of the SDLC to ensure that their expensive UX actually delivers for the customer.
At the moment, 86 percent of users say their trust in a company is affected by the speed and quality of their websites and mobile apps, and 88 percent indicate that they’ll engage a competitor following a poor experience. The effect on businesses has been clear—invest in QA or suffer damaged brand equity, lost conversions, and diminished revenue. After all, what’s the point of spending copious cash on a groundbreaking app that’s undermined by a deluge of defects?
At Lighthouse, we’ve seen QA’s effect on UX firsthand. When one of our clients was building a mobile app to increase customer awareness and engagement, our skilled eCommerce testers and QA engineers were there every step of the way. Whether it was getting involved in the requirements process—helping to redefine functionalities to better serve the UX’s intent—or posting a defect-removal efficiency (DRE) of over 95 percent, our QA engineers answered the call and helped deliver an app that launched to resounding success.
So long as UX reigns, QA will be its right-hand man. And so long as that’s the case, we’ll be standing at the ready—prepared to serve wherever we can. Long live king UX.