We’re very close to launching the site for our contest winner (see the history of Adventure in Marketing posts here), where we arrive at the final step of website quality assurance (QA). Web QA is a big process, especially if you’re a small organization. This is the time to address all the little things on the site pages – from design to functionality.
Some large businesses utilize huge marketing teams to QA sites, and because Savoir Faire is a small firm, we combine the forces of our web development expert and digital marketing expert to pinpoint any element on the site that didn’t come together exactly as intended – or any mistakes or issues that snuck in during the development process.
QA Should Not Result in a Site Overhaul
The QA process may be tedious as far as analysis goes but should not result in major site changes if you’ve done good due diligence with a client. We go through the steps of marketing discovery to ensure that, by the time we get to this stage, our team and the client are all in agreement as to what is going to be on the website for launch. We create a requirement document that the client approves and signs so we can refer back to what was agreed upon during the first stages of the site development. Then, at other points in the process, we’ve created, agreed upon, and the client has approved wireframes, design comps and the content that will be placed into the site. By the time the client sees the website put together, there should be little surprise (with the exception of the excitement of seeing it all together!).
During the QA stage, hopefully we’ve done our job well enough where we’re just tweaking the pages to make them function absolutely as intended, and cleaning up any little mistakes. We analyze the site holistically for spacing, image sizing – any issues that stand out as incorrect. And we read it thoroughly (again) for typos and any incorrect type treatment.
We evaluate site pages for issues during the building process and during the authoring of content. At the end of the process, we look again with a fresh set of eyes. We go through each site page, checking for any functionality issues, looking for elements that may be more than just static content, such as accordion-style boxes that contain content, tabs that hold content, special features or filtering elements.
At this stage, it’s essential to make sure the functionality operates as intended. Then, we check the navigation to ensure all links go to the proper pages or points on a page. The content links get tested. We view pages for any missing images, and any areas where might see consistency issues. For example, a single page heading that should match on all similarly-designed pages may accidentally have a variance in font size or color that needs adjusting.
Next, we check that all images have proper sizing. Sometimes, when working with images, we might initially add them to a site page at a larger size than they need to be for optimal viewing. Here, we adjust the image size dimensions to match the proper display size, which often makes the files smaller and improves page speed loading.
How Does It Look – Everywhere?
Then, we view site on mobile devices like a tablet and an Android phone. We also utilize Chrome or Firefox inspection elements so we can view the site in an emulator, such as an iPhone or other devices we don’t have physically in front of us (all types of handheld devices and generations of smartphones because you never know what device someone may use to browse the site).
Then, we look at the site’s appearance on multiple web browsers for both Apple and Windows-based machines to check for any inconsistencies.
The site is also evaluated at a high level for Americans with Disabilities Act compliance.
From here, our analytics expert takes over, looking at the site’s layout/design at a high level on a phone’s browser, checking spacing of items, links, and other elements – to ensure we have multiple eyes on each page in case something is overlooked.
Then, we anticipate what Google sees as a mobile-friendly perspective. We may make some minor adjustments to content to make them more Google-friendly, such as:
- The phone number links
- There’s ample space between navigational elements for mobile touch
- The text is large enough for mobile viewing
By the time the site is sent to the client, ideally there will be little left to adjust, because we’re not making any major changes to design or content at this stage. Everything has been approved at various steps along the way.
That said, there may be some tweaks necessary before launch, based on the client’s feedback. Sometimes those bullets that looked great in the design comp don’t look quite as great with the content in them. Maybe there’s too much or too little content. This is the first time they see the site in its full glory, with all images, fonts, and the full layout. We anticipate there may be slight adjustments requested by the client to make sure their company is accurately and properly represented by the site.
We’re confident that HydroComp’s site is more than 90 percent towards being ready for launch. The next (final?) post for this series will be the launch!