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3 Tips to Turn Website Problems into Testing Success

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It’s no secret that testing changes a website. Sometimes this change is subtle and sometimes it’s dramatic—but ideally, the change is seamless for end users who may not even notice they have entered a test. Unfortunately, sometimes a test slips through that has a problem and creates a broken, disruptive experience for visitors. Good testing program managers know that a formal, rigorous, QA process is the best way to avoid these broken tests. Tweet_this

But in organizations where testing is unpopular or new, it’s easy to point the finger at the group responsible for tweaking the site whenever any problem arises. Justified or not, such complaints are common and clearly a sign that an organization’s culture has a long way to go before testing is natural.

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If you’re constantly defending the testing team against such finger pointing, it’s easy to become frustrated. Instead of seeing the challenge as an insurmountable hurdle, however, it’s possible to use such criticism as an opportunity to start expanding support for testing.

Here are three tips for turning website problems into testing success:

1. Implement a multi-tiered QA process

Perhaps the most important element of a trusted testing program is a strong QA process. Ideally, this stage will cover several aspects of a test launch including the design, development, analytics, and overall function of each variation. More importantly, it should include multiple people—each capable of evaluating and troubleshooting the aspect of the test they are responsible for evaluating.

2. Document everything

Perhaps the only thing more important than performing a thorough QA before each test launches is documenting the results. This record is useful for many reasons. It helps direct the process, ensuring each step is performed with minimal overlap. It helps make a case for the testing team if something goes wrong later. And most importantly, it creates a record that can help identify the source of problems, allowing for optimization of testing itself and a more efficient program in the future.

3. Share your resources

For a small testing team, sharing resources can seem impossible. But doing so helps communicate the hard work your team does to ensure the organization’s website is running at peak performance, provides tools other teams can use to improve their own processes, and creates a valuable database of your efforts.

By incorporating these three tips into your regular testing process, it’s possible to prevent problems, identify and fix bugs, and cultivate a data-driven culture focused on testing, too.

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