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How QA Could Have Helped Healthcare.gov

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Recently, the government contractors responsible for building the new healthcare marketplace website were summoned to Capitol Hill to answer for the site’s numerous bugs and problems. The root of these problems? Insufficient quality assurance testing—or QA. Their failure to perform a thorough end-to-end QA of the new site has hampered citizen’s efforts to enroll in healthcare through the new marketplace.

healthcare.gov QAQA is one of the most important steps in the testing and optimization process. Government contractors admitted to spot-checking the new healthcare marketplace site, but conceded that full beginning to end testing didn’t take place; an extra step that could have brought light to a large number of the issues they are seeing now.

Why is QA Testing Important?

In site testing and optimization, it’s easy to become overly focused on the pages and sections you’re running your tests and neglect the site as a whole. When re-writing code for a site’s homepage, or the first step in a customer acquisition funnel, the QA team has to make sure nothing further downstream is being negatively impacted.

QA Testing Involves Everyone

Changing something as seemingly simple as the number of fields on an acquisition form could have a negative net impact on the way data is captured and sent to the backend server. Likewise, replacing the headline on your home page could alter copy and layout further down the page, even though this isn’t where you’ve focused your testing efforts. QA testing that goes beyond the test cell will help maintain an optimal visitor experience.

The QA procedure should involve every team and happen at each step in the testing process. With all of the moving pieces of a website, a broken test or experience is difficult to completely avoid, but with a thorough, well-documented QA process in place, critical mistakes will be few and far between.