As a UX designer, I was tasked with a QA assignment that required me to change hats. QA needs direction, and it is essential that UX delivers designs that have a story in the form of journey maps and sitemaps so QA can create test cases with useful sample data for effective interactive testing. It is important to have visual workflows and explicit instructions that can be easily followed by developers, which in turn provides QA with a clear direction in testing efforts.
Walking through test cases as a QA with a UX background allowed me to see what most developers may not recognize including simple usability issues that may not have been thought of:
- Visibility of system status
- Match between system and the real world
- User control and freedom
- Consistency and standards
- Error prevention
- Recognition rather than recall
- Flexibility and efficiency of use
- Aesthetic and minimalist design
- Help users recognize, diagnose and recover from errors
- Help and documentation
By focusing on QA assignments as a traditional UX trained consultant, I gained new insight on how to be a better UX professional. The usability of a product was a major focus that enhanced my understanding of the subject due to the measurability of the task assigned to me. The measurability of the task can be a pass or fail in a workflow or a user experience issue that came up during a particular process provided in the test case. The usability issues found helped me better my own designs and workflows for future projects.
I think every UX Designer or Developer should get some experience in QA testing to better understand the sites they are designing and developing in a more granular way. It’s the job of UX to provide QA teams the proper guidance and handoff. This opens the door to fewer bugs and an overall better user experience.
Quality assurance impacts the user experience: when things don’t work, users question their understanding and develop superstitions and inefficient workarounds.