7 Common Website Testing Mistakes And How to Avoid Them
Learn how to launch a successful website by avoiding these 7 common website testing mistakes and understanding how to deliver what customers want.
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Testing is a part of any product development cycle. Apps and websites are no different. Frequently, though, website testing comes up short. Many businesses start to test too late in the product cycle, leading to delays and costly errors.
Other businesses put too much focus on technical tests. Having sound infrastructure is important, but you also need to think about how customers will actually use your site. It’s all too easy to forget your customer focus in a testing environment.
Why is Website Testing so Important?
You might be wondering why you have to test your website. If you’re a small business, you might have had a third party design your site. Shouldn’t they have tested it? Well, they almost certainly did, but testing doesn’t end when a website rolls out.
Ongoing monitoring is important. You need to be able to track the performance of your website once it’s live. Then, you can respond to problems quickly and make improvements as you go.
Common Website Testing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Mistakes happen; it’s a fact of life. Regarding web development, it’s best to look for these mistakes as you go. These are the most common testing mistakes being made by businesses every day.
1. No Agile Testing
If you’ve never heard of agile testing, that’s probably your first mistake. Agile testing is a methodology for testing in development. It relies on a continuous loop of feedback between testers and developers.
Unlike traditional testing methods, agile testing happens right from the start of a project. It’s a highly collaborative method of testing that needs clear lines of communication to be effective. While missing this methodology is an easy mistake, it’s also easily solved.
There are several frameworks readily available that will guide you on how to implement agile testing. Note that this is much easier to achieve with an in-house development team. It’s not impossible to implement between third-party collaborators, though.
2. False Positives
A very common method of website testing is the A/B test. This is testing two options to see which one works best. For example, your marketing team might want to trial two versions of wording for a call to action.
The most common mistake to make with this kind of testing is not letting the test run long enough. It’s often the case that a clear difference is seen between the two options almost immediately.
So, it’s very tempting to choose the option with the highest click-through rate, conversion rate, etc. But if you let the test run its course, you might see those numbers even out or swap places completely.
The solution to this problem is simply letting your tests run for the full allotted time. Even if your test seems to have a clear “winner” immediately.
3. Controlling Your Methodology
If you’ve worked as a tester or a developer before, you might have come across this scenario: a request comes into your department to make a change that you know won’t work. However, the request comes from the executive level, so it’s difficult to turn down.
You implement the change, it harms your site’s performance, and you take the blame. It happens all too often when your department isn’t fully in control of its strategy.
This is a tricky problem to solve. It’s never easy to say no to your boss, after all. The best way to deal with issues like this is to have a clear testing strategy and communicate it within the business.
Combine this with a set way for colleagues outside your department to give suggestions and feedback. A custom domain email would work. Make sure everyone, even your higher-ups, knows this is the way to request changes or tests.
With an agile strategy, if a suggestion is good, then you can find a way to incorporate it. If a suggestion doesn’t work, you have an official channel to provide feedback to that effect.
It shouldn’t be surprising that web developers and testers are often technically-minded. When the main part of your job is dealing with code and systems, it’s an asset. However, this can often lead to a focus on testing even the most insignificant details of your site.
If it won’t cause an issue to a customer, and it won’t significantly change engagement rates, there’s little need to test it. We’re talking about minor choices, such as what color from your branding to use for a button.
Testing is important. But dedicating time and resources to testing insignificant aspects like this will cost your business in the long run.
5. Poor Performance Metrics
The test execution metrics you use are important. You’ll want to test things like page load speed, server load, requests per second, etc. There are many tests you’ll need to perform both in production and live.
Having clearly defined metrics and training on data analysis are essential. If you’re not measuring the right things, you might not be getting an accurate view of your site’s performance. A common mistake is not considering realistic use cases when testing.
Using automated testing methods can often produce effects that human users would not be capable of. When we visit a site, we need time to take in the visuals and information. A bot doesn’t need this thinking time.
Avoid this mistake by keeping your customer’s journey in mind when testing. Make sure the parameters of these tests are realistic.
6. Not Considering Viewing Habits
Customers can choose to view your website in many different ways. Optimizing your website for one channel and ignoring others is a common and costly mistake. Take a look at these web use statistics; more than half of your users will view your site on mobile platforms.
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Make sure you know how your users will be viewing your site. Optimize for all of the most popular platforms. If you choose to optimize for either desktop or mobile, not both, then you’re letting down half of your customer base either way.
7. Forgetting About Accessibility
Don’t forget accessibility options. If you don’t test for common accessibility issues like physical limitations or vision issues, you exclude potential customers. Incorporate accessibility testing into your strategy from the start to avoid making this mistake.
Know Your Market
Know your market and run your tests with it in mind and communicate your methods with your colleagues in your VoiP caller system. If you’re an au domain, test for the Australian market. If you keep these common website testing mistakes in mind, you’ll avoid many of the pitfalls that happen during website testing.