Technology development today is more highly regularised than ever. Testing has always been an important part of production workflows, but it is now more closely integrated into the full development process. However, while formalised testing protocols are highly effective at expediting release cycles and improving product reliability, it can be easy to focus on immediate functional units and lose sight of the wider picture.
Commercial technology is ultimately only as successful as its user uptake. That means customer experience needs to be kept in sight throughout all aspects of development, from concept and design, right through to product testing.
The Importance of Customer Focus in Testing
Customer satisfaction is an obvious consideration when initially developing a new product. Consumer demand and selling points will drive development initiatives in the right direction. But testing needs to be customer focused too. It isn't possible to test a product comprehensively without taking into consideration how customers will use it and, by extension, whether the product appeals to them in its functioning.
Automated Testing and Customer experience
Test automation can achieve huge efficiencies in product development and quality. But here too, it is important to understand product function from a customer's perspective and design tests that are fully relevant to actual use cases. Test automation capabilities must be adjusted to meet customer expectations.
Prioritise User Experience
Test cases may be devised on the basis of how a product should be used in principle. However, this may not be quite the same as how it will actually be used in practice. Real-world use cases can reveal issues with user experience which formal testing might miss. Adjusting test cases to reveal these issues is especially important since customers value a reliable user experience above almost any other feature.
Consider Maintenance as Well as Fault-Fixing
Tests, and automated testing solutions in particular, are great for finding bugs or faults in products. But testing needs to be about more than just fixing issues. For the best product quality and customer satisfaction, it is necessary to consider how smooth the user experience is for customers. Products need to be resilient in real-world situations. Brittle products or software will soon be discarded in favour of more robust solutions.
Technological innovations today must be interoperable with a large range of other products which are increasingly networked in the Internet of Things. That means it's vital to include interoperability testing in your automated test suites. Using automated tests to verify operability with every other suitable device can save huge amounts of time when compared with manual testing.
Automated testing offers huge advantages for hardware, software and product development. By also incorporating high-level test goals into automated scripts, products can be made more robust and usable, with more reliable interoperability within the technological ecosystem.