What is Quality Assurance and why is it important in the CRO process?

Phoebe Dormand
Graduate Intern

What is Quality Assurance and why is it important in the CRO process?

Quality Assurance (QA) is a method of preventing mistakes and defects. If done well, it should lead to products or services delivered to customers with fewer issues. QA means that any problems get detected early in the workflow process. This works as a preventative measure, reducing defects closer to production.

When it comes to CRO, the role of a QA specialist is to check each test built by the development team against the plans. They ensure that the services delivered are top quality. The QA process can be time-consuming, but having at least one dedicated QA specialist rather than relying on your developers is key. Having this separate team means that your developers have the freedom to purely develop. This means that your test plans will usually have less defects from the start.

If you are new to CRO, or are just starting to think about it, here are a few of the things that our QA team are always on the lookout for:

Browser Issues

Have you ever found that a website works well on your laptop, but not on your phone? It is the job of QA analysts to make sure that the quality is consistent. They ensure that the test works on as many devices and browsers as they can. For example, a page may look perfect on Google Chrome on a Windows desktop, but the same page may be full of glitches on Safari on an iPad. During the CRO process, QA analysts check the page in question across various devices, operating systems and browsers. This ensures that the test page is accessible to all visitors.

Working Links

Another thing to consider is that all the links on the test page work and actually take you to the right page. The last thing a customer wants to see is a 404 “Page Not Found” error, especially when they are close to the checkout. QA analysts check all these links, ensuring that they take people to the correct page and fire the correct conversion. It is especially important to check that there is nothing on the test page that could prevent a visitor from continuing to use your site. They should be able to access it the same way that they would if they were not in a test. The QA process helps prevent these issues from ever arising.

Disappearing Images

Images often disappear, don't download at all or can end up in the wrong place on a test page. As product images are an important part of the sales process, it is key that customers can see everything that they should. There should be no images missing or incorrectly formatted. A similar issue can happen when the browser dimensions change and any information presented fails to adapt to the new dimensions. Images are often cut off the side of the screen and clickables can disappear. To fix this common issue, web pages should have a responsive design. When a visitor resizes the page the layout and design should adapt to the new dimensions. QA analysts ensure that these problems are not present on various browser and device types.

Reliability of Tracking

To scientifically measure which version of a test is winning, you need to be producing accurate results. The QA team thoroughly check the reliability of the conversion points, which can include:

  • The clickable elements on the page, such as an “add to basket” button
  • The clickable links to other pages such as FAQ pages or a product page
  • How long a visitor spends on a page and whether they attempt to leave the page
  • How far the visitor scrolls through the page

Anything clicked by a visitor should be firing the correct conversion every time. These must be checked in depth on all browsers and device types to make sure that they are reliable.

Spelling/Grammar Errors

Perhaps the most simple task for a QA analyst, but not one that should be overlooked. There are often times when the test page has major spelling errors or grammatical issues to fix before the page goes live. This seemingly small issue can dramatically alter the quality of a website, causing it to look unprofessional. And nothing drives potential customers away faster!