Software testing is an important part of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). Before delivering the software, it is important to make sure that it is working flawlessly and meeting all the defined requirements and specifications.
Many IT companies check the effectiveness of software by carrying out rigorous testing. Testing is necessary for any software and IT companies use different types of software testing methodologies along with various Quality Analysis techniques to make sure that the performance requirements of new software and applications meet existing standards.
A software product is tested to verify the functional requirements, such as expected behavior and functional accuracy. It checks that the software does what it supposed to do and that nothing has been done incorrectly or left out. It also checks non-functional requirements, such as load time and other performance measures.
A software testing phase is a challenge that many product development teams face. Testing ensures that the best product available is offered to the customer or stakeholder. While software testing is not the only element of quality assurance, it is nonetheless a significant element. The types of testing will vary according to a project’s needs and scope.
User- minded testing is the process of having people outside the development team to test the developed product in an organized manner. These processes may seem superficial to some, but they are incredibly important when it comes to releasing your final product.
Many potential tests can run as either user-minded testing or quality analysis (QA), though most software developers use both. User-minded testing does not require intimate knowledge of programming code as it merely confirms that the desired input produces the desired result. On the other hand, QA testing checks the software’s code for error and inefficiency. This kind of testing requires programming expertise.
QA is more confluent about dealing with the product development lifecycle and checking that the product meets the characterized quality norms and client requirements. QA does not involve breaking the product and discovering issues but rather aims at confirming the ease of use of the developed product under different given situations. On the other hand, user-minded testing may involve the tester in keeping an eye on the processes and often owning them and being concerned about discovering approaches to break the product. User minded testers watch the functional aspects of the end product and investigate the level of value and report any significant and critical issues they experience.
User-minded testing plays an important role to learn about the usability and overall user experience from regular users. Although full of good-will, user-minded testing usually involves users who are not a part of the development process and who may not have knowledge of coding. They all agree to test and answer questions the best they can. There can be a cognitive gap between the end results of user-minded testing and QA. This is due to probable blurry definitions on what a user-minded tester should or should not be focusing on, whereas a Quality Analyst uses different tools and processes to test the end product while focusing on the core functionalities.
It is essential for a software product to go through different processes of testing as part of Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) to find all the issues in the system before it is released to the end users.
It is not recommended to release software without taking it through the testing process. A software product released without undergoing the prescribed testing processes makes it vulnerable to bad or inefficient functionality. It would waste a lot of user time and effort when using it. It may actually result in more serious issues, such as security breaches, data loss, and corruption.
Usually, user-minded testing is performed once the software gets through the QA processes. This is because there can be a probability of performing user-minded testing on functionally flawed products. It can hinder the testers and change their perception, resulting in invalid usability results. QA and user-minded testing require different mindsets from the person testing and ideally, should not be carried out by anyone involved in the development of the product.
The common aim of user-minded testing and QA is to ensure good quality software. Good quality software means it has fewer defects or issues, it works well, does what it needs to do and ultimately meets the requirement of the customer.
To summarize, user-minded testing and QA can be attributed to three areas – less maintenance, increased user morale and matching to requirements, which results in high-quality end products and ultimately, customer satisfaction.