7 Ways to Prioritize Continuous Quality for Your App

Continuous quality refers to the practice of continuously improving your software product as well as the way that you ensure its quality. In essence, it means making your product better and your processes more efficient. 

As a product team, you not only want to release new features but you also want to make the user experience of your product is of higher quality. 

By implementing continuous quality you…

  • Increase customer satisfaction and retention
  • Increase customer referrals and word of mouth 
  • Reduce churn
  • Reduce negative reviews, customer complaints, and negative word of mouth
  • Fulfill your promise to customers regarding the main value your product provides (as opposed to causing feature overwhelm)

Now that we can see why this is critical to software development, let’s take a look at how you can actually prioritize continuous quality and make it a reality. 

Continuous improvement causes us to think about upstream process not downstream damage control. – Victoria L. Bernhardt

1. Improve communication between QA and product

Improving communication can mean a few different things:

  • Working together to build a testing plan while development is taking place
  • Shifting left, and getting new functionality to QA as soon as possible
  • Product team helping QA better identify how new features affect the product as a whole
  • Alignment and agreement on issue prioritization and categorization

2. Test continuously

It’s time to test continuously. This means combining test automation with more realistic, customer-centric testing like exploratory methods. With continuous testing, you don’t just test before shipping something new. You test constantly, all of the time. 

For teams using CI/CD approaches, networked testing can help manage unit, visual, functional, and other testing types and can integrate with DevOps processes so that quality is ensured before release.

Learn more about how networked testing can help you test continuously. 

3. Reiterate on your regression testing process

Manage regression testing on Testlio platform to ensure continuous app quality

Here are some ways you can update your regression testing process:

  • Don’t just rely on automation for regression testing. Otherwise, you risk not catching the bugs that your users are experiencing. Manual, exploratory testing is key to the quality of both new and existing functionality.
  • Better prioritize the parts of the app that are likely to be most affected. Reconsider how you allocate and assign resources during regression testing bursts. For example, if you make improvements in a calendar feature, that might affect another area of the product, perhaps the CRM feature. Performing in impact analysis for any change helps you build a better regression test. 
  • Create a robust Root Cause Analysis process for any problem that escapes your regression tests. If you notice an influx of customer support tickets following a release, make sure you understand what caused the problem, and how that problem escaped your testing process. Then, make the necessary improvements.  

4. Implement sentiment monitoring to catch dips in satisfaction

Do you know how your customers feel about your app or product as a whole? What about certain pages, screens, or features?

It’s important to set a benchmark for customer satisfaction for each major section of your site or product. You need to know the average satisfaction score and monitor it live. If it falls below the average, you can set up notifications. Then, do some exploratory testing and talk to customer service reps to figure out what the problem might be and escalate the issue.

5. Actively collect customer feedback

Setting and monitoring benchmarks for customer satisfaction aren’t the only ways to involve users in your continuous quality improvement efforts. You can also collect customer feedback in a more active way. So many companies are only collecting feedback via customer support tickets when things go wrong. 

But quality is also about slight improvements, not even new features, but UX and usability improvements too. 

Here are some ways to get more user feedback:

  • Request text feedback after customers submit their sentiment.
  • Collect data on clicks and gestures so you can find the cause for an increase in rage clicks or other signs of frustration.
  • Implement a request for feedback in the downgrade or cancel user flow, and in the confirmation email (bugs, feature overwhelm, and confusing UX are so often the cause).
  • Run a/b tests for changes made to important app pages and onboarding flows to gauge improvements to completion rates.

Here’s an example of a request for feedback on a sign-up page. 

Request for customer feedback on a sign-up page

Similar requests can be added to pages for new in-app features or in cancellation flows. 

6. Test on the weekends (without having to)

Major testing should occur in the crevices of core product and engineering team work periods. For many companies, this means large-scale testing primarily occurs overnight and/or on weekends — in relation to primary engineering team time zones. To optimize this approach, a multilocation team of testers is often optimal. – Steve Semelsberger, CEO of Testlio

Weekend and nighttime testing have a number of benefits:

  • Gets you ready for early week releases so you can ship things faster
  • Allows you to get your app tested during different levels of usage
  • Helps you find bugs while your team isn’t working
  • Lets you test your app in different network environments

7. Better identify product risk upfront

And finally, to improve not only your product’s quality but also your quality assurance processes, you can strive to do a better job of deciding what builds are too risky and what is worthwhile. You don’t want to build features that put too much strain on your QA resources and cause too many problems without being worthwhile.

Of course, when something is on your roadmap, it’s there for a reason. Likely, customers have been demanding it or you’re seeking to innovate faster than competitors. But you might be able to build it in a less risky way. For example, you can build in more intuitive gestures and simpler user flows. 

Consider how to build new functionality that will have fewer bugs and issues than the first few feature ideas your team comes up with. 

Push yourselves hard to make quality part of the initial decision-making, instead of an afterthought. 

At the end of the day, your customers are counting on you to deliver an app that works exactly how they want, and that even delights them. Make sure that as you pursue new, innovative features, quality doesn’t go forgotten.

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