Everyone wants to test faster and cheaper, but they forget about testing smarter in the process. A recent report from the test automation company Eggplant found improving customer experience is the number one priority for organizations, but almost half of businesses are having trouble testing for real user experience.
The research also found that business leaders and development teams are misaligned when it comes to testing strategies. For instance, teams prioritize the productivity of testing more than the business, and the business is more focused on improving the usability of the product than IT teams.
“To accelerate digital transformation, business leaders must recognize that delivering the best customer experiences hinges on the quality of their software. The way organizations build and test software can improve, or hinder, customer experience and overall business outcomes,” the Eggplant report stated.
Verification versus validation
The traditional way of testing was to think of testing in terms of verification and validation, according to Antony Edwards, COO of Eggplant. Verification looked at whether or not the software did what it was supposed to do while validation looked at whether it was what users actually wanted.
What happened was testers thought they could start with verification because that seemed easier to obtain, than once verification was in place they would move onto validation. However, as a result testers lost sight of user expectations and focused just on testing that the softare worked.
“No one can write specifications of sufficient details that really predicts everything a user might care about, and as a result of that you have testing teams becoming more technical, which takes them away from the users and problem domain,” said Edwards. “Testers decided they would rather focus at a very low level of detail on technology matters, looking at verification and compliance”
However, Edwards explained if you ask users what they look for in a product, they care about performance, usability, accessibility and design — and that is what testers should be worried about.
“As software becomes a key part of businesses and as business almost becomes digital products themselves, all those factors around usability, performance, accessibility as well as functionality just massively drive that user experience,” said Edwards. “Companies need to understand that and test teams can’t just say we are just focusing on making sure the functionality compiles with the specification.”
Where AI and Eggplant comes into the picture
An AI-enabled continuous test automation solution can help deliver higher quality software more quickly.
Testing is full of data. Business have access to data on all the tests runs that were ever done, what the results were, what products shipped, and what defects were found after the testing — yet they aren’t properly utilizing any of this data.
According to Edwards, machine learning is a great way of identifying how technology factors actually impact users, and that information can then be brought back into your development and testing. Eggplant is designed to auto generate tests, select which tests to run and decide what failure looks like.
“When people say they have automated 100 percent of their testing, it is a bit of a misnomer because what they actually automated is test execution,” said Edwards. “If you still have people designing tests, writing test scripts, maintaining test scripts, setting up environments, creating test data, reading test results, debugging tests, and deciding what tests to run, then you really haven’t automated testing. You’ve automated test execution.”
With AI, Eggplant is able to look at the application, code, APIs, user interface, user behavior, production data and start to understand how it all influences business aspects and what tests to run.
“AI is great at taking a huge search space and then condensing that down and focusing on things you care about,” said Edwards. “That is what we do. The company can generate billions of test cases for users to can run, look at the code, decide where the risks are, look at the testing and results already in place, look at the changes, look at who made the changes and decide what is important.
What users end up with is a continuous and automated approach to software that improves business outcomes, aligns with what the customer wants, and delivers continuous digital improvement.
“People are making software for a purpose, and Eggplant is all about how do we help people make software that delights users and drivers the user outcomes,” Edwards added.
Learn more at eggplant.io.
Content provided by SD Times and Eggplant