Given the lack of interest in companies, web quality assurance should become a major topic for developers: it requires the trust and loyalty of users.
While companies’ online presence is of strategic importance, it seems surprising that very few of them care about the quality of their websites or the technical level of their employees who are directly or indirectly involved in their company’s digital activity. Without web quality assurance, companies run the risk of impairing the user experience and seeing the costs associated with non-quality risks evolve.
Website Creation: More Difficult and Complicated Than Ever
Creating a website requires many skills. From the design and then putting its first pages on the line, it is necessary to work on different aspects that have absolutely nothing to do with each other. Whereas previously these skills could be mastered by a limited number of actors, they have become so complex that the number of potential actors to perform has doubled to the max. This complexity of web careers is one of the hallmarks of digital manufacturing.
Unmistakable signs of industrial maturity on the web
A natural consequence of this increased complexity is working in silos of web projects. Most of the time, they adopt a “Quality Assurance” approach (Software Quality Assurance Tests) which is necessary but proves insufficient to control the quality of websites. As users, we see this on a daily basis when we have difficulties filling online forms.
At the same time, online sources of major risks have developed in recent years. This is even more the case two years after the pandemic, which led to a sharp acceleration in the digitization of the economy, and developed these risks. Credit card data breaches or personal data thefts have increased, and trust in businesses that have been victims of these attacks has eroded.
In all industrial sectors where complexity, manufacturing and risk have evolved, quality assurance has been one of the primary responses.
What is Web Quality Assurance?
Web Quality Assurance is a multidisciplinary approach that includes many topics: accessibility for people with disabilities, environmental design, security, personal data preservation, etc.
This approach makes it possible, in particular, to structure the requirements of the users of the site, but also to identify sources of risks and prevent the main difficulties of the web project. Finally, Web Quality Assurance enables a global base of grammar and vocabulary to be defined and shared for the web project, particularly by increasing the skills of professionals with heterogeneous but all digitally related backgrounds.
Web Quality Assurance is built around a shared culture embodied in a global checklist. It is a model that summarizes the expectations of the end users, explains the expected qualities of the site and provides a comprehensive view of all professions that contribute to the quality of the web. While having a global checklist of websites can lead to site verification, its usefulness above all else is to be the first cultural and vocabulary tool for web teams.
In particular, it allows to know the basic rules and activities of a web project, but also to master the digital culture to better collaborate with other professionals. Finally, knowing how to use a checklist allows you to make informed decisions. The lives of many recent projects have shown us that spreading digital culture is essential to allow the platform to properly meet its users. SNCF realized this when it launched SNCF Connect.
A necessary and inevitable movement
In all high-risk industrial sectors, quality assurance is firmly rooted in the company’s management and practices. No one thinks of questioning quality assurance in the aircraft, automobile or video game industries. In these sectors, companies are used to managing quality control and risk prevention. Professional buyers demand it from their suppliers, and consumers are used to taking advantage of it when they use products and services.
Web activities also carry significant risks. The web sector, still young, is moving very fast through the major stages of industrialization that have taken place slowly and gradually in other industrial sectors. Implementation of methods, standards, techniques, and management activities can only grow around web quality assurance. It is only a matter of time.
Website users and an increasing number of professionals need better control over website quality. Decision makers must take the lead, train their teams, and make web quality assurance a pillar of their transformation.