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Gone are the days of merely verifying software and its build quality against technical requirements. A piece of code may function as specified, but in the hands of the user it could be confusing or irritating.
What is needed is a shift in mindset towards validation testing, which focuses on understanding whether or not your software satisfies the user's needs.
This is however not possible with verification testing, as there are simply too many user interactions that can be accurately assumed or predicted.
Even if someone were able to create a precise list of every user journey, the time needed would create a bottleneck that would grind your entire development lifecycle to a halt.
Organisations need to stop concentrating solely on whether a piece of software works or not. Instead, they must implement a way of testing that understands how a user interacts with software.
Validation testing means quickly identifying bugs, errors and problems with the user interface before your application ruins your customer's experience.
Your goal should be to continuously improve your application's software, so it exceeds your user's expectations and delivers on business outcomes. This approach ? and there is no getting away from it ? must be central to your testing strategy.
However, to validate your software there is a small hurdle to jump over. Traditionally, validation testing is conducted by experienced manual exploratory testers. However, doing this manually makes it difficult, time consuming, and expensive to accurately repeat the same tests over time. There is a way to make this easier ? model-based testing.
Improve the customer experience with model-based testing
Model-based testing is an approach that puts the customer front and centre during software development. It does this by using automation to test exactly how the user interacts with your software, instead of simply verifying it against a set of pre-determined specifications.
Every screen a user sees and every action they can take within the application is displayed within a model, so testing truly focuses on the user experience.
The really clever part
Combine model-based testing with artificial intelligence and machine learning, and you can begin to intelligently test and monitor the end-to-end digital user experience throughout the development lifecycle.
Conducting exploratory testing this way dramatically increases test coverage because test cases are autogenerated using real user data. Instead of only ?happy paths?, all possible user journeys are tested, helping uncover bugs even the best manual testers would struggle to find.
But what about different technologies? Because it tests what the user sees and does, testing can stretch across any technology, regardless of the codebase.
It doesn't matter if it's an app on an Android or IOS device, a chrome browser on a Windows machine, the model and the same test case can be used to test it all.
Digital customer experiences aren't going away. The likelihood is that they will become even more dominant in the way customers interact with organisations.
Understanding how users interact and use software is crucial to optimise the customer experience and deliver on business outcomes.
Learn more about our user-centric approach to testing and how it can help your organization deliver quality digital experiences your customers deserve.
Michael Wager, Product Manager, Keysight