What Is Quality Assurance Testing and Why Is It Important?

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published September 29, 2021

Quality assurance testing is a process that helps companies ensure their products reach designated standards. Organizations that conduct these tests review finished items to make sure they meet customer expectations. Understanding the various ways to conduct quality assurance testing can help you improve your work process and ensure you deliver exceptional end products to customers. In this article, we define what quality assurance testing is, explain why it's important to use, discuss what types of industries use it and share some different types of it.

What is quality assurance testing?

Quality assurance (QA) testing is a process organizations use to ensure their products and services meet specified regulations. It's a series of techniques that companies use to prevent issues from occurring and ensure they satisfy the customer with their finished product. Quality assurance testing also looks to see if a product meets its intended purposes. Often, this includes looking to see a product's compliance with functional requirements. Unlike quality control testing, quality assurance testing includes process-oriented activities that focus on the final products.

Related: Guide to Quality Assurance

Why is quality assurance testing important?

QA testing is important because it helps companies ensure they deliver exceptional products and services to their consumers. Using this preventative process can allow companies to build trust and loyalty with customers because it shows their abilities to meet the customer's expectations and needs. It also increases a customer's confidence in a company, which can help create a competitive advantage in the marketplace by demonstrating credibility. For example, if an app company continually releases apps free of bugs, customers are more likely to purchase those apps than a competitor who continually releases ones with errors.

Another reason why QA is important to implement is that it prevents defects from occurring. This can lead to cost reductions because it means the organization can spend less time providing customer support for handling a defect report. It also improves work processes and efficiency by eliminating mistakes.

Related: Guide to Quality Assurance and Quality Control: Definition, Purpose and How QA Is Implemented

What industries use quality assurance testing?

QA testing started in the manufacturing industry as a way to deliver effective products to the market. Because almost every industry provides the public with some kind of product or service, it can be an effective process to implement in a variety of fields today. Some common sectors that may apply QA testing include:

  • Software development

  • Oil and gas

  • Aviation

  • Medical

  • Food production

  • Pharmaceutical

  • Aerospace

Related: Quality Assurance Skills: Definition and Examples

Types of quality assurance testing

When evaluating a product's quality, organizations use a combination of automation and mechanical testing. The following are some types of QA testing and a description of when to use them in your product development process:

1. Integration testing

Integration testing examines each component of a product to make sure all components work both individually and with one another. For instance, a company may look at a line of code that helps tell a program how to share a file on your computer with another user. Integration testing often occurs in the developmental stage and also allows a company to identify any flaws.

Related: Unit Testing vs. Integration Testing: What's the Difference?

2. System testing

System or functional testing is a process that determines the compliance of a fully integrated software product with set requirements. Companies using this type of testing to look at the whole of a product. Organizations use system testing when they are further in their product development process and about to launch a product.

3. Feature testing

Features testing helps a company ensure that their new features or adaptation don't cause their existing application to experience problems, such as a crash or bug. This helps them improve the user experience. To test an application's features, a company gathers related metrics that tell them how visitors engaged with it. Based on the collected data, a company can determine if the feature leads to negative or positive behavior. Organizations conduct this type of testing after launching an application to see if they need to add changes to help it run more effectively.

4. Usability testing

Usability or user acceptance testing evaluates products to see if they perform the function to a customer's expectations and standards. To do this, a company tests products on potential users. For instance, if a business created a new type of umbrella, they may give pedestrians their umbrella to use on a rainy day and observe whether it kept them dryer than typical umbrellas. Implementing these types of tests can help you predict your product's success and determine if you need to make any changes. Typically, companies conduct usability testing before launching their product so they can make adjustments as needed.

Related: FAQ: What Is the Purpose of Usability Testing?

5. Failure testing

Failure testing helps resolve problems that occur when a product or service operates. Organizations can use this type of quality assurance testing before releasing a product to see how reliable certain components are for the item. This may include implementing stress testing that places the product against extreme conditions, such as heat, to see how it handles them. Failure testing can help organizations improve their products and create them with higher standards.

Tips for conducting successful quality assurance testing

Here's some advice to help you be successful in your quality assurance testing:

  • Test one thing at a time. Focus on testing one factor at a time to dedicate time and energy to critical components.

  • Select your release criteria carefully. Because you base your product's quality on your release criteria, make sure to include all key components necessary to release an effective product to consumers.

  • Consider automation testing. Automation testing can help accelerate your quality assurance testing process.

  • Document your testing. Using documentation, such as a test plan or test case, can help you stay focused during your testing and have material to reference later.

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