Alex Painter - 28 March 2019
Businesses want software that delights end users. Customer experience is the priority. But even as the requirement for ever better experiences grows, actually delivering on that requirement is getting harder.
There are a number of reasons for this. One is the need for speed. Faster release cycles mean that testing can be limited. Maybe it covers only a small selection of user journeys. Maybe basic functionality is checked, but usability and performance get left behind.
At the same time, technology is becoming fragmented, and users may encounter your software on multiple platforms and devices. How do you ensure that user experience is optimized for all of them?
Part of the answer lies in automation. A machine can take many more routes through an application than a whole army of manual testers, and in some contexts, such as healthcare, lives are at stake – testing only happy paths just isn’t an option. If that automation happens to include an element of AI that will actively hunt down bugs, so much the better.
There is still the matter of what you test, though. People are unpredictable. They’re not necessarily going to use your application in the way you planned. Customer experience can suffer simply because your best guesses about how people use your software are always going to be wide of the mark.
To get over this, it’s now becoming possible to tie real user monitoring in with the testing process. In a sense, your customers are your army of manual testers, and you can now take real user journeys and use them to help build models in test. Perhaps you focus on those journeys that have the most commercial value or on where people seem to encounter the most problems. Couple this with other innovations in monitoring, such as the ability to link changes in performance with business KPIs including conversion and revenue, and the result is that devops is much better aligned with business priorities. That could mean optimizing customer experiences, enhancing net promoter scores (NPS), or driving revenue.
You can find out how organizations are benefiting from some of these approaches in our forthcoming webinar, where Eggplant’s VP of Technical Services, Max Gerrard, will look at examples from financial services, retail and healthcare.