What is functional testing?
Functional testing is the core of any quality assurance process for interactive products. The nature of these tests is to verify if every function of a given product is working as intended. Often relying on documentation such as wireframes or functional analysis, functional testing allows testers to identify issues by comparing the expected behaviors with the actual behaviors observed during the tests. Whenever there is a problem or an abnormal inconsistency, a bug is logged in a database for the development team to look at. The idea behind this is to centralize every problematic behavior in a single place, to make sure the project is 100% ready before it gets launched.
For a good overview of what functional testing entails, we recommend this article by Adam Kolawa, co-author of Bullet-proofing Web Applications.
Why should you perform functional testing?
It is imperative to run such tests, even at a smaller level, as functionality issues greatly impact the user experience. If the users are unhappy about the quality of a given product, they will let other users know. Whether it is on social medias or from mouth to ear, the news of a low quality product will spread fast and once a product has been identified as a flawed product, it takes bigger efforts to change the public opinion. This makes functional testing even more important, as the success of your project depends on it.
Of course, you may be tempted to perform functional tests on your own. Some project managers feel that because they are the ones who best understand the subtleties of a software testing projects, they are the best candidates to test it. This is generally a mistake. It follows the same principle as when writing a text. Of course, the author can re-read it to make sure it is good enough to be published and will most likely find a few mistakes he made. But a second look is always beneficial. Having a second opinion might notice things the original author wouldn’t have been able to. The same logic applies with QA. Functional testing is better performed by professionals that were not involved in the development process.
While some of the bugs found while performing these tests can be fairly obvious, others require a considerable amount of investigation. A tester needs to be able to accurately identify the source of an issue and consistently reproduce it. Good functionality testing requires focus, attention to details and a good understanding of the mechanics of a given product. But it also requires time. When someone’s main task of the day is to test a product, chances are he will find more edge cases issues than someone who is constantly distracted by other tasks. This is where professional tests come into play.
How can we help?
Members of our team are specialized in functionality testing, as some of them have over 10 years of experience in the industry. When receiving a new project, our team sits together to organize their thoughts and come up with a plan for the tests.
Whether it’s a mind map or a test plan (depending of the length of the tests), our testers will make sure that every section and every feature of your product is carefully tested on a wide variety of platforms.
From mobile devices to desktop browsers, we’ll make sure to cover everything you need and to focus our efforts on what is a priority for you. Give us a call, our team is always ready for new challenges!