QA Image Library
Check out the growing QA Image Library. This is my personal colleciton of Slack Images for that perfect QA Moment.
QA Fail: Product Listing on Amazon
This week is yet another fail by Amazon.com - at least by a merchant and not a specific issue with the company Amazon. (See the "Amazon Deals" fail)
This week fail is by Kimire Store. They have a video camera with the following title: "Video Camera Camcorder kimire Digital Camera Recorder Full HD 1080P 15FPS 24MP 3.0 Inch 270 Degree Rotation LCD 16X Digital Zoom Camcorder Camera with 2 Batteries(Black)"
This is a pretty neat camera with lots of functionality. Its listed for $64.99 - which is an awesome price point.
In the product description is this:
Great Photo Quality!
The camera takes amazing pictures! Look at that mountain photo - this is an awesome camera.
That mountain picture is unfortunately a stock photo. You can find it on Shutter Stock:
How can you trust this listing when they use a stock photo for the description? Is the video quality really bad that you can't find a decent place to take a photo with the camera?
The listing is full of questionable wording that indicates that its a really bad translation. Here's an example:
The camcorder come with two NP-FV5 batteries. It allows you to keep recording around 60 to 90 minutes when it's fully charged. For the first time use need to charge more than 8 hours. The camcorder support the recording while charging, good to record long videos anytime.
August QA Memes
Here are some more QA Memes added to my QA Graphic Library
Trump - "Best Day Ever"
Code Freeze is Coming
"Poor Planning on Your Part..."
QA Fail: Citizen's Bank Card Replacement
If you live in New England, you probably have seen the Citizens Bank 'Ding' commercial several times. They are promoting the use of the Citizens Bank card for all type of transactions.
In case you missed it, here's the commercial:
Lost Card? You got a Problem!
What happens if you lose your card, or your card gets involved in a Credit Card Data Breach?
Citizens Bank will replace your card with a new number - but it will take 3 to 5 business for the new card to arrive. Yup, you'll be without the use of a Debit Card for at least 3 to 5 days. Good thing they are promoting using it for everyday purchases.
So much for paying for that Pumpkin Spice Latte with the Ding...
QA Fails: Citizen's Bank Card Replacement
Five Reasons QA Fails the Citizen's Bank Card Replacement Process:
- It's 2021, there's no reason why it should take 3 to 5 business days to get a new card.
- Credit Card Data breaches are happening all the time. So regardless of how careful you are with your credit card number - the number could get stolen because of a merchant's bad security.
- Why would you encourage people to use it for everyday purchases but not have a system in place to get new cards out quicker?
- Many translations require a credit card for purchases - such as parking garages. Cash won't help you if you need to park at the Prudential Center Parking garage.
- I know that many people carry multiple credit cards, so not having a single card isn't a big deal. However, many people are trying to get out of credit card debt.
QA Fail: Boston.com Headline graphic
This week's fail is the headline image for a story on Boston.com:
Three Reasons this fails QA
- This is Boston.com why would you use a screenshot of a map?
- Don't you have a personal library of stock photos of the Back Bay? For breaking news like this? Such as street signs or landscape views.
- If you don't have a valid stock photo, perhaps using a "Breaking News" would be better than a screenshot of a map. (Make a note of the missing stock photo so one can be taken at a later date.)
QA Fail: U-Haul Car Trailer
If you're moving long distances, chances are you'll be using a U-Haul for self-move. If you bring a car with you, having it in tow is a great way to transport it.
The only problem is that if you own a Toyota Camry, you can't open the car door when you drive up the ramp. This is because the U-Haul wheel rims guards prevent users from opening the door.
Why QA Fails This Implementation
This looks to be a problem with any sedan - not sure how their QA passed this implementation.
The Toyota Camry is one of the popular cars in America. It should have been part of the U-Haul trailer test.
The only way we were able to get around this is to open up the passenger door and go out of the car. The reason we didn't just use the front window is that you needed to close the window after getting out of the car. You can't properly close the window from the outside.
Simple solution would be to have the wheel rims be removable when loading and unloading the car trailer.
QA Fail: Mass Pike Sign
Throughout the month of August, I'll showcase some real life QA fails. These are signs/things that certainly would have failed QA.
If you have driven down the Massachusetts Turnpike, chances are you might have seen this sign:
Photo Credit: This is a screenshot from Google Maps.
Photo Credit: This is a screenshot from Google Maps.
This sign appear multiple times on the Massachusetts Turnpike. They usually appear right after the electronic tolls area.
Four Reasons This Fails QA
Who is this sign for' Here are the four reasons that QA would fail this sign:
- The sign is way too small to comprehend while driving 55+ mph.
- Who would have time to write down the phone number.
- Who's going to write down the URL? Let alone remember the URL for later.
- Most vehicles on the MassPike don't have passengers - which means you can't take a picture of the sign. In Massachusetts, its illegal to hold the phone while driving.
Here's some QA graphics that I found in various QA channels. Check out the QA Image Library for a huge selection of Quality Assurance graphics.
This month I focused more on quality graphics. I didn't want to throw up images just to have a blog post. In QA, it's about quality not quanity.
- Testing in Production
- Quality Testing Logo
- Wahoo Time for Testing
- (FireFly Design) - Don't Let the Bugs to Escape.
What Testing in Production Looks like.
Quality Testing (Logo?)
WooHoo Time For Testing
Don't Let the Bugs Escape!
How to create great CTAs using A/B testing
If you've delved into Landing Page Optimization (LPO), chances are you've pondered over your Call to Action (CTA) buttons. Even if you haven't, you've likely given them their due time. CTAs are your literal calls to action, and thus serve as your final conversion step. That's what all your marketing, social media, and link-building efforts aim to push audiences to do. Where great CTAs can do them justice, underperforming CTAs can severely devalue your efforts. So, how can you fine-tune them for better conversion rates? Simply, by testing their relevant attributes one by one. In other words, you may create great CTAs using A/B testing ' and here is how.
What are CTAs?
But before we explore the main subject, let us briefly define those two terms, starting with CTAs.
In brief, CTAs are buttons on landing pages that encourage visitors to take the desired action. Examples may include:
- Signing up for a newsletter
- Downloading a free copy of a report
- Purchasing a product or service
Conversions and conversion rates
In turn, effective CTAS are invaluable to have a greater number of conversions on your landing pages. As CTAs are direct calls to action, they are at the forefront of LPO and Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). Put differently, they are the final arbiter of whether a visitor converts or leaves.
That said, there are different types of conversions, and each calls for a different approach to CTAs. Specifically, Google Analytics identifies two distinct conversion types:
- Micro conversions. These are conversions that push the visitor further into your sales funnel, such as newsletter signups.
- Macro conversions. Instead, these are completed transactions.
Then, it identifies four distinct conversion groups:
Among the four, only 'revenue' refers to macro conversions. The other three are likely earlier in your sales funnel, so they will require different CTA styles and copy.
What is A/B testing?
Now, to create great CTAs using A/B testing, we'll also need to define A/B testing equally briefly. A/B testing, as the name implies, is the process of testing two variations of a page against each other. Typically, the process relies on modifying a single page element, and then directing traffic to both the original (A) and the modified version (B).
Understandably, A/B testing can't succeed on a hunch. Instead, it typically requires such assets as CRM software and heat maps to inform which elements are modified and how.
Finally, A/B testing is one of 3 types of page testing:
- A/B testing
- Split testing
- Multivariate testing
Granted, 'A/B testing' and 'split testing' see interchangeable use, but many do distinguish the two.
How to create great CTAs using A/B testing
With the above in mind, we may now discuss our main subject. To do so, we'll need to split it in two; the process itself, and the CTA modifications.
The A/B testing process
First and foremost, the process itself is crucial. Indiscriminately testing CTA elements, or testing many elements at once, will very rarely yield reliable results. Instead, you may take a more calculated, focused approach.
#1 Decide on your elements
Initially, you should decide which specific elements you will test. CTA elements to consider are:
With this many factors, you should understandably begin with a data-driven hypothesis. Thus, you may use CRM, heat maps, and any other analytics tools at your disposal to inform your choice.
#2 Create multiple variants
Then, you may test your hypotheses in action. To do so, you will need to create multiple 'B' variations and test them individually against your 'A'. Luckily, the digital age offers heat maps, so you may consider the following metrics they can provide:
- How many visitors see your CTAs? Scroll maps will reveal how many visitors scroll to your CTAs.
- How many visitors identify your CTAs and react to them? Move maps will provide these insights.
- Do enough visitors click on your CTAs? Click and touch maps will reveal how many clicks and taps your CTAs get.
#3 Monitor your results
Finally, you should take the time to properly analyze your tests' findings. As you do, ensure you build the framework for more, and more conclusive tests. For this step, consider the following:
- Ensure you have a decent sample size to draw conclusions from.
- Let your tests run for long enough to ensure accuracy.
- Identify which specific elements led to success or failure each time, and use them for further tests.
The process aside, creating great CTAs using A/B testing also hinges on CTAs themselves. While exact modifications should absolutely rely on your own analytics and tests, there are a few set practices to consider. In no particular order, these are the following.
#1 Refine your copy to encourage action
The very purpose of a CTA is to inspire action, so your copy must reflect this. Thus, lead with imperative verbs; 'sign up', 'get this', and 'click here' are CTA staples for a reason.
At the same time, visitors must know exactly what they're getting out of it. To do so, make your proposal clear; frame your CTA with clear information so that visitors know what you're offering.
#2 Keep it simple
However, clarity comes from simplicity; long CTAs are often visually unappealing. Thus, you should strive for copy simplicity:
- Keep it between 2 to 5 words
- Avoid jargon
- Use adjacent page space for more information
Of course, simplicity is also relative to what your unique audience expects. Average audiences might dislike jargon, for example, but invested, savvy audiences might appreciate it in moderation.
#3 Keep your CTA visible and above the fold
On the subject of placement, CTA visibility is among the most common missteps. Here, consider such factors as the following:
- Ensure your chosen font is highly readable
- Use a contrasting CTA color in relation to the page
- Place your CTA above the fold to ensure visibility
- Avoid visual clutter around the CTA
- Limit each page to one CTA to avoid decision fatigue
#4 Add a countdown timer to incite agency
Having ensured simplicity, clarity, and visibility, you may then consider countdown timers to incite urgency. The role of your CTAs is to inspire action, after all, and few things do so as successfully as urgency.
For reference, consider that Sleeknote found that popups with countdown timers outperformed ones without timers by 113%. In principle, the same applies to CTAs ' which should explain the common 'sign up now', 'hurry!', and similar copy choices.
#5 Make it stylish' where appropriate
Finally, you may attempt to spice up your CTAs. Most notably, you may employ humor; for example, OptinMonster's exit-intent popup cries 'that's abandonment!' as you leave. HootSuite's exclaims, 'well, this is awkward', before continuing that they 'could've SWORN you were someone' interested in their services.
These are evidently very effective, as their audiences find them charming. However, this kind of humor is in line with their branding, and resonates with their audiences. Yours may both differ, so when trying to create great CTAs using A/B testing, make sure to do your due research.
Recently I was browsing around Sketchplanations collection and found this graphic around Goodheart's Law:
When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.
Understand GoodHarts Law is useful for QA because it helps understand that without a clear objective - specifically one that benefits the consumer- can cause a loss of focus. Thus all the work and effort may cause more harm than good.
Some questions to ask when working on a project. Don't wait for a retrospective to ask these questions. Think about these at the beginning of each sprint:
What are the goals of the project?
What solution are we trying to solve?
Will this solution actually fix the problem or will it cause more pain points to the customer.
Check out sketchplanations
Definitely check out other Sketchplanations drawings. They do a great job in explaining various topics.
Computer Change Up
Last week I got assigned a new laptop, and this week I'll be configuring all the various QA applications on it. One of the things that came to mind during this process is how many testing tools that I don't really use anymore.
This got me thinking that moving to a new laptop is a good time to do an assessment of the tools that I really need to have. Over the years, I tested various apps, but never uninstalled them.
Consider a Change
If you're using the same laptop/desktop for the past three years, you may want to consider changing a laptop/desktop before starting that next big project. It's a good way to start from fresh.
Five Things I Have Learned
- Getting the computer into a productive state takes time. It takes time to find the right software and licenses. Once you have the installation done, there some time needed to get the software configured to how you remember it - such as custom keyboard shortcuts and layouts.
- I used the opportunity to rearrange my physical desktop. The new MacBooks have USB-C ports and I can connect external monitors on either side. This allowed me to switch things around so I can have a more practical workspace.
- I have found that cloud services make migration so much easier. Dropbox and One Drive make moving files between the computers easier. Also, many of my apps settings are stored in DropBox, so they pick up various configurations when the applications are installed.
- Keep it simple. I am committed to not installing software on this computer that is also not essential to my work. My other computer had a lot of graphic apps that I really don't need.
- Document Everything. I used various sources to store software license keys. As I am installing apps. I am recording them in a single app - so I have a single source for next time. Including documenting what apps are being used for what functionality. Think of it as a Wiki page for essential apps.
The purpose of these blog posts is to provide you with all the information you ever wanted to know about Software Quality Assurance testing but were afraid to ask. These blog posts will cover topics, such as what is software quality assurance testing, how to create test plans, how to design test cases, and how to create automated tests. They will also cover best practices for software quality assurance testing and provide tips and tricks to make testing more efficient and effective.
Check out all the Blog Posts.