Questioning our product’s processes to improve our deliveries.
Last year we had a retrospective analysis for a few of our complete projects with the representatives of each team: UI/UX Design, QA (Quality Assurance), and Development, in which we questioned and gave feedback on the positive and negative aspects of all the projects. Among them, we discovered that there were opportunities for improvement at some points in the process and we realized we needed to work in a more connected way between teams. This would not only allow us to learn from each other, which would be enriching, but it would also enable each person, within their role, to have an overview of the project.
Until then, the QA team used to take part in the last stage of the project. They were partially involved, paying attention to the functionalities one by one, with no visibility of the project’s big picture. As errors were detected at the end of the process, there was more rework. Moreover, the QA team had no interaction with the UI/UX Design team since they worked in different stages of the project’s life cycle. This created a problem, since UI/UX designed the software and QA was supposed to validate that it was correctly functioning. Therefore, in order to correct these aspects and make the process more efficient we decided to follow a new process. If the QA team was involved from an early stage, this would enable an interaction between all the teams and QA’s understanding of the project in detail. As well, it would allow QA to make sure all the documentation is complete to avoid losing time when developing, testing, proposing, and defining different scenarios. This way, the QA team can notify UI/UX and BA teams in case those scenarios were not considered, and create test cases for developers to have everything they need before the implementation. Developers will be able to lean on them to make the best decision and rework will be reduced.
As well as in every digital product definition, we start with understanding the problem we will be solving. We ask the necessary questions at early stages and guide the client through a research process stage. This has not only shown to help us gain time and save money, in our experience, but it also helps us have a clear vision of the product’s specifications as well as the users’ needs and pain points. This stage takes time but helps us make sure that we will be taking the product in the right direction. Once the research stage ends and all the necessary information is collected, we start with the ideation stage. During this stage we define three aspects: “who”, “what”, and “how”, in which we answer the following questions. “Who”: What groups of users will the product help? “What”: What problems will it solve? “How”: How will it solve them? In this stage our vision of the product gets clearer little by little, basing on real data collected in the previous research stage instead of on assumptions. We generate different ideas and solutions that cover the business’ goals and the users’ needs. User personas, journey maps, user stories, and user scenarios are some of the tools we use to define the product’s concept. When the ideation stage finishes, we make the product tangible on a wireframe level with the purpose of validating ideas fast, maintain stakeholders aligned with the solution as well as detecting and eliminating possible errors in early stages. After that, all the teams: Development, UI/UX Design and QA, meet to learn about the functionalities of the project. At this stage, the designs are evaluated and the Development team is able to give their feedback if they detect that the proposed design cannot be implemented in the estimated time.
Given that they are complex digital products, some aspects may be overlooked by the UI/UX design team. The QA design’s role becomes crucial. This is why this new process aims to give the QA team the ability to review everything from the beginning, make sure that no scenario is missing and that everything is complete. This helps the Development team to make the best decision when implementing the solution. At the same time the QA team does the design testing, they create the test cases. This way, they take advantage of the exercise of thinking about the possible scenarios, they report the detected errors and they leave the Development team all the necessary information for the solution in order to avoid possible errors and rework.
This new process saves our clients time, money, and ensures them a better quality from the beginning. Moreover, another advantage this approach offers, for QAs, is to know the product from start to finish. This allows us to have an overview instead of knowing the functionalities separately and little by little. Learning from day one and together with the Design team is a radical improvement because it allows QAs to understand why certain UI/UX decisions were made and allows them to make their case when making functional QA.
In addition to having a Development team, a UI/UX Design team, and a QA team in our crew who design and develop digital products, we are following a new process to do so together, which represents an added value. This work dynamic, that consists of thinking the products as a team from the beginning, is a differentiating value that we love bringing to our clients.
As a whole, this new process proposes to move as a team altogether. It aims to make sure we are constantly aligned and understanding the same concepts, knowledge, and conditions concerning the product, the client’s goals and user’s needs. As the QA team is permanently involved in every stage, they can be consulted by the Development team since they understand the product and its flows. Moving as a team assures that we are all on the same page, which has an impact on time, that translates to cost, and the product’s quality; benefits that our clients value when working with a forward thinking company as Onetree.
We help clients grow their businesses by making creativity, flexibility, and talent converge into software development and UI/UX design. We are passionate and committed to take on challenges that can drive your business forward.
We combine our experience in Ecommerce, mobile, and web across various industries such as retail, wholesale, healthcare, government, and entertainment. This way, we work closely with you as a team in order to collaborate towards successful implementations.