I went to a UX and Accessibility Meetup last night and talked to some developers and designers about usability — and then QA and testing — at their companies.

Courtesy of WOCinTech. Be an UX and accessibility advocate. https://www.flickr.com/photos/wocintechchat/25720964030

As a group, we’re crowd-sourcing a Guide to Accessibility book for those working on software. The topic of the night was best practices, and many came to share their knowledge. While adding entries, some started to also talk through frustrations they had with their companies not prioritizing usability testing. It was an afterthought, and too often ignored to meet deadlines.

Without a vocal advocate — and managers willing to stand up in support of it — company culture won’t change, and users’ needs are going to go unmet. And if there’s no strong advocate for testing within the company, the results can be disastrous — and not just in the marketplace.

The Importance of User Experience

You want to anticipate every need your customer will have, and provide it automatically. Because the very first time a user wants to perform a function but can’t find it or can’t navigate where to go, they will start considering switching services.

But it’s also deeper than that. If you don’t test absolutely everything and plan for every possible scenario, the ramifications can be huge.

We recently read about this recall of roughly 1 million pickup trucks, set to begin June 23. A malfunctioning sensor controlled by the software for the vehicle computer caused airbags to fail. A software issue that led to death and injuries.

If you’re a healthcare or insurance company with a Patient Portal or app, a dropped table or unsent alert could also inadvertently cause serious bodily harm.

If you’re a bank, other financial services company, or a retailer, security issues are always on your mind, as a hacked site or app could put thousands or even millions of customers’ private info and money in jeopardy.

We work with these industries, and specialize in testing for worst-case scenarios. Having a new set of eyes — with a different background in testing strategies — will only help your company’s software products succeed.