24 January 2018
You've got an amazing product, you've got insightful content ready to explain your story, your online presence is growing steadily, and you can't wait to launch your business.
You're ready! But first a quick check of your site.
You open Firefox web browser by accident instead of the usual IE. It doesn't matter; a browser is a browser, right? The page loads and....hold on, is that a small typo in the footer on the front page of your site. Easily fixed.... but is that text centred correctly in the buttons in the header? And was that logo always that shape? Heart pounding faster you click on one of your products. It adds it to your basket, but somehow 3 products have been added to your basket!
This is turning into something terrible.
To checkout you need to sign-in. On the sign-in page, you accidentally type a "!" instead of an "@" for the login email address. An error message pops up to notify you of your mistake, but the error message is total gibberish! Palms sweating and cursing for not finding these errors well before your launch day, you click on your basket and go through the payment process, entering address and credit card details. The payment is a success and you get a confirmation of your order. At least the payment gateway is working.
You take a deep breath and grab a pen and paper - you will need to make some notes on what’s wrong.
Unfortunately, this is a common situation; testing is left right until the end of a product's development. Your incredibly valuable time and effort has gone into creating this and it shouldn’t be jeopardised with a few mistakes.
Quality is incredibly important. Even if you sell a fantastic product for an amazing price - to maximise customer loyalty you will need a quality site that customers will want to keep coming back to. A way to increase quality is through testing.
Below are 9 tips for testing your payment solution
1. UX is important
I've started with this one as in the past decade UX has become increasingly important. UX stands for User Experience; it is the process of attempting to maximise the usability, accessibility and pleasure when interacting with a product. Your site should be easily navigated, straightforward to use, free from mystical error messages, ready for human interaction. To fully achieve this, you need careful planning, development and testing.
2. Never underestimate a small change
Changing text on page? Nothing is ever just a simple change. Basic functionality and customer journeys should be tested to see if they're not affected by this small change.
3. Internationalisation and localisation
As of June 2017, it is estimated that 51% of the world's population is online. That's nearly 4 billion people. This means that your products are available to a lot of people, all speaking different languages. How does your site cope when text is displayed in other languages?
4. Responsive website
A Responsive Website is one that adjusts to whatever device it's being viewed on; mobile, tablet, TV. Here's another statistic; in 2017 more than half of the world's population has a smartphone. That's a very, very large number. Accessing a site through mobile device is incredibly easy and convenient, and mobile phone users expect a site that is easy to use.
You might even have a mobile app. This would need testing too, and would have similar principles in testing.
5. Accessibility of your site
Accessibility is the design of products and services for people who experience disabilities. Many countries now have legislation and regulations for providing universal access to internet services in the form of assistive technologies. These can include support for your visually impaired customers such as colour schemes and screen readers, or closed-captions for hearing impaired customers.
6. Page loading/Customer Experience across different browsers
You can probably spot a theme in these tips. That's right, Customer Experience is one of the main ingredients to having an awesome website. All internet browsers are not equal, so you should check your application in multiple browsers. There are so many internet browsers available, but it isn't too difficult to test across 3 or 4 of the main browsers in existence. There are tools and plugins that can help you test functions in a browser too.
7. Performance testing is important
With offerings of highly elastic and scalable web servers becoming more prevalent and cheaper, performance testing is often overlooked in an application these days. Whether 5 or 50000 people are using your application at once to perform actions or buy products, it is worth being able to performance test your application
8. Payment processing
If you're selling products online, you will need to use a payment processor. Make sure that you choose one that takes pride in what they offer to the world.
It’s difficult to test everything. However, something to bear in mind is the fact that your site is accessible to the public - anyone with internet access. And who knows how they will treat your application. Of course, a few people will use it maliciously, whereas others will just accidentally do things that they're not supposed to. For example, on your payment page there's a CVN field that only accepts 3 or 4 digits, you can bet a years’ worth of merchant fees that someone somewhere will mistake this field for their name and type alphabet characters. Maybe they type characters that are not English. You may have a sign-up page and you can be sure that someone somewhere will mistake this for an order page. And this list goes on.
You shouldn't just take it for granted that your website is tested and working, or that it is not your responsibly to test. It is your site after all, and wouldn't you want to offer the best you can to the world?
Automated QA can help with testing everything, but that's a different conversation. At Bambora we're trying to automate a lot of the development and testing process, in order to create new features that make payments even smarter, secure and simple.
Keen to find out more about Bambora’s testing and development? Get in touch with one of the team today.
About the author
Kris Raven is Bambora APAC's QA and Automation Test Lead. He has spent a number of years fighting and defeating bugs in the media, payments and eCommerce industries.