A couple of years ago (when we still called ourselves IA’s vs UX Designers) I wrote a post entitled, IA and QA. In it I began to talk about testing and how I felt like I was spending so much time doing it, etc. Looking back I realize how often I’m NOT invited to QA as a consultant and almost long for those days of finding issues and errors. Now, I’m not even sure that the designs I’ve helped with will ever see the light of day.
Anywho, the other day I came across an article by Catriona Cornett, Quality Assurance as Applied to User Experience Design. The article immediately caught my eye because it’s a topic that was hot and heavy during my time as a fulltime employee, and nowadays it has fallen out of popularity. However, now more than ever I think that the topic has huge importance.
Working as a consultant, I have found that I really enjoy the discovery phase of things as well as some high level design. Of course I do more wireframes than I’d like to (who doesn’t?) but the parts of the projects that I love are understanding user, business, tech needs and helping to define and solve the problem. Reading Catriona’s article jolted me back into reality. I could do all the discovery I want, however, if the information and work that I’ve done is not tested or designed with, then it seems that it was not really helpful to the user at all.
The article was a great way for me to begin thinking about Quality Assurance again, especially how I could incorporate it into my work flow as an indie. I hope that QA is something that we begin talking about more… to ensure that the experiences we design go into production both as we intended but more importantly as functioning scenarios. Do you have thoughts about UX and QA? I’d love to hear them!