The Ultimate Guide to Functional Testing

    By Amy Montague, Friday 17 January 2020

    Simply defined functional testing tests the functionality of a website. For example, if you own a simple blog-based website, like a fitness blog or a food-focused blog, then you will want to ensure the search bar works and presents the correct search results in a categorical form. You will also want to ensure every individual post is organised from newest to oldest depending on your preferences.

    Whereas if you have a businesses-based website which is transactional, then functional testing can examine the core customer journeys and features of your website that directly affect conversion rates and revenue. For example, ensuring your 'add to cart' buttons work and removing any broken links improves user journeys and revenue. Functional testing will explain why a drop in conversion rates has occurred and exactly where the issue is located.

    Best practices

    There are three core ways in which functional testing can be performed on your website. The first is a functional exploratory test. During this test, our community of professional testers will browse your website in the same way a typical user would, looking for issues or bugs that negatively affect their customer journey. This method of functional testing is a great way to perform a clean sweep of your website ensuring you are delivering a digital experience that overshadows your competitors.

    The next method would be a scenario-based functional test. During this test, testers would be given specific user journeys to follow which is of high value to the website. These scenarios could be chosen due to the high levels of traffic they receive or as a way of testing a new functionality that was recently released.

    The final functional testing practice is scripted functional testing. This functional testing practice has a higher level of detail than scenario testing as specific steps are outlined by internal teams. Scripted testing is recommended for high-security level website/apps and large ecommerce platforms, as every payment step can be tested and examined in great detail.

    All of these functional testing methods are highly important and directly affect your digital performance. Combining them together ensures your website is delivering a positive online user experience, boosting conversion and revenue through an issue-free website.

    Find out how functional testing could have saved Mothercare from closing

    How we help you

    To begin with, our solutions consultants will organise a touch-base scoping call where we will discuss the core focal points of your business, including, goals and focuses, along with any pain points which you feel could be improved. We also work with you and your internal teams to plan out a strategy that is in line with your team's KPIs or goals, delivering results that boost your internal team's productivity and achievements. Our functional testing can be performed on both staging and development environments meaning you aren't restricted to a certain type of functional testing.

    Once a scoping call has been performed and a contract signed, your business will be assigned a project coordinator who works in-house with our solution consultants. This project coordinator will liaise with your internal tech teams to ensure our community testers IP addresses are whitelisted and blocked from your analytics to ensure we don't skew any data.

    If you are just performing a functional exploratory or scenario test, then once our IP address has been whitelisted we will launch the test to our community members via our portal and start testing as soon as possible. Whereas, if you have chosen to perform a scenario-based functional test, then our internal team will produce specific journeys in which the testers will follow that can be viewed on our portal by you and your internal teams.

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    The smoke test

    Once every stage has been set up and both our internal teams and your internal teams are comfortable with the functional testing being launched, we will perform a qualitative smoke-test to ensure every part of the functional test on both sides is performing as it should be, and that no glitches or hiccups are present before the test begins. This smoke test only takes an average of 30 minutes to complete, and once the results are in we launch the full test out to our community.

    The results

    All of our functional testing projects are hosted and categorised on our bespoke portal showing the exact numbers of testers active on your site, the number of issues raised and the category in which each bug fits into. The three key categories which we use to categorise our bugs are critical (most impactful), conversion (can prevent conversions but won't stop users performing conversions) and UX (reduces the positive UX of your site). Our community testers must produce visual evidence of the issue in action, labelling which browser and device combination it appears on, either through video or screenshot evidence. All issues are then examined, qualified and listed in order of severity by our in-house delivery team, meaning no redundant issues are presented to your internal team and your team can get to work fixing these issues quickly starting with the most impactful first.

    After the test has been completed and all issues resolved, we work with you to plan future testing projects which are in line with your release schedule. This ensures that your platform provides a high-quality digital performance in the foreseeable future, regardless of any core website or app changes.

    Example of the portal with open issues

    Previous clients using functional testing

    One of our previous functional testing clients was a luxury holidaymaker based in the UK called Quality Cottages. Quality Cottages was experiencing a dip in conversions but unfortunately didn't have access to the resources or time required to perform an extensive functional test across their website. Working together with one of our solutions consultants, we constructed a functional test that catered to their internal team's needs and requirements and launched a 3-day functional test with over 300 professional testers. These 300 testers tested on over 400 different browser and device combinations, and as a result, 2 critical issues were uncovered, 18 conversion and 102 CX issues were identified. These issues were presented on our portal with video evidence and once fixed Quality Cottage's conversion rate doubled in just 4 weeks.

    Watch our Functional Testing Explained video here or contact us now for a quick 15-minute call with one of our solution consultants.

    Amy Montague

    Amy Montague

    As one of the Marketing Executives for Digivante, Amy provides and reviews most of the copy and visual content for Digivante. Amy has a natural flair for the creative and introduces aspect into her marketing role.

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