The web is not a static place. Pages and sites are being added and removed constantly. Services stop working. Your position and product or service focus changes over time.
You need to account for this in your day-to-day processes.
Yes, it is important to QA your website or web app before you launch, but you also need to be looking at it on an ongoing basis to make sure that the positioning is still aligned with your vision and that no minor (or major) bugs or typos or other issues have slipped through.
Now, it’s unlikely that you have the time to review every page on your site every day. Plus, if you tried to do that, you wouldn’t really notice things after a while because they would seem like they were always the same. So, how do you do it?
How You Can Make QA a Process
First, make a list of what you consider to be the 12 or so most important pages on your site that are not your homepage. These are the pages that you think are key to explaining your value proposition and getting people to know and desire your product or service.
Break this list up into 4 sub-lists that each have 3 pages and add your homepage to each list (because you should look at your homepage each time). Number the lists 1-4.
Pick one day in your week and set aside 15 or 20 minutes. Put this on your calendar. Each week, look at each page on one of your lists and follow the guidelines below.
What To Check
- Does this page have a clear heading at the top describing what the page is about?
- Is the page intent still appropriate for your position?
- Does the rest of the content support and validate the intent?
- Does the page have a single, strong call to action?
- Does the page read clearly? Short(ish), punchy sentences. Correct grammar. No misspellings.
- Is the page scannable? Try stepping back from your computer and stand across the room. Can you still make some sense of the page structure simply by seeing where page headings are?
- Are there any obvious layout issues? Make sure that elements don’t run into each other.
What If You Find Something?
First, congratulate yourself. This is why you’re looking at the site.
Next, simply make a note or todo or ticket for you or someone else to fix the issue.
Keep It Going
Every 4-6 months, review your list of pages. Compare it to your current positioning and make sure that these are still the right pages for you to be focusing.
It can be a good idea to compare your list against your analytics. Are these the pages that people are visiting? If they’re not, then you should consider doing 2 things:
- Add your most visited pages to your list (possibly replacing other pages)
- Evaluate why you think a page is more important and try to raise its traffic
The Quality Assurance process needs to be ongoing. If you incorporate it into your weekly routine you will improve the quality of your website.