We all know that great user experiences lead to happy customers. The importance of having a website largely free of layout quirks and bugs is therefore pretty obvious.
A recent study done by the Baymard Institute found that layout bugs were a direct cause of customers leaving the website, with customers finding products too difficult to find, becoming frustrated or suspicious, and distrusting of the website. Leading your business to be deemed unprofessional or incompetent. So why annoy your customers, resulting in website abandonment, when it was hard enough to get them there in the first place.
In recent years, the number of screen sizes, input methods, and browser features, has exploded. Yet it seems that the testing procedures of many sites hasnâ€™t followed suit. With many layout bugs occurring due to responsive and scale fluidity, art direction that doesnâ€™t take the mobile experience into account, input fields and formatting that donâ€™t allow touch states â€“ the list goes on and the examples are numerous.
Bugs are sneaky, and they will creep through even the best of testing procedures â€“ Do you have the organizational procedures in place to discover and solve bugs when they do occur?
Why not be prepared? The key to preventing the occurrence of bugs is to have best practices in place, developing quality assurance procedures and designing with layout quirks and interaction bugs in mind. As to dealing with bugs when they do occur, it would do best to rely on technology that promotes resilience and eases recovery.
There are generally three principles to follow when dealing with bugs:
- Focus on the most common and critical paths the visitor would take, and revisit them regularly. (Typically: product pages, checkout process, search results and engine, homepage, popular categories, and the help section.)
- In dealing with layout bugs and flawed interactive features â€“ Minimize their occurrence by building a solid baseline instead, and then progressively enhance it with increasingly sophisticated features based on device and browser capabilities.
- In dealing with server errors and site maintenance â€“ Set custom 404 and 500 error pages and minimize the customers pain by making it as easy as possible to recover from page errors, offering useful alternatives (e.g. completing the order via phone), and incentivizing them (with coupon codes and similar offers) to return to your website.
The aim is to minimize bugs that creep in over time and to handle them gracefully when they do occur.
Bugs will occur, and even though they are not visible doesnâ€™t mean they arenâ€™t there. So before throwing yet another bunch of resources towards adding more features to your website, maybe itâ€™s time to allocate a team to finding and fixing bugs every now and then.
Quality assurance (QA) is the foundation of user confidence and customer satisfaction.
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