The Importance of UX and QA for a Startup | Furlough Mastermind

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Join us every Wednesday at 2pm EST in the Furlough Community Discord for our Mastermind session hosted by Joe Casanova & Ophir Gadot. Our guests change every week and range from experts, entrepreneurs and creatives to influencers, brands, nomads, investors and more!

 

In this session Joe Casanova and Ophir Gadot explain how UX & UI is a company effort and not an individual one.

how UX & UI is a company effort and not an individual one

You can also watch the replay of the mastermind here:

 

Joe Casanova 

Let’s get this party started. All right, are we excited? I hope so no worries, we are going to over deliver as promised. And make sure you guys walk away with some great insights and great value, how UX is a company effort and on an individual effort, and no one, it goes down to UX and QA, they go hand in hand. And that’s a lot about the session we’re going to talk about today. You made a comment not so long ago about how your best QA person is the CEO, right? I’d love for you to share some insights and thoughts on that.

 

What is QA? 

What is QA? 

Ophir Gadot 

QA is like quality assurance, and we expect this individual to come into a company, and kinda fine tune and polish older funnels, channels and assets. Now, just think how big it is. Even on the content level of content strategy. I have writers, I have editors and proofreaders. I have developers and designers and I have SEO. Six different people are working on one post, right? If they missed something, I expect that individual to step in and tell me so it’s like everybody does QA and the person who does QA more than anyone else is the CEO. You know why? Because he’s under the most stress, whenever something is wrong. He’s the first one who gets fired for it. I’m speaking this from experience, this is what you do all the time. And I see Joe is having that experience as well. When you’re a CEO, you’re constantly looking at what’s not good. You’re constantly checking, like, Where can I improve? It’s a constant evaluation of every tiny aspect of your company. It’s never ending. So QA in general, like UX is a company effort. And for me, I expect the designer to tell me if there is a typo, they notice. I expect the copywriter to tell me if the strategy is not on point. And I expect the developer to tell me that the blog is sh*t. I do want that collaboration to be from head to bottom still, QA is a CEO role.

 

Joe Casanova 

It really is. And we’ve had I mean, I’m hiring QA teams, where I’m going to go into some of the software that use checking out different browsers and checking out, you know, different devices to have the mobile, you know, iPhone, Android, and going through these processes. And yet, some of the people that are doing QA, it’s not necessarily a high position role. But you know, the CEO, the CMO, those higher levels have the ability and skill sets to identify broken parts of the funnel that maybe a QA person can’t do. So how often should you do QA?

 

How Often Should You Do QA?

 How Often Should You Do QA?

Ophir Gadot 

This is constant.

 

Joe Casanova 

It’s for every day, every day, I’ll open the site, every time there’s a major update, always check your products, always check your flows, if it was growing 3, 4, 5 people a day, why for the past two, three days, my email list hasn’t grown, QA, reverse engineering, and figure out exactly what’s happening.

 

User Testing vs. Quality Assurance

User Testing vs. Quality Assurance

 

Now what is the difference between quality assurance and user testing, okay, and user testing, basically examining how real people perceive and use your site or software, you’re exploring the points of these visitors about what they do and what they don’t understand. With UX studies, you understand how users actually scan a website, if you have elements on your websites that lead to unexpected visitor reactions or points of friction so that they can’t continue to go down their funnel. This user testing allows you to do updates through your UI and UX to ultimately allow them to continue down the funnel. User testing really does understand how visitors’ experiences on the site differ from what the intentions of the developer are. Now, how can you do some user testing? One of my favorite tools, Hotjar, it can pull up heat mapping, it can pull up recorded sessions, it can even pull up scroll data, understanding where you slow down because the big headings actually capture certain information. And that’s where the eyeballs go, which can lead them deeper into the funnel and nurture your audience. Now, user testing, it’s by far… Ophir, are there any other tools you could recommend?

 

Ophir Gadot 

I personally love SmartLook.

 

Joe Casanova 

Yandex metrica, that’s a free heat mapping tool for you guys known as the Russian Google. QA, It’s pretty straightforward, as we discussed, examines the site itself, you’re looking for bugs, issues, errors, broken links, broken buttons, points of friction, that’s where you want to ultimately do you want to put yourself through the funnel, you want to go assess to create a cleaner, faster, better site that works the way that the developer intended. One of the easiest things to do QA is you say, Well, I have this audience person that comes to this page. And the goal is to end up at this thank you page, signup form, go and type it to see what email comes your way. Do it again for a different form and just constantly do that. And it’s actually quite a simple task that is just not done by most, especially, a company as a whole and a company that does care. Okay, and I truly believe the reason why the CEO, the weight of QA falls on him the most is because the CEO cares the most. And traditionally, you know, the company’s team, they’re not really interested in checking if the funnel works and things like that unless they’re really trying to prove their point that they care about their business and want to grow within this organization.  So what are some cool QA tools? I’m very familiar with BrowserStack, what BrowserStack does, and it allows cross-browser testing. Okay, as you guys can see from this graph, you can go into iOS, Android, Windows XP and older versions, you can actually choose different browsers, right from safari to Firefox, Chrome and so on. And understanding Wow, okay, my site is not responsive for this browser on this device. And you can go ahead and improve the actual experience. This sounds like a lot to do QA. But that’s why we have incredible tools. Like as simple as Google Analytics, Google Analytics, you can see and pull up how many of your users are mobile, desktop and tablet. And on top of it, let’s say you have an eCommerce Store, you can focus specifically on QAing, your highest returning pages, right? I don’t really care too much about focusing all my efforts on improving the contact page. As you can see, it only gets 4000 web viewers a month. But my homepage has 24,000. My all products page has 11,000. These are the pages that you want to put on. I would most likely look at the homepage on mobile, and put my efforts there and slowly go down the list of the priorities. After I’ve finished QAing all the top pages, I would then go ahead and switch to the desktop and check it there.

 

Ophir Gadot 

Just a couple of comments about QA. In QA, you want to try and doing stuff that is a little outside of the natural behavior we tested, I’ll just give you an example. We found it in an eCommerce website that I managed, our approach was always to take a look at conversion. And once we see a job is like I’m going to start checking everything, I’m going to start sending CS fulfillment guys, everyone is going to check the website and see what’s not working. And what we found, for example, is that if I’m adding a certain type of product to the cart with another type of product, the automatic discount is being rejected for some reason. So we have a promotion going. But if I’m buying one product with another, it’s not working. And you’ll be surprised it took us more than a day to find it. But I mean, you want to check literally every scenario, because it’s very hard to tell what doesn’t go right when you don’t know it.

 

Joe Casanova 

I mean, we’ve had similar experiences as well, when we had an affiliate program. So every affiliate had a unique coupon code and one of the juniors instead of doing an affiliate when typing in the coupon code, they put a storewide code, and we had to shuffle between 500 different coupons, trying to figure out what’s causing the store to break. In this case, it was actually another Junior, who was like all the sites are 90% off what’s going on. And we all were all hands on deck and went to QA and figure out how to fix this bug. 

 

What makes UX a company effort

What makes UX a company effort

 

So perfect time to lead to the next point is what makes this a company effort. And the reality is what’s a company made of? It’s made up of your team. And your team can comprise editors and writers. And your editors and writers are most likely gonna QA the copy. They’re going to QA the forms. These editors are going to QA the images and the context of the copy in the sense of the site. The developers are going to QA most of the stuff that you see here from speed to the 404 pages to the navigation, making sure things work, the responsiveness, making sure it’s mobile friendly, making sure that when you go from desktop things stack appropriately, instead of stacking on top of each other, which is actually a common issue. You have your SEO team. This is a whole other team, the SEO team, there’s only a certain type of person that can really do QA and understand, you know, title tags, metadata, the sitemaps, the structured markup, which is overlooked a lot. The structured markup, the schema markup. QA isn’t always just checking how your brand is presenting on your site. But it’s also understanding how it’s showing up on directories and search engines just like Google or Yelp. The SEO team is usually spearheading that local SEO traffic from these directories. And this is some part of that QA process. Last but definitely not least, of course, as marketers, you know, everything else kind of falls on us. So…

 

Ophir Gadot 

A lot of times we have a lot of big titles for stuff and roles. If you care about what you do. Even if you’re cleaning, you’re going to check what you’re doing and make sure that it’s done right. Otherwise, you’re not really doing it good. So the same goes here. And because it’s a multi department company like anything, especially on digital it’s multi company effort, I still think that QA lies mostly on the executives, shareholders and owners also do QA and whoever works with business owners knows that they constantly keep on reaching out to you about it.

 

Joe Casanova 

Absolutely. In this company that I used to have as a client who just IPOed on the New York Stock Exchange for about $200 million. It is a fifth of a billion dollars that they just IPOed and went public. First thing that we got from that client was simply by going to their website, looking at the phone number, calling the phone number and it went to their lawyer’s office instead of a customer service line. Imagine being an investor of that company, just doing a nice no-mystery shop, just understanding the customer experience of what the company you’re invested in. And finding out that the number gets redirected to the law firm, which they can close a sale. How much money is left on the table simply by little issues and mistakes that happen on a site.  Let’s hear it. How do we feel? I know we kept it light that one super impactful, though, and cannot emphasize or stress the importance of QA and the importance of, you know, going back to what Ophir said is, it does happen at that executive level, that Chief positions but when people who are not in that role, and they’re just starting off, maybe as a junior, or in a managerial position, start identifying these issues and presenting it. This is how you get in the good graces of those executive people.

 

Ophir Gadot 

Like depends on where you are. There’s a lot of companies, especially executives that are lazy on companies that don’t want to grow. They’re cool in the position of being passive and okay, the company doesn’t work, you know, I mean, the product is not good. This is how you can recognize a good company to be in and a company that makes moves, because they’re receptive to feedback. They’re open to improve where they come off short, like, I know, for example, that some of my friends are leading companies in very big roles. Because of that, they come to the CMO and like, listen, dude, we have a lot of holes in our marketing plan in our marketing efforts. And the CMO is too filled with his own ego, so he’s not open to get that feedback. If this is what you see, run away, this company is not going to succeed. Even if the CMO is amazing. It doesn’t matter. It’s a mindset thing. QA is a big word for giving sh*t about your business. If you give a sh*t, constantly check, question and improve.

 

Joe Casanova 

Absolutely, Guys love to hear it. Love to see it. Let’s make some noise one more time. Guys.