Having a great user experience with software is fantastic. Everything runs smoothly and, when you have a question, the answer is right there in front of you. It’s not a happy accident when everything all comes together like this. At ADD Systems it’s the result of a well thought out software engineering process and plan that includes quality assurance and user documentation.
Quality Assurance (QA) Means Thorough Software Testing
Making software that runs smoothly is an intentional process. One small change over here can cause several unanticipated changes over there, so you have to approach enhancements and new modules with care and thoroughness. This is where ADD’s Quality Assurance (QA) team enters the picture.
After software is designed and tested by our programmers, the QA team steps in to perform additional testing. This group is made up of subject matter experts – people who know the software inside and out. They validate basic functionality by developing both realistic and increasingly complex scenarios for testing, in an attempt to test as many of the likely uses of the software as possible. These initial tests ensure that the software does indeed do what it was intended to do with no obvious errors.
Automated Regression Testing
After the manual testing, when it appears that the changes have been successful, the automated regression testing begins. Essentially, regression testing runs the same scripts as the manual testing and takes snapshots of the results. It then compares these new results against the baseline – a snapshot of the results saved from the last software release. This comparison highlights the differences to be investigated. Some may be anticipated and in line with the intent of the software change, but some may be unintentional errors to be addressed.
Depending on the software change being tested, regression testing can take just one or two hours or one or two days. Either way, the results are reviewed closely by the analysts who remain in close contact with the software engineers to address any issues. With the results, we can either fix something that has been broken by mistake, or, establish a new baseline for the next release.
Through this thorough, system-wide comparison, the testing will ensure that a change over here did not break something over there. This leads to a more stable product and a better experience for our users.
Add in Documentation for Self-Help
After the successful completion of the regression testing, now the software is ready to be released. At this point, the client has the wheel, and, in order to give them the best experience possible, it’s important to empower them with easy access to self-help tools. The availability of full, up-to-date and organized documentation with easy access and helpful keyword search capability is paramount. While using ADD Energy E3 software, a user can even be linked straight to the documentation for whatever program they are using by simply pressing the F1 key from within that program. For those who prefer to see the software in action, help videos are available within the software as well.
A Happy User is an Informed User
Each time a new release is ready for use, it is documented in a Release Note on ADD’s Release Notes page within our Client Portal. The release notes clearly define the contents of the new release and the new enhancements clients can choose to implement. Users can stay informed by signing up to receive notifications each time a new release is posted. In addition to this, a user can view E3 help videos for the latest release of the software anytime on the client portal Help Video page.
The Total Package
A complete software solution is one that has not only the design and engineering expertise to meet the business challenge with an efficient solution, but also passes through rigorous testing, ensuring a high-quality product that builds trust with users. The total package includes the complete user experience and that means easily accessible documentation that makes users feel comfortable and well taken care of. ADD Systems’ thorough software development process makes our products the most capable and stable software solutions for petroleum distributors and convenience store retailers on the market today. We’re proud of it.