At Seon, testing and quality assurance is an integral part of every step of product development, and the only way to ensure delivery of quality, easy-to-use products that exceed customer expectations. Various types of testing happen at each stage of development, but one of the most important things we do at every stage is user testing.
We conduct regular, in-depth customer interviews and observe our products in use at customer sites to gather ideas for new products or features. At the Concept stage, we bring these ideas into our product development team for exploration. Product ideas are first tested for reliability, ease of use, customer acceptance, usability, and frequently involve creating a mock-up of the user interface that is tested by customers. Even if a product works reliably, if it doesn’t meet customer expectations, we go back to the drawing board.
Product development is an iterative process. We first create a prototype, followed by an ‘alpha’ and a beta version. If we are developing hardware, we perform a number of environmental tests (temperature, vibration, humidity) as well as compliance tests to ensure adherence to electrical and other safety standards. In addition, we perform rack testing which involves running test banks of equipment powered on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for up to several months to ensure reliability. All of this rigorous testing is conducted prior to the beta release to ensure we have a quality product ready for use in the field.
The beta testing phase is the stage of user acceptance where the proverbial rubber meets the road. In this phase of testing, we send out equipment to a number of customer sites. The main goal of beta testing is to verify and validate the new product or feature and answer two questions: 1) Is this what they wanted, and 2) Does it work as expected. Beta tests are run in a variety of geographical locations, fleet sizes, climates, and in organizations of varying complexity.
Once a product has passed the beta test, it is ready for general release, but the testing does not stop there. Regular tests are conducted during production, prior to shipping, during installation and even after delivery to ensure customer satisfaction.
Although there are many challenges to overcome in the development process, the customer’s needs come first. This singular focus ensures that every product we release has the market’s stamp of approval.
Jetha is the marketing communications manager at Seon.