Web Design Development And Testing

Web Design Development And Testing

Web Design, Development and​ Testing
Many organizations are interested in​ building web applications for​ their business but are unaware of​ the​ various steps that are needed to​ build a​ compelling web application .​
In this article I​ will attempt to​ put together the​ various pieces of​ the​ puzzle .​
Application development involves several distinct efforts that need to​ come together to​ build a​ compelling end product .​
a​ compelling end product is​ the​ combination of​ design, development architecture, development implementation, automated regression and​ functional testing and​ performance and​ load testing.
Design: People often confuse design with development .​
Moreover even within design, user interface design is​ often confused with graphics design .​
Web user interface design involves the​ design of​ the​ flow of​ the​ website and​ the​ layout of​ the​ specific web pages within the​ website .​
The web user interface designer concentrates on the​ usability of​ the​ application .​
The user interface designer will typically develop wireframes using tools like Adobe Photoshop to​ convey the​ design .​
These are often initially developed as​ prototypes and​ usability testing is​ carried with user groups out to​ ensure that the​ web application will be intuitive and​ easy to​ use .​
Graphics design on the​ other hand relates to​ the​ aesthetics of​ the​ page .​
The graphics designer is​ responsible for​ the​ aesthetic layout of​ the​ pages and​ the​ creation of​ the​ various graphical objects inside the​ pages such as​ images and​ flash objects .​
The graphics Designer will typically use a​ combination of​ tools such as​ Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and​ Adobe Captivate to​ create the​ actual graphics objects .​
a​ designer will need to​ work closely with other groups to​ make sure the​ design process does not compromise the​ performance of​ the​ application by making sure that the​ graphics objects are small thus ensuring that the​ various web performance metrics are unaffected .​
Development: This involves converting the​ design into an​ actual application .​
The development typically involves an​ architectural phase where the​ underlying modules that make up the​ application are scoped out .​
If persistent data storage is​ needed, a​ database schema should be designed to​ accommodate the​ data storage needs .​
The choice of​ the​ operating system (e.g .​
Windows, Linux or​ Solaris) where the​ web application will run, the​ web server (e.g .​
Microsoft IIS, Apache or​ Tomcat) which will run the​ web application and​ the​ back end database (e.g .​
Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL or​ Postgres) which stores the​ data will need to​ be made .​
Various development frameworks are available to​ build web applications .​
The most common ones are ASP and​ ASP.NET from Microsoft, Java Servlets and​ JSP from Sun, PHP and​ Perl that are open source .​
The choice of​ the​ application framework is​ typically dictated by the​ strengths of​ the​ members of​ the​ development team .​
The architectural phase is​ followed by the​ implementation phase .​
This is​ typically the​ longest part of​ the​ project and​ during this phase the​ actual code is​ written using the​ design specifications and​ graphics objects developed by the​ design team .​
The programming will typically be done using a​ combination of​ the​ application frameworks mentioned earlier together with HTML, JavaScript and​ CSS style sheets.
Quality Assurance and​ Testing: a​ surprising number of​ people are of​ the​ view that quality assurance and​ testing is​ desirable but is​ not actually needed .​
Unfortunately this view has its roots in​ total ignorance of​ the​ process that is​ needed to​ build a​ good end product .​
Regardless of​ how pretty or​ slick we make the​ application, if​ it​ does not work as​ expected, users will reject it .​
Quality assurance and​ testing involve two different kinds of​ tasks .​
Functional and​ regression testing is​ used to​ verify that the​ developed application is​ doing what it​ is​ supposed to​ do .​
This is​ achieved by test automation using a​ functional testing tool .​
Load and​ Performance testing is​ used to​ ensure that the​ application performs as​ intended when it​ is​ subjected to​ the​ typical load of​ a​ production environment .​
Load testing is​ practically speaking impossible to​ perform without using an​ automated load testing tool since it​ involves the​ simulation of​ a​ large number of​ concurrent virtual users .​
This effect cannot really be achieved manually and​ needs the​ assistance of​ an​ application that is​ designed to​ subject the​ application to​ a​ specified load and​ then measure its performance when it​ is​ subjected to​ that load .​
Quality Assurance teams will need to​ track the​ bugs or​ defects in​ the​ application using bug tracking tools .​
Such tools will allow defects to​ be tracked by all members of​ the​ team.
The three groups mentioned above tend to​ be specialized for​ their skill set .​
As an​ example, people often make the​ mistake of​ using developers as​ quality assurance testers .​
This is​ not a​ wise strategy because most developers who are good at​ writing software are quite poor at​ finding bugs or​ defects in​ their own software .​
Writing good and​ compelling web applications requires an​ understanding of​ all phases of​ the​ process, design, development and​ quality assurance .​
Skipping phases or​ taking shortcuts will result in​ low quality software that will generally cost more in​ the​ long run.

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