What Should You Include in a QA Checklist? Part One

First off, I should apologize. In the words of Robert Palmer, “I didn’t mean to turn you on” with such a sexy and provocative subject as the Quality Assurance Checklist. So with all apologies aside, let’s get this party started.

perfect-pouty-lips

What’s it for?
We use QA Checklists to troubleshoot for errors in navigation, animations, spelling, graphic elements and a whole host of other things. QACs are also great for ensuring the styles are consistent throughout a series of courses.

Consistency Aids Comprehension
Let’s say you’re doing software training. You may have had a number of SMEs from different areas of the company who have contributed content. Some of them italicize the names of each screen name, some put them in parenthesis, some capitalize the first letter of every report name, some don’t, some put keyboard commands in bold, some don’t.

For the learner, software training can be difficult enough. One almost subliminal way of making your training more intuitive and comprehensible is to simply be consistent. If all report names are in title case, all screen names are italicized, and all keyboard commands are in bold; the learner will naturally pick that up and have a much easier time understanding your instructions.

Branding
You also run into this a lot in sales training where the company’s name, their line of products and services, and their brands are supposed to be presented a certain way. Here’s a before and after, just to give you an example:

BEFORE: TrueSearch’s SearchTech solutions offer a variety of software products to address your customer’s SEO needs including: SearchBait, ExecuSearch, and RealTimeMonitor. True-search designed search-tech solutions with their particular business in mind. Realtime-monitor, for example can be tailored to any company’s particular SEO needs.

AFTER: TrueSearch’s SearchTech solutions offer a variety of software products to address your customer’s SEO needs including: SearchBait, ExecuSearch, and RealTimeMonitor. TrueSearch designed SearchTech solutions with their particular business in mind. RealTimeMonitor, for example can be tailored to any company’s particular SEO needs.

Be Careful With Search and Replace
One final note of caution. NEVER do a “search and replace all” or you’ll suffer some embarrassing consequences! As tedious as it may seem, you’ll want to look at each instance of a word or phrase individually. I can’t tell you how many times a “search and replace all” has backfired resulting in unexpected global errors.

embarrassed

Free QA Checklist
In my next post, I will talk in more detail about other areas to include in your QA Checklist. But for now, here’s a free, editable one I created in Excel to get you started.