I have some important things to tell you. My main challenge over the next few years is to make people understand the meaning and interest of the notion of quality assurance for the web. This is fundamental, because there’s a lot to be done, and it’s vital for the future of Opquast: our positioning and role must be as clear as possible.
There’s probably a misunderstanding for which I’m largely responsible: at the start of this company, around 2000, I chose to talk about web quality. Why did you do this? First of all, because the quality of websites was disastrous, and to improve it, I needed to create a basic reference framework to objectify this notion. So I started by working on grids, then on quality assessment tools.
In 2011, we published a book entitled “Qualité web” (in French). Everything was in place for the question of web quality to be perceived essentially as a result to be achieved, a form of excellence and an objective that competes with other objectives such as accessibility, security, eco-design and many others.
However, the question posed by Opquast is not so much to obtain the highest possible level of quality (excellence), but to understand, control and prevent the fundamental risks of a web project. To do this, we need to move from a results-centric approach to a means-centric one.
This is one of the reasons why, in 2014, we decided to adopt a new angle and create Opquast certification. Basically, we wanted to focus not on the results to be aimed for to achieve quality, but on the means to be implemented to master and improve it, starting with training.
Since then, I’ve stopped talking about web quality. I’m talking about web quality assurance. I’m talking about our businesses, I’m talking about informed decision-making, I’m talking about risk management, training, methods, resources and governance. I’m talking about website quality management, and in 2020, I re-titled the book Web Quality as Web Quality Assurance ((Assurance qualité web, in French).
Alas… Three years later, it’s still not clear enough.
Industrialization is underway. The major risks are known and perceived. A company, a public authority or a website designer can’t just focus on eco-design, performance, accessibility, security and personal data management. We need to coordinate and bring into play a wide range of expertise. We have no choice.
In all industrialized sectors, there is quality assurance, quality management, quality control, quality certification, quality specialists, methods, techniques and training.
But the web is an industrial sector. This sector is ready to hear about quality assurance.
Now it’s time to talk about quality assurance.
For the web.
You might retort that the classical IT QA (Quality Assurance) and the world of testing already play this role?
No, they’re letting a huge number of UX, accessibility, security and other problems slide by.
On a human level, do you know any quality assurance managers in the web sector?
As far as I’m concerned, I know very few, and I think I’ve trained almost all of them.
In an industrial sector, that’s an anomaly.
So, how do we proceed?
Should industry’s qualiticians – of which there are many – take a closer look at the digital world?
That would be desirable, but I don’t think it’s a good idea, as it’s not their natural area of expertise.
Should web professionals be trained as quality assurance managers?
Yes, and that’s the path I’ve chosen.
It starts with Opquast certification, Integrating web quality assurance rules and vocabulary into one’s professional practice, and continues with training as a web quality assurance referent.
So, let’s talk about quality assurance.
For the web.
And by the way, if there’s a new version of the book in 2025, it will be entitled QUALITY ASSURANCE for the Web.
Thanks to Véronique Lapierre and Laurent Denis for their proofreading and advice (as always).