The Difference Between QA and QC in Web App Development

By Joshua Gross, 08 October, 2022

At first glance, you might assume that quality assurance and quality control are two similar terms that refer to the same process. While they are both integral parts of quality management, quality assurance is focused on planning to ensure quality requirements are fulfilled. In contrast, quality control activities ensure those requirements are fulfilled in practice.

Understanding the difference between QA and QC in web app development is essential if you want to keep costs down, stick to your project timeline, and provide the best possible user experience.

Let's dive into the crucial distinctions between quality assurance and quality control and the benefits of each process in web app development.

What Is Quality Assurance?

Quality assurance focuses on ensuring that all quality requirements are met as a part of quality management. All activities that monitor and verify the process of delivering the highest quality product or service and those that focus on preventing problems fall under the umbrella of QA.

When you're developing a web app, one of the first steps should include quality assurance planning. At the start of your project, you will want to outline the standards and regulations that your product needs to meet. When you engage in a complete system that gives assurance that compliance will be met, you are practicing quality assurance.

There are many examples of activities that fall within the scope of quality assurance, including:

  • Code inspection
  • Auditing
  • Design inspection
  • Reviewing
  • Standardization
  • Functional testing
  • Path testing

The goal of QA is to ensure that the customer's needs are met as much as possible and that the final product is free from potential defects. An entire organization ideally participates in the quality assurance process, including leadership, the product team, and the customers they serve. Some companies might choose to incorporate third parties into the quality assurance process.

The Benefits of Quality Assurance

There are many compelling reasons why quality assurance should be a part of your web app development process. Let's look at the major benefits of making QA a priority.

Time Savings

With web app development, prevention is the best cure for any problem. It can feel frustrating to spend so much time planning when you want to begin development on your app, but the truth is that you will save a lot of time preempting issues rather than dealing with them when they arise.

Are you wondering how long you should expect development to take from start to finish? This guide goes over how long it takes to build a web app.

Cost Savings

It's a lot more expensive to fix problems than to put in the time to avoid them from the get-go. This doesn't just mean that it costs more in terms of hours of labor, but it can also impact the way customers relate to your web app and whether they choose to use your app long-term.

Essentially quality assurance can help keep your upfront costs down while saving you money on fixing bugs later on, while also ensuring that you don't lose customers down the road when preventable problems arise.

Increased Confidence

When you're investing so much time, money, and energy into a web app, you want to feel pretty confident that the end product will fit your initial vision. The quality assurance process oversees the entire project and ensures that the final app meets the standards and requirements you outlined at the start.

Preventing Errors

Quality assurance can help make sure errors don't appear pre- or post-launch. When teamed up with quality control and other quality management activities, you can feel confident that you did everything in your power to avoid hiccups at all stages of the process.

Increases Safety

These days, increasing security and preventing data leaks are essential steps in any web app development project. Your quality assurance plan can outline your requirements for safety and security, and your implementation of QA activities can ensure that your app and customers aren't compromised by hackers.

Protects Your Reputation

The last thing you want is to release your app only to receive largely negative feedback from your customer base. Quality assurance helps you create a product that boosts your reputation rather than harm it.

Boosts User Experience

Finally, quality assurance practices can ensure that your customers have a satisfying experience using your app. The better the user experience when engaging with your app, the more likely they will come back again and again.

What Is Quality Control?

Another essential part of quality management is quality control. During this process, defects in the product or bugs are identified and fixed to ensure that the desired quality standards are met. When an issue or problem is pinpointed, a resolution must be found and implemented before customers receive the product.

This is the final gateway a digital product must pass through before it is delivered to the end user.

Some examples of activities that fall within the scope of quality control include:

  • Inspection
  • Manual and automated testing
  • Measurements
  • Validation
  • Verification

Are you on the fence about whether you should take the time and resources to stress test your web app? Before you decide to forgo this opportunity, read this post about why you should stress test your apps during development.

The Benefits of Quality Control

Both QA and QC are essential parts of the web development process you won't want to skip. Here are some of the most compelling pros of incorporating quality control activities into your app development process.

Reduces Costs

Just like quality assurance, quality control helps to keep your costs down. Rather than losing customers when there are bugs at launch or having to make expensive fixes down the road, QC lets you release an error-free finished product.

Reveals Common Errors

During the quality control process, you'll find that common errors are revealed. This isn't just useful because it helps make sure your launch is a success, but it also allows you to be better prepared for your next web app project.

Develops and Promotes Quality Awareness Among Employees

You likely have a lot of different minds coming together to create your new web app. Taking quality control seriously helps every team member understand how important quality is in the finished product and app management down the road.

Curious to know how many developers you'll need to build your new digital product? Learn how many developers you need to build your web app here.

Provides a Better User Experience

You've gone to the trouble and expense of creating a new app and marketing the heck out of it. When your users are finally able to interact with your digital product, you want to make a lasting, positive first impression. Quality control is absolutely essential if you want your customers to be satisfied from the start.

Boosts Your Reputation

We all know just how important first impressions are, and a clunky launch can be devastating to your organization. On the other hand, your entire brand's reputation can receive a substantial boost when your error-free, user-optimized app hits the market.

What's the Difference Between QA and QC?

Understanding the difference between QA and QC is essential for a successful web app development process. There are a number of major distinctions you'll want to understand before beginning your project.

QA Is Proactive While QC Is Reactive

One of the primary differences between quality assurance and quality control is when they happen during the course of a project. Quality assurance includes designing a QA management system that precedes the rest of the project to help avoid outcomes where defects occur. In short, QA intends to be preventative so that the process can move steadily toward completion with the fewest number of bumps in the road.

Quality control, on the other hand, deals with those bumps in the road when you do encounter them. After products are developed or well on their way to completion, quality control focuses on testing products to make sure that everything is in good working order.

Stage of Implementation

The activities that fall within quality assurance exist to outline the quality standards that will need to be met during design, development, sales, and advertising. They essentially create a roadmap for teams to follow, defining the requirements and standards of the project.

Quality control activities confirm that the web app meets the standards outlined in the quality assurance stage of the process. This part of development is implemented before distribution to verify specific elements of the app.

QA Is About the Process While QC Is About the Product

If you've ever developed a web app before, you likely know that a vast array of issues can crop up along the way. Quality assurance is focused on the development process from start to finish, helping to predict and prevent problems before they happen to keep your project on track.

This can include process management, change control management, documentation, personnel training, audits, and more.

While quality assurance acts as a guiding light during the process, quality control focuses on the product itself. The main aim of QC is to make sure that the final web app is of the highest quality and complies with all of the standards that were defined at the start of the project.

A wide variety of activities are included in QC, such as product sampling, batch monitoring, inspection, validation, and testing. These processes help ensure that the web app is high-quality and provides the best possible experience for the end user.

Inputs Versus Outputs

Quality assurance is a part of the web app development process that looks at the entire system as a whole and establishes standards that make sure inputs are safe and effective.

Quality control, on the other hand, sets its sights on the outputs of the web app. Once the product is complete or near completion, quality control measures each part of the product to make sure it is ready for launch.

Main Players in QA and QC

The entire quality management team is involved when you implement a quality assurance strategy. Together, they help to design the quality measures that will be followed during development and build a standard operating procedure.

Usually, quality control is orchestrated by a smaller segment of the team. These individuals are tasked with making sure that the web app follows the standards and requirements while documenting what they find.

The Importance of Quality Assurance and Quality Control

Not engaging in effective quality management can create outcomes that range from minorly problematic to catastrophic. Though it's unlikely that your failure to perform QA or QC will make international headlines, you can glean just how essential quality management is from some of recent history's major mishaps like the Three Mile Island accident or the problematic release of the iPhone 4.

The Three Mile Island incident occurred in the late 1970s and was the worst nuclear disaster in American history. Through a failure of quality management– a combination of technical errors and human mistakes– a nuclear reactor experienced a partial meltdown. This is, of course, an extreme example of what can go wrong when you don't practice effective quality management, but it helps to illustrate how minor problems can create disastrous outcomes.

While the problems associated with the iPhone 4 release qualify in the realm of "first world problems" compared to the Three Mile Island incident, it's perhaps a bit closer to home when discussing quality management for tech products.

Though Apple quickly recovered from the mishap, failures in quality management led to the release of a much-anticipated smartphone that frequently and suddenly dropped calls. While you'd think that the ability to make calls on a product that was primarily marketed as a phone is essential, the issue managed to slip through the cracks to the extent that Apple conducted a voluntary recall to help fix the issue after having sold millions of the devices.

Are You Looking For a Partner to Help Develop Your Web App?

When you incorporate quality assurance and quality control into your development procedure, you can avoid preventable problems and ensure that your release is as successful as possible. Working with an experienced team you can trust is an essential part of achieving your desired outcome when it comes to your web app development project.

Are you looking for the right team to help you build your new web app? Reach out and tell us a bit about your project today.