One of the more important parts of website design is making sure everything looks good and works. You need to catch mistakes before they happen. Even minor problems can cause users to leave your website, and in many cases, not come back.

There are a number of startups who are attacking this problem, and you can find services to check your designs, or your operational standing, depending on what you hope to achieve. If you have a continuous delivery model, these tools can fit into that, and provide a way to test the design and operations of a website before it goes live. This, in turn, can give you the confidence that the site is running great and looking good, all while improving your design and delivery workflow.

Getting a peek at the design

A company that came out of the Y Combinator startup incubator is trying to provide a way to deal with the design review process before the site is ready for production. Many times the site doesn’t go through design review until the engineering team is finished with it.

FeaturePeek set out to change that by providing a way to offer meaningful comments about the website while it is being designed. This removes the disconnect for the developers if the review waited until they were finished, and allows them to get feedback in real-time while they are in the process of building the site.

Developers simply put the site in GitHub and FeaturePeek takes over and creates a review environment where stakeholders can go in and provide comments and give feedback on the design. It makes for a more streamlined process, so that when the developers are done, it can go straight to testing.

Simpler website testing

Once the design is approved and completed, it needs to be tested. This is typically a manual activity where an engineer goes through and creates a testing regimen for the site, and then humans run through it. Reflect, another Y Combinator company wants to make it easier to do that and take expensive software engineers out of the loop.

With Reflect, you teach the service how to test your site, and it does the rest for you in a completely automated way. That should speed up the process and get your site online faster because it allows the machine to do what it does best, a highly repeatable process.

These are just a couple of early stage startups trying to find new ways of solving old problems. If you are willing to take a chance with a young company, you could find that it can solve your website design and testing processes in new and creative ways.

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Posted by Ron Miller

Ron Miller is a freelance technology reporter and blogger. He is contributing editor at EContent Magazine and enterprise reporter at TechCrunch.

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