In today’s competitive mobile app landscape, most developers now realize that there is much more to mobile app testing than simply assessing an app’s functional processing. Unfortunately, as evidenced by the low app store ratings, many have yet to make this realization.
Instead, as Business2BusinessCommunity.com reminds us, many mobile app developers are so concerned with “finalizing” a rough cut of their product that they don’t stop to test for some of the most important quality factors until the later stages of their project. Meanwhile, these same developers could have built a more complete and comprehensive app by implementing testing throughout the SDLC and delivered a much higher quality app, in roughly the same amount of time.
So to help ensure that your next project doesn’t fall victim to this mistake, let’s take a closer look at these five key mobile app testing considerations:
As important as some of the other aspects of app testing may be, let’s not downplay the importance of your app’s ultimate functionality. Functional testing is undoubtedly the most commonly tested aspect of any application.
Before even beginning your app development project, have your team mock up test cases that consider any and all functions of the app. Lay the groundwork for your desired functionality at the very beginning of the process, ensuring a full understanding of the functional requirements. By starting test case documentation at this stage, you may even discover to account for particular scenarios that would otherwise have been ignored during the requirement gathering phase.
When examining your mobile app’s usability, be sure that everyone in the project understands that there is a difference between “User Interface” and “User Experience.” User Interface deals with how people will ultimately be able to interact with your app. For example, a pretty straightforward User Interface test would be tracing and repairing any visual element bugs in the design.
User Experience (UX) Testing, on the other hand, analyzes a person’s behaviors, attitudes, and emotions towards your application. UX Testers need to understand the psychology of a user’s discernment from various points of view in order to properly access their perceptions of the app. Points of view based on user demographics, animation, touches/gestures used when operating the app, and the contextual implementation of functionality are vital considerations when crafting the design of your application.
One of the key factors in the success of an app is its performance. Users will not continue to use an app that frequently crashes or fails to load. Furthermore, given the short attention span credited to the smartphone audience, the single most important performance factor may be the app’s response time.
Performance optimization is an essential aspect that needs to be considered and addressed during the earliest implementation stage of the app. Performance features that should be scrutinized for optimization include web communication, local caching, and media streaming.
Sufficient steps need to be taken during the technical design phase of the project in order to avoid excess battery consumption. Users won’t be quick to call up an app if they’ve found it to be a drain on their battery life. An important note: many apps incorporate location services, but it’s important to make sure that the app is not constantly tracking your location when it’s been sent to the background.
Finally, it’s important to understand that the behaviors of different users will vary, often greatly, from one another. Mobile apps require rigorous testing of various scenarios in order to better understand how these different experiences might play out.
While much of this testing can be automated by running through a scripted run-down of test cases, manual testing will help to ensure that any and all user interactions are tested for in a more complete manner.
What do you consider to be the key factors or areas of mobile app testing? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below.