Knowledge check: How well you perform mobile app testing

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Knowledge check: How well you perform mobile app testing

Putting mobile testing at the center of a mobile app development project can drive tangible business value. However, understanding and implementing this might not be enough to make your product stand out from the crowd for its excellent quality. In this feature, we’ll go through some typical mistakes in testing a new mobile product and explain how to address these roadblocks on the way to success.

Devise a coherent mobile testing strategy

What to test? How to test? What tools to use? A well-planned QA strategy will answer these and many other key questions. So don’t get down to work before you develop a robust blueprint spanning stages like test planning, designing, development, execution, and reporting.

The first three stages will help you define a test scope, decide on the optimal testing tools, identify user actions, build a test environment, and prepare test data sets. The test execution phase will dive you into how to validate, collect, and reset tests. Analytics stage, in turn, will evaluate your solution’s functioning, surface existing bottlenecks, show test coverage and automation efforts, as well as gauge team performance.

A robust mobile testing strategy will also feature aspects like project scope, software development methodology, budget, etc., which will help you decide on the optimal QA team composition and task allocation.

Meaningfully prioritize and automate tests

Testing without priorities is a typical mistake that might make you go the wrong way. The crux of Agile testing, test prioritization will put your focus on testing the most essential requirements iteration by iteration until the backlog of features is empty — thus accelerating time to market for your mobile app without any quality compromises.

Test automation is important for eliminating human error and speeding up development, but automation for the sake of automation is not the right decision. To avoid money and efforts being burnt into thin air, implement a statistics-driven ROI analysis. Underpinned by the results of this analysis, you’ll be able to determine the feasibility of test automation for each particular test type and scenario — at every stage of your QA project.

Find the balance between emulators and real devices 

Before your mobile solution enters the market, it should be cross-checked against a great number of devices, operating systems and their versions, and configurations. And so-called virtual testing that presupposes using simulators, emulators, and cloud tools can be a way out. This way, you can easily check the internal app behavior as well as the mobile solution’s hardware, software, and operating system.

However, these virtual tools are more effective at early stages of app development. To prevent false positive and false negative results, add testing on real devices into your QA process later down the development cycle. By enabling simultaneous testing on dozens of physical devices, you’ll cover all features and user scenarios that you might have missed, while optimizing your budget spendings.

Thoroughly check performance and security

UI is the first thing that users see and feel, and such kind of first impression matters. But as mobile apps are much more than a stunning interface, don’t prioritize frontend over backend testing. Namely, pay much attention to checking your app’s performance and security.

Run load and stress tests to check how the solution works under heavy load and how the backend handles requests when experiencing low bandwidth or network issues. These types of testing become particularly important if you’re planning to build an mCommerce solution that will certainly experience high activity peaks during sales and holiday periods or if you decide to develop an online video app that should be able to support thousands of simultaneous viewers.

To win users’ trust and boost app adoption, provide secure mobile experiences — no matter the app type. Safeguard sensitive data such as user credentials and private information against hacker attacks by using best security practices, including end-to-end encryption testing, source manual and automated code reviews, vulnerability scanning, and penetration testing.

On a final note

Mobile app testing is a complicated process that requires technical expertise, efforts, and money. And to make the use of these resources as optimal as possible, develop a coherent QA strategy that would guide you through test prioritization and automation, emulated vs real device testing dilemma, backend testing, and more.