Ever heard of the photography app French Girls? Well, it’s one of its kind mobile applications which allow you to convert your pictures into caricatures with help of professional artists. Awesome, right? But why are we talking about this particular photography app instead of sharing some gyaan on mobile testing? Here’s the reason – French Girls recently tested its user interfaces using A/B Testing , as a result of which its user activation rate went from 25% to a whopping 66.5%! All this spelling high returns for the company. While this exemplifies the importance of integrating testing as an integral part of the app development process, and most companies acknowledge the same, not all business stories are about success.
Many a times mobile app testing doesn’t turn out as expected. Why? Challenges, and plenty of them. Some have to do with the way testing is carried out, while others are a result of superficial factors like new devices, market competition etc. Let’s analyze some of these challenges, which result in the failure of companies on the mobile platform.
New Versions of OS and Devices
Mobile application testers face a continuous challenge from the new devices that are launched in the market every now and then. All these devices are different; they have different screen size, performance levels, hardware capabilities etc. There are more than 20000 different models of mobile phones available in the market and the number is only going up. It is very difficult for the testers to ensure that the app performs to the best of its ability on each of these devices.
The same holds true for operating systems. While new OS versions are predictable in their features and functioning, frequent updates can be hard to keep up with. Most updates fix bugs, but at times a new feature is also introduced. This means the developers and testers get yet another feature that needs to be integrated with the mobile app and tested thoroughly. To add to this, is the user behavior. You can find some users still stuck on the older version of the OS while the new one is already in place. This means, you need test for both the versions, leading to further complications in testing.
New Products that Interact with the App
As the world moves towards ‘smart’ living, the idea is to turn mundane everyday products into ‘smart’ ‘connected’ devices, a concept we dearly known as the Internet of Things (IoT). As this concept becomes mainstream, existing products will connect to the internet and go digital. While there will be aplenty opportunities knocking at the door, this can cause much anxiety to developers and testers alike. As anything and everything becomes ‘smart’ and hundreds of thousands of different devices connect to the internet (and one another), there will be a lot more things to be tested. Testing the Internet of Things can be overwhelming, if not done correctly.
Apart from IoT devices, there are the wearables like fitness bands, watches, VR glasses etc. These too run on the mobile platform – communicating and collecting data from a mobile source. You need to ensure that your mobile app is ready to interact with the wearables. And since the technology for these little wonders is still evolving, it can add to the complexity of testing your application.
A New Feature by a Competitor
When Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart implemented app deep linking for Google search results , which landed the customers directly to the Flipkart app from SER, Amazon was quick to follow the suit. After all, in times where mobile accounts for 70-80% of sales, Amazon couldn’t suffice by just leading on the web. As they say, sometimes you need competition to bring out the best in you.
Every business wishes to get to the top and the best way for that is to integrate new features in the application that can render better user experience. There is a constant struggle to find innovative ways to develop new features and add new styles so that your product can be at par with your competitor. Often this results in you getting a step ahead in the competition. However you need to test the performance of new features to be foolproof and take care of all the related aspects.
New Industrial Development
Users and their requirements keep changing over time. Your product needs to adapt constantly with features as well as style to meet the customer requirements. Sometimes, the mobile app needs to change with the changing season or be in tune with the trends.
Secret Escapes, a flash-sale luxury travel company, enjoys a customer base of more than 10 million users, and are known for introducing user-friendly features often. However, as a policy, they do not make changes without testing them thoroughly. They test all updates and features carefully to optimize and personalize customer acquisition , as a result of which their mobile signup rate has doubled.
How to Ensure You Ace Mobile App Testing Every Time?
Now you know what might be going wrong. So let’s try and look out for possible solutions that can help you conduct app testing smoothly.
Manual testing often results in slowing down of the process of launching the product. The solution then is to automate the scripts so that the testing process is much faster. When you use a tool that tests the app over multiple devices at the same time, the productivity goes up. However, before you automate tests, it is important to discuss the same with all stakeholders and set expectations right. Automation facilitates broader and deeper testing by allocating test resources to highest value tasks. Besides, you should also know where automation can prove to be most effective. Ideally you should choose tests which have high return for the effort put in automating them. For instance, time consuming or error-prone tests like tests with significant waiting time, data-driven tests etc., high frequency tests, scripted UI tests, and Overnight load/stress tests that log results and restart automatically.
Real Devices Over Device Emulator
The device that you test for is in front of you and the results of what works and what does not are in your hand (literally!). The basic features like connection speed, data handling, login etc can be tested in a jiffy. With mobile app, device testing makes it easy to understand user experience on different models and how significantly user experience varies across devices. Thus it makes perfect sense to test on real devices. However, if you are a start-up running on budget, you may be tempted to use emulators as cut down on the cost of device procurement and give results faster; emulators are often free or come for a low monthly fee. Besides emulators also have the advantage of enabling to extract data and sent reports in real time helping testing team with easy access. But the issue with emulators is that they aren’t foolproof.
Cloud testing allows testers to set up a testing lab within the business or on a cloud resulting in an access to different devices as well as OS at all times. It also enables testers to work in different time zones and places across the globe resulting in a continuous testing process. Hence the testing process is made much faster.Investing in your own mobile test lab is a good idea but it’s an expensive affair. We can leverage on the various external testlabs or explore public or private cloud labs available in the market. To list few:
Download Free E-Book: Role of QA in Digital Transformation
Continuous Integration Platform References
A good continuous integration platform is a boon to testers. With platforms like Jenkins, they are able to connect every step in the process right from development to testing to launching. A fault in any process is detected immediately and the tester is intimated about it. The server too stops to halt the further flow of the fault. Unlike the traditional testing method where the tester has to spend time to search for the bug, the CI platform helps saves time. When integrated with the mobile testing tool, the entire process is taken to the next level with you getting a clear picture of exactly where the fault lies.
Launching a mobile app soon? How are you planning to go about the testing process? Let us know in the comments section below.