Mobile App Testing Guide QA / Software Testing

Jul 31, 2023 JIN

Mobile App Testing Guide

People are constantly on their mobile devices multiple times throughout the day, primarily to utilize mobile apps. The convenience and flexibility offered by connected mobile computing have raised the bar for customers’ expectations significantly, and this is likely to keep going up in this digitalization era. That being said, the downside is users have zero tolerance for problematic apps. They heavily rely on peer reviews and star ratings as guidance in selecting their preferred apps.

Up to 61% of end users expect mobile apps to load within a maximum of 4 seconds. Surprisingly, if the app fails to meet this expectation or has slow start-ups, freezes, confronting bugs, or, worst-case scenario, crashes, 53% of users abandon the software altogether. This finding underscores the importance of prioritizing mobile app testing in the software quality testing phase to keep product errors at its bare minimum.

Mobile app testing is necessary to identify and resolve any potential issues, ensure optimal performance, and provide a seamless and satisfying user experience.

Mobile app testing – the critical

Due to the rapid expansion of smartphones, tablets, fitness bands, smartwatches, and similar devices, the total number of app downloads surged to a staggering 230 billion in the year 2021, a striking 20% leap from the 192.45 billion recorded in 2018, according to Statista.

Mobile applications have undeniably emerged as the central hub for various industries. Take, for instance, the eCommerce mobile IT solutions, which enable seamless online shopping experiences, instant access to the latest promotions, and the ability to browse multiple stores simultaneously in just a single click. The media industry is no exception. Whether in a car or on a plane, we rely on mobile apps to watch news and videos, listen to radio or music, and communicate with friends and family through text messages or video calls. Given that users nowadays expect prompt results, any issues, such as slow loading or disruptive bugs that hinder stable performance, can leave a negative impression.

Mobile app testing becomes the key to success. Businesses must establish a testing procedure and control the app quality to ensure smooth operations within apps at all times.

Mobile apps testing: what to check?

Mobile applications exhibit a higher level of complexity, encompassing a multitude of features and employing more advanced interaction methods, such as touch actions (e.g., scrolling and swiping) and voice functions (e.g., Siri). These intricacies necessitate continuous verification and testing.

Furthermore, Quality Assurance specialists must evaluate the product in various scenarios, including testing its performance with and without an internet connection, during unstable network conditions, and when transitioning between different networks. Refrain from testing these cases to avoid numerous errors during the usage phase.

Six key aspects of mobile solutions require a meticulous assessment to warrant the development of a high-quality product and stay competitive, among others.

#1. Functionality

When users encounter a bug in a mobile app representing its continued usage, what would be their typical responses? According to Dimensional Research, a staggering 80% of customers will refrain from using faulty software beyond two or three instances.

Functional testing usually is the ideal testing type to resolve this headache. It verifies whether or not the software performs its intended functions accurately, adhering to the desired behavior, enhancing the reliability and user satisfaction of their mobile apps, and reducing the likelihood of undesired critical bug occurrences that may drive away users.

#2. Performance

Nothing excites end users more than stability, as it brings a sense of reliability to the product’s performance, whether it’s a mobile game app, lifestyle, or work-related mobile app.

Performance testing plays a lead role in assessing how well an app handles regular and high peak loads. It evaluates the app’s behavior when numerous users simultaneously engage in online transactions. This is extra important if your app is within the eCommerce and eLearning solution category. It becomes either a deal breaker or winner for customers, especially during big events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday for eCommerce apps or during online lectures with a substantial number of student interactions constantly for eLearning apps.

#3. Compatibility

When utilizing the same software across multiple platforms, interface misalignment in different device versions, text extending beyond the screen, and inconsistencies with other smartphone apps are the common issues that may surface. To get to the bottom of these defects, Quality Assurance specialists have to carry out various compatibility testing to eliminate such incidents and ensure smooth functionality of the IT product across a wide range of devices, operating systems, browsers, and internet connections, aiming to deliver a seamless user experience regardless of the platform or device used.

Usability testing is an integral aspect of mobile testing as it assesses the app’s user-friendliness, ease of navigation, and overall user experience, ensuring that it meets the expectations and needs of its intended users.

#4. Usability

An overwhelming 97% of users consider user-friendliness the most critical aspect of mobile apps. To understand how “friendly” an application might be, usability tests have to be implemented to examine the ease of software usage, navigation, and the proper functioning and display of all elements.

For instance, in the case of an eCommerce app, verifying the menu layout, the organization of the product catalog, the placement of buttons, and other essential elements is fundamental to analyzing the user surfing experience. Are the products conveniently arranged? Can users intuitively locate them and perform the necessary actions? If so, it indicates your application is intuitively user-friendly, follows through with decent customer journeys, and fits well with their mindset. Passing the usability tests confirms that your mobile apps are intuitive, user-friendly, and capable of providing a satisfying experience to the end users.

#5. Cybersecurity

Whether it’s a financial, educational, medical, or similar application that gathers a huge amount of sensitive personal data, including addresses, phone numbers, credit card details, and even disclosed health-related information. Due to the aggressive digital transformation evolution in the past decades, these confidential data are now being stored online, specifically on the cloud.

To keep these special data remain sealed away from cyber attacks, vigorous cybersecurity measures and testing have to be involved in preventing the unauthorized disclosure of personal information, guaranteeing compliance with industry-specific and international standards, such as OWASP, HIPAA, PCI DSS, and more. By conducting thorough cybersecurity tests regularly, businesses can reinforce their software’s security measures, prevent data leaks, and adhere to the latest regulatory and international benchmarks.

#6. Interruption

Is the app’s behavior altered when it encounters interruptions such as notifications, messages, incoming calls, or changes in network connectivity? Employing interruption testing to check how well the software handles different types of disruptions can give you all these answers. Without proper testing in this regard, unexpected interruptions can lead to interface crashes, data loss, software malfunctions, and other undesirable consequences.

Optimizing mobile app testing processes through Test Automation

Specific tests can be excessively laborious and time-consuming to conduct manually. To meet project deadlines and expedite the release of IT products, software testing automation becomes the central stage of Quality Assurance testing.

Cross-platform tests, for example, can be much more efficient with the help of Test Automation. Manually checking all possible combinations would be arduous, potentially spanning thousands or even millions of combinations. Test automation significantly accelerates the Quality Assurance processes.
Performance testing is another area that genuinely benefits from test automation, especially when evaluating factors such as response time, scalability, and speed. With automating performance tests, experts can replicate scenarios where millions of customers are simultaneously using the software, assessing its ability to handle heavy loads. This is particularly vital for eCommerce, financial, and eLearning solutions.

Closing remarks

In the digital era we live in, mobile devices and apps have become a part of our daily lives to engage in various activities such as online shopping, banking consultations, remote studying, socializing, and entertainment. This highlights the role of mobile testing in the software quality testing process.

For businesses, it is essential to prioritize the quality of their IT solutions to deliver the best possible experience to consumers. This involves thorough testing of functionality, performance, compatibility, usability, cybersecurity, and other related critical aspects. Investing in comprehensive mobile testing allows businesses to strengthen their software quality and deliver seamless, secure, and enjoyable experiences to cater to every single customer’s expectation. SHIFT ASIA – a leading software testing company established in 2016, a well-equipped IT solutions provider to support thousands of businesses worldwide in software testing, development, quality assurance, and vulnerable assessment. Thanks to the excellent coordination of ISTQB-certified testers and full-stack developers, SHIFT ASIA strives to offer only one of the kind quality products that work and solve the puzzle our customers are dealing with, helping them to achieve the impossible. If you are puzzling yourself, contact our team for guidance. We’d love to help.


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