Across the world, both solo entrepreneurs and large companies are moving into mobile application development. Consumers continue to put an emphasis on both convenience and how easy it is to navigate the application. With the rise of new mobile applications tied into wearable fitness monitors and VR/AR development, this growing trend to produce for mobile will continue. Why is mobile app testing so important for application development? Companies want to tap into new demographics and make the buying process easier, but many are cutting themselves off from potential profit by not testing their applications properly. In this guide, we will explain what you need to do to test each aspect of your mobile application, and how it will help your company in the future.
Transferring The Code
You have finished up your website already and tested it on several different browsers. Bugs are minimal and your key demographics love your application. Can you easily move the code that you created using HTML, CSS, and JS to a mobile application environment? Unfortunately, this will not work. Both iOS and Android have very specific requirements for the code that is needed to create for these platforms. It would be great if browser testing between mobile and desktop was the same.
If you are working with Android, the language used will be Java primarily. You can create GUIs for desktop, mobile games, and mobile applications. For iOS, these applications will be created in Objective-C. Objective-C is good if you want to primarily focus on development for Apple devices. It was the language used primarily to build the Mac OS and also iOS. Apple remains a very popular platform, especially on mobile, so make sure you take this into account when you are looking for a mobile app testing platform.
Now that we understand development for mobile versus desktop is quite different, we can see why it would be difficult to just move the code over from one platform to another. There have been some advancements made in terms of applications that can create crossover, but you still need a dedicated mobile app testing platform if you want the best browser testing. Why is this?
QA Browser Testing
When focusing on mobile app testing, it is important to have good personnel in place on your QA team. With browser testing, they can make sure your mobile application will be compatible with existing infrastructure. QA can never make a flawless product when you launch, but you can confirm through a good mobile app testing platform that the fundamentals are in place. Users will easily be able to download the app, patch it with updates, and use basic functionality.
Your mobile app testing platform should account for two types of testing with the QA team. You will utilize both manual tests and automated tests.
Manual – Here, you will use the application yourself, or have other testers go through the various options to confirm they work with your browser while you are browser testing.
Automated – Scripts are written that can be run by a machine. These can go through many more tests and combinations compared to a single person working manually. Utilize this in conjunction with manual testing to find problem areas quickly. Your mobile app testing platform should account for both types of testing.
In terms of why mobile app testing is so important in the business sense, close to three billion mobile devices made a transaction last year. In the future, we know many more mobile devices will be coming online, ranging from tablets to smartphones. By doing extensive browser testing, you can see what kind of competitive advantage your mobile app will have. Have your testers use not only your product but the applications that have been developed by competitors. Did your testers find the app from the competition easier to use? That will be a signal to your development team in regards to what needs to be changed.
Browser testing with mobile commerce applications can also help you identify your best strategy. If it seems from your testing your product has a clear advantage over similar applications, you can begin to put more marketing, branding, and development behind the app. Mobile applications such as Robinhood are not the best in class, but it has encouraged many to start investing because of how easy it is to use the interface. Some just use Robinhood to check the value of their positions, even though they trade on another platform. It is clear from experiences like this, an easy-to-navigate mobile application can mean the difference between success and failure. Testing will determine how many resources to throw behind your next mobile application.
Improving Your App
To bring your best application to the market, ask yourself some questions during testing. Is my user interface friendly to new users? Are we using tooltips to help new customers figure out where things are?
For many designers and developers, the location and flow of the mobile application seems self-explanatory. When you are building something from the ground up, it can often leave you blind to issues with the product. A new set of eyes is exactly what you need when you need to test your application. This is because things such as average load time and speed for the app are not subjective. It is clear that you need to streamline your code and lower the time to load as much as possible. Testing the user interface is much harder. This realm is all relative. For some demographics, they might find the user interface easy to understand, while other target customers can struggle with unfamiliar terms.
Good Rules To Follow
1. Start Simple – When in doubt, start off simple. Complex applications that need a lot of explanation and tooltips can confuse new users. While the application should follow logical steps, it should also have a clean and uncluttered look. This allows the user to only focus on what is important and leads them down the path that is intended. Too many options from the outset may give them more functions, but it can also cause them to close the application if they become overwhelmed from the outset.
2. Feedback – We have talked a lot about feedback to help you make decisions for business strategy. You also need to get direct feedback from customers as well as testers. Remind your users after a period of time to rate your application in the store and give you feedback. A friendly reminder at times is all you need to start building a better product.
When the application crashes, do you ask for feedback? This is incorporated in many programs and gives the development team a look at the hardware and build a user had during the crash. Make sure you are adding things like crash reports so you can look at a broad overview of crashes. If you notice a large number of failures are coming from a specific operating system, you can then put more resources into testing on that specific platform.
The Cost Of App Development
For professional mobile app development, the cost ranges between $100,000 to $500,000. When looking at a minimum of six figures, it is important to give yourself ample time to test the mobile app. Remember, you are building an application and also a brand at the same time. Poorly designed apps that do not perform well will be quickly deleted.
When investing in development and testing, remember that your best marketing tool is word of mouth. You need to cement your company in the mind of users as a rock-solid business that puts out software that works on launch. If users feel like they can trust your mobile app, they will be more likely to recommend it to friends and family. That is worth a lot in terms of saving on marketing. When you have a piece of software that saves both time and money, who would not want to share it?
Couple this with the fact that many app stores are stringent in terms of what they will put in their store. Apple has extensive guidelines and costs that need to be accounted for. If your app doesn’t pass their guidelines the first time, you may spend weeks or even months trying to get it into shape to pass. This is lost revenue and lost time that could have been avoided with good testing practices.
To wrap up this guide, we looked at why mobile app testing is so important. When you get it right from the outset, you will be able to pass any tests and regulations that have been set up to appear in the various app stores. You will also begin to create brand loyalty. Customers will feel comfortable recommending the application to their associates and people they know. Your presence will grow online and launching future applications will be much easier. Building a good foundation now with both manual testing and scripted testing in your QA department will pay dividends in the future. A poorly tested app will just drain you of time and money as your support team takes call after call. We hope this guide has provided you a strong basis for testing your next application.