The beauty of mobile apps is that it is easy to add value to them with real-time monitoring, rich media, and other features. But this flexibility also creates new responsibilities for testing the performance of applications in real-world situations.
For example, if the beta version of an app is being used in a stable environment, you might have to consider the end user experience when the same app will be used in a moving car. So it’s vital to make sure that the experience of using your app is a great one in every scenario, starting from the very first time.
The real goal of your testing endeavors is not to discover errors; perhaps your development department has done a great job on its end and did not make any errors. However, the goal of testing is to recognize the quality of your app offering. Does it work on all mobile operating systems? Does it work as expected? Does it meet the demand of your target audience, so that they use it again and again?
Here are a few pointers to consider if you are testing apps for functionality and usability challenges that the developers can’t readily foresee during the development phase:
Test in a real-world environment
Once a handful of screen concepts have been put together by your development team, you need to get your app in front of people. By testing in a real-world environment, such as a park or a public place, you will find issues with social situations, noise and light that you wouldn’t otherwise discover, which can make a significant impact on the final version release.
You’re likely to find most success testing your app in places with foot traffic such as busy streets, food courts and cinemas. Make sure to go in the venue to find out what the requirements are and whether you need clearance. For example, when testing your app in a restaurant, you may be asked to set up a table rather than wandering around the customers.
Is it a phablet or a smartphone? It is HTC or Apple? How many touch gestures (swipes, taps, etc.) does the touchscreen enable? According to Tricentis, knowing the mobile environments provided by the leading smartphone brands is crucial for cross-device app testing. Neglecting to consider any one of these combinations would lead to ignoring potential customer segments and revenue.
Cross-device testing should be a part of any mobile app testing process. As smartphones, tablets, and other similar devices become the platform of daily choice for customers, companies will need to test against an ever-expanding range of offerings, including multiple operating systems to content with such as iOS, Android and Windows Phone.
Use an interactive prototype
It may not be possible to note detailed insights about the end user experience or notice all subtle gestures simultaneously. However, it’s much easier to develop a prototype rather than having three people clustered around the table to test gestures for your office. An interactive prototype will only take a couple of screen hours to build and should provide a deeper understanding of smartphone behaviors.
It may also be possible to faithfully mimic end user usability with an interactive prototype. The process will include observing participating users doing tasks while they go on with their normal routines and you look for patterns that delight them.