iPhone Life magazine

Mobile App Testing Guidelines for Developers

mobile app testing guidelinesIt's a fact—no one wants to test their new mobile apps. It's expensive and time consuming, but it's a necessary step to ensure users have a good experience when using the app. It is your job to ensure this experience. If your app fails in any way, you will lose customers. If something does not work properly, chances are they will not return to the app in question. Using the following guidelines will help you determine how to properly test your app and ensure it's 100 percent error free by the time it reaches consumers.

Questions to Ask Yourself

Testers should consider the following questions when developing a mobile app:

  1. What are the different platforms the app should work on?
  2. What exactly is the app designed to do?
  3. What will happen when users take certain actions?
Answering these questions is a good place to start to help make sure the app is properly fulfilling its function across its intended platforms.
 
Where to Start Testing?
While the real world presents situations where developers don't have all the necessary tools for testing their product, you should not use this as an excuse not to test. One of the first places to start is to determine your budget for testing. Do you have the funds to enlist the services of a professional team? Also, you should determine how much time you have to complete the testing. These are two of the most important factors to consider before you begin.
 
Creativity of Testers
When it comes to a mobile app you have developed, chances are you know what it's supposed to do; however, do you know what it is fully capable of? How are real customers going to use it? As a tester, you need to think outside the box. You need to put yourself in the shoes of new and experienced users, hackers, and competitors. This will help you identify where you need to improve the experience considering each of these types of users.
 
How to Approach Errors
No matter how much you test it, newly developed apps are going to have some errors. While trying to stop all of these is important, it is not a realistic goal. By testing the apps adequately, you can easily eliminate a large portion of these errors.
 
Platform-Specific Considerations
It is also important to remember certain platform considerations. This includes the following factors:
  1. Will your design fit with various platforms?
  2. How does your design compare to your competition?
  3. Is the app you have developed accessible?
  4. Is there an available user guide?
  5. Can the app be used in conjunction with social networks?
Connectivity Issues and Interruption
You should also try your app in the instance of certain types of interruptions, including:
  1. Moving around;
  2. With and without a strong Wi-Fi signal;
  3. 3G service;
  4. When intermittent spells of connectivity are available;
  5. While in airplane mode;
  6. When a call or text is coming in.
Maintaining the App
Even once you've tested your app and fixed bugs, unfortunately you're not set forever. You may miss problems, or new ones may arise. It is important to regularly test the app after development to ensure it continues to work properly.
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Brian Taylor's picture
Brian Taylor is the Owner and VP of Business Development at Forix Mobile (www.forixmobile.com), a mobile application development company based in Portland, Oregon. Brian completed his studies at Oregon State university in BS, Business Administration w/ Marketing Option.