Mobile application development combines several intricate processes that produce aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly applications. Even though application developers and designers work hard to create these apps, and we praise their work, very few acknowledge QA specialists. After all, they understand the user behavior and put the app through its paces to find problems and errors. So, what exactly is mobile app testing and its best practices? Join ChicMic as we dive into it.
Defining Mobile App Testing
Simply put, mobile app testing is a series of processes to test different aspects of an application to ensure it fulfills its performance and design guidelines. The application must do so while enriching the user experience and without failing.
Depending on various factors, mobile testing can be manual or automated to help the team ensure complete application proficiency.
Difference between manual and automated app testing
There are two distinct mobile app testing methodologies, namely:
Manual Mobile App Testing
Manual testing depends solely on a human who tests the application from start to finish. They cannot use tools and other resources to test the app, making manual testing daunting. This may tempt some people to completely do away with manual testing since it requires utmost patience and time. However, manual testing is vital since it mimics real-world daily usage and requires human intervention.
Automated Mobile App Testing
Automated testing is the “next step” when you need to run multiple app tests simultaneously. The test team utilizes automation tools to test various app functionality and feasibility under different conditions. It is a fast, affordable, and efficient process that removes various logjams during development. Testing automation helps the testers and developers test the app fast and make changes quickly.
Vital Mobile App Testing Types
Mobile app testing is further divided into the following types:
- Functional Testing: It tests the app’s functionality, i.e., degree of responsiveness, specification match, and the overall flow within the app. The test involves checking if all the features, like buttons, function as designed.
- Usability Testing: It prioritizes the user-friendliness of the app. The test underlines bug fixes, interface intuitiveness, and ease of navigation. The usability test simulates the app’s customer experience and locates pressure points where the app deviates from its functional principles.
- Compatibility Testing: A non-functional method tests whether the application performs optimally on multiple devices, operating systems, and different hardware specifications.
- Security Testing: Security tests check for security lapses and data privacy settings, as most applications ask users to access their private information. It also tests authentication and how the app adheres to the guidelines and industry protocols.
- Load and Performance Testing: The test puts the application to different workloads. It gauges the performance and notes device resource consumption such as memory, battery, etc. The testers also test server performance, network delays, and the data format sent/received by the backend.
- Installation Testing: App installation is the first contact between the app and the user. The test checks the smoothness of the installation process, uninstalling and installing it again. The testers will note any data corruption after updating the old version or if the update is canceled before completion.
What’s the Testing Process?
Before testing begins, testers must set up a controlled testing environment that closely mimics real-world conditions. It includes:
- Device Selection: Testers choose various devices, including popular smartphones and tablets, running multiple operating systems and versions.
- Network Conditions: Mobile apps often rely on network connectivity. Testers simulate different network conditions, such as 3G, 4G, 5G, and Wi-Fi, to assess the app’s performance under various circumstances.
- Testing Tools: Testers rely on different tools and frameworks to automate testing processes, generate reports, and identify issues quickly.
Once the testing environment is set up and the approach decided, the testing process follows a series of steps:
- Test Planning: Testers create a detailed test plan that outlines the scope, objectives, and testing criteria. This plan helps ensure comprehensive coverage of the app’s features.
- Test Case Design: Testers design test cases, which are specific scenarios and steps that testers will follow during testing. These test cases cover a range of user interactions.
- Test Execution: Testers execute the test cases on various devices, operating systems, and network conditions. During this phase, they record any issues they encounter, such as crashes, glitches, or UI inconsistencies.
- Defect Reporting: When issues are identified, testers report them to the development team, providing detailed information on how to reproduce the problem and its severity.
- Regression Testing: After developers fix reported issues, regression testing is performed to ensure that the changes haven’t introduced new problems or affected other parts of the app.
- Usability and User Feedback: Usability testing often involves real users who provide feedback on the app’s design and functionality. This feedback helps refine the app’s user experience.
- Performance Testing: Performance testing assesses the app’s speed and responsiveness. Testers may simulate heavy usage or challenging network conditions to identify performance bottlenecks.
Continuous Testing and Feedback
Mobile app testing isn’t a one-time event; it’s an ongoing process. As the app evolves with updates and new features, testing must continue to ensure a consistent and enjoyable user experience. User feedback and real-world usage data are also valuable sources of information that can lead to further improvements and enhancements.
Mobile app testing is critical in the mobile app development process, ensuring that apps function as intended and provide a seamless user experience. The testing process combines functionality, usability, security, and compatibility tasks that require time and effort. In the competitive world of mobile apps, rigorous testing can make the difference between an app that delights users and one that frustrates them. So, the next time you download a mobile app that works flawlessly, thank the testers working to make your experience smooth.