Internet-enabled applications gave users an additional value of real-time monitoring, rich media and other features. On the other hand, this flexibility has posed a new challenge for testing these facilities in real life.
Thus, for example, developers cannot assume a stable office environment to use their app in anymore as employees use Internet-powered mobile devices. This conflicts with the current software testing methodology going not far enough so that to test for usability in different environments. Such an incomplete testing strategy may result in a big app maintenance work afterwards.
So if you are involved in developing apps required to work with outside "things", the following 10 things are a must to consider before testing.
Think of user device capacity
Your mobile app testing strategy should partly include testing the device’s robustness in adverse conditions of operation. No matter how great your app is, it may still crash at some critical moment in case of the end device failure, so it’s mandatory to include that device in the test plan.
Mind environmental conditions
It is critical to be aware of the environments that users are going to utilize their devices in. This again makes the device essential to include in the test plan.
Include usability in the test plan
About 80% of an app’s end user acceptance belongs to usability. Unfortunately, a regular test plan usually covers mostly issues concerning software features and functions.
Engage customers in testing
By engaging users in the testing process (especially in environment and usability testing) you ensure there will be no surprises from their side when the product goes into production. Also it guarantees user buy-in and signoff for your app as well as collaborative relationship with your end business unit because you enhance your app with time.
Engage customers in app design
Involving users in app design at the early stages provides a kind of working blueprint of their interface requirements which you can link to your test plan.
After getting a working app model developers hey should demonstrate both the UI and its data flow to the users. Such regular, short and iterative demo sessions will ensure the app faces the user requirements, and will significantly shorten final test times.
Especially for mobile and Internet devices, app extensions like rich media need to be left space to grow. So your design plan must anticipate the associated issues like scalability for storage, bandwidth, CPU, and the test plan must test for it to prevent developers from costly app redesign.
Implement security and lockdown
Other important test points coming out when mobile devices get lost are security standards conformance, data encryption and the ability to locate and lockdown.
Beware of custom APIs
Custom interfaces are a real nightmare in terms of application integration since its development needs changes over time demanding maintenance work on each app they touch. Sticking with some standard APIs can save you a lot of regression testing time.
Make QA everybody's business
It's very helpful to include checkout and input from your help desk which realizes as well as everyone in IT what common user pain points usually are.
Use the above tips to test your mobile app better and make it correspond with the changing real-world requirements.
Created: 06 Feb 2014
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