There are millions of apps on the market now, and hundreds more are being released every day. In fact, the average number of submissions per day just for Apple’s App Store is around 2,000 so far this year, according to PocketGamer. For your app to distinguish itself, it’s important to make sure that you test it properly.
We’ve got five tips that should help you build a solid foundation for testing mobile apps.
1. Test the right platform
You may be testing a native app, a web-based app, or a hybrid of the two. If it’s a native app, perhaps it’s on iOS and Android. Whatever the mix of platforms is, you’ll have to adjust your testing approach accordingly. Native apps on multiple platforms are going to pose a big challenge, as you try to keep on top of varied hardware and OS versions. But web apps must be tested on different browsers, different screen sizes, and performance will be a factor under load. Make sure that you understand the differences between platforms and that you have the expertise and tools required to test them effectively.
2. Understand your end users
It’s your job as a tester to emulate the end user and ensure that the software does what they need it to do. You need to gather as much data as possible about what your end users expect, how they interact with your app, and where your app fails to deliver what they want. The development team, with input from the test department, must put metrics in place, so that you can gather the data you need to direct testing and inform future development. Analyzing end users is also a vital component for your business strategy.
3. Core functionality is vital
The functionality your app offers is going to be the reason why most people seek it out in the first place. Testing must focus on functionality first. If headline features are incomplete or certain functions are unfit for purpose, end users will abandon your app never to return. Make sure that core functionality is thoroughly tested before you move on.
4. User experience matters
You may start with functionality, but ignore the quality of the user experience at your peril. People expect modern mobile apps to be easy to use and highly polished. Usability is a key factor in an app’s success and popularity, so make sure that testers evaluate the user experience from day one and feed back to the development team. It’s easier to make tweaks and improvements early in development, so usability testing should not be left until the end.
5. Test emotional engagement
It may be harder to quantify than functionality or user experience, but emotional engagement is what keeps people coming back to your app day after day. It’s rare that there’s only one app to serve a specific purpose, usually you’ll be up against hundreds of similar apps, so distinguishing your app from the crowd could come down to emotional engagement. Test your app’s impact with a group of people outside the development team who represent your target end users.
There’s obviously a lot more behind mobile app testing, but these five tips should help you build a solid foundation and get off to a good start.