Mobile Testing Strategy

Why You Need a Mobile Application Testing Strategy

Mobile app testing looks easy but you might want to think again – and I’ll help you think through a mobile testing strategy.

Simple, but not Easy

You can very easily skip or ignore some very important risks just because you didn’t even know to think about them! Mobile application development moves very fast, is usually highly agile and covers much more than just the mobile app itself. Most mobile application testing projects spend too much time on functional testing and not enough time finding and reducing real technology and business risks.

Starting to test your mobile app without a Testing Strategy can result in a “well tested” mobile app that frustrates customers, scares off prospects and lights up the support phone and chat lines.

All because you didn’t know what you didn’t know!

And that’s probably not what you wanted or expected.

A simple mobile testing strategy will help you find the important risks, plan your testing work to focus on the important areas and reduce the time and money you spend launching your mobile application.

What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt Your Project!

There are six  important subject areas in that you need to consider in your strategy for testing your mobile application.

  1. Devices – What is your list of most important devices? What devices are you willing to exclude or not test? Do you have access to those important devices?
  2. Networks – What networks will your mobile application use? Are they cell networks or wifi networks? What happens when your mobile app switches networks?
  3. Servers – How much of your mobile application functionality depends on accurate information from a server application? Most mobile apps rely heavily on back-end servers to do the heavy lifting work while the mobile app itself mostly accepts inputs and display outputs. What happens in between your server and mobile app?
  4. Performance – What are your minimum performance times for functions in your mobile application? What are the upper limits of your server? How many simultaneous users do you expect? What performance tools are provided by your server hosting company?
  5. Security – How secure does your mobile application need to be to protect your user’s information privacy? Is 2FA important to your users? How secure does your server need to be?
  6. UX (User Experience) – Will your users find your mobile application enjoyable and easy to use or frustrating and confusing to use? What UX data will you collect to help you understand this? If a user does leave, how will you recover them?

If you know the answers to these questions, you’ll be able to clarify your goals and build a mobile testing strategy to achieve them for your unique mobile application.

Curious yet about TESTCo’s mobile app testing services? Here’s more information on our capabilities.

No Mobile Testing Strategy? Here Comes the Pain.

If you don’t answer those questions, you can expect to see (and feel) some of these pains:

  1. Your mobile works fine on the most recent iPhone but fails with previous versions of iOS and some Android devices. And, only a small portion of your audience has the most recent iPhone.
  2. Your mobile application works great on Wifi but fails with errors on a cellular network if a user is talking on the phone and using your app.
  3. Your mobile application fails and crashes when the server is slow returning complex query results.
  4. Your mobile application works fine until there are over 900 simultaneous users – and then it displays the wrong query results.
  5. Your mobile application is easily penetrated and accounts are hijacked.
  6. Your mobile application UI works great for the engineers who built it but ordinary users struggle to understand how to use it.

Build Your Own Simple Strategy – or Let Us Help You!

The best solution is to build a simple mobile testing strategy unique to your project. It’s easy if you follow this guide I recently published.  At TESTCo, we build and evaluate several test strategies for every software and mobile application testing project. If you don’t want to build your’s, we can build it for you!

Schedule a call with me using the green button on this page, or call me at 888-254-9709

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Mobile Application Regression Testing

Why Regression Testing Must Be Included in Mobile Application Testing

Are your mobile apps prone to breaking after implementing a new feature or update? If so I encourage you to make mobile application regression testing a regular part of your test plan?

You see, after an update or new feature has been added there’s a really good chance that you have some new defects in your older, previously working code. Why might that happen? There are several reasons that your previously “good” mobile application now has new defects after your last update.

Why Defects Appear in “Good” Mobile Applications

  1. Changes in the mobile operating system – it is not uncommon for changes and improvements in a mobile operating system to have a negative impact on your mobile application. This isn’t intentional nor does it happen every time. Testing on a variety of mobile operating systems and devices can help you find these regression defects quickly. Knowing which operating systems and devices to test is where professional mobile application regression testing can help you save time and money.
  2. Changes in code module dependencies – most mobile applications are built by assembling a set of basic software components and then customizing how they interact with each other and your customer. These basic software components are almost always being changed and improved. When those new changes and improvements are included in your new mobile application version, errors are likely to occur. Writing test plans to specifically test mobile software component interaction will help you find these types of regression defects. Professional software test engineers know and use effective test strategies and plans to help you identify and test these “risky” areas.
  3. Human error in development or testing – humans make mistakes – sometimes knowingly and sometimes without knowing. Most regression defects caused by human error are not intentional – in fact, just the opposite! Human errors typically occur when an improvement in one area of the code has a negative impact on some other area of the code that wasn’t foreseen by your software developer. For example, improving the user experience for logging in may have an unexpected impact on how a password reset request works that cause it to fail. QA managers, as an integral part of a mobile application regression testing team, can help you better understand how your requirements/user stories can show you clues to find these types of regression defects.

Smart Mobile Application Regression Testing Begins with a Smart Test Plan

Regression testing doesn’t fit easily into an Agile software development process. And yet, going without regression testing for your mobile application can lead to loss of prospects, customers, and revenue. Working with the right outsourced mobile app testing company certainly goes a long ways to removing the risk associated with rolling out mobile app enhancements.

Go ahead, call me. 888-254-9709. Even if you just want to pick my brain, I want to hear from you. Or, if you prefer, click the blue button on this page to schedule a call back.

 

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Mobile Application Testing Company Selection

How to Select a Mobile Application Testing Company

Mobile application testing is similar to software testing.

But, it’s also a little different in a couple of  key areas.

Not every software testing company will know these key areas well enough to do a good job as a mobile application testing company.

Where to start?

There are many mobile application testing company choices available to you. What should you consider and where should you start to make your selection?

  1. Clearly define your quality goal and your budget for time and dollars. This will help whoever you select to build an accurate proposal/estimate. There will always be more QA work that is needed but business decisions drive mobile software projects. Time and money are key constraints that limit what can be done.
  2. Mobile application testing experience is critical. Mobile application testing is different than testing regular software and requires different tools, patterns and methods. Likewise, mobile application developers are seldom a good choice for testing your mobile application. Software test engineers are your best choice.
  3. The size and recency of the device and emulator library will dictate how successful a mobile application testing company can be for you. The wide variety of mobile devices and operating systems dictates that you make two wise choices.
    • Which devices and operating systems are most important to you and your customers?
    • Which devices does your mobile application testing company actually have? When a particular device/operating system is not available, an emulator must be used instead. Emulators are useful for some testing but almost always fail to provide the complete testing coverage that most modern mobile applications require

The Cost of a Bad Choice

You must already be convinced that testing your mobile application is important and needed – as evidenced by your visiting this page.

Congrats! Some of your competitors either don’t bother to test their mobile application or do it poorly.

Don’t believe me? Just download one of them and see how long it takes before you can crash it. Not long, right?

Here are the big costs you need to avoid when selecting your mobile application testing company.

  1. Price Vs Cost – in software testing, you really do get what you pay for. Low rates/prices are the teaser and longer projects, poor defects, missed coverage and blown out deadlines are the true cost. Compare their calculated project cost instead of the hourly rates. Then,  get a money-back guarantee to make double sure. Even better, get a fixed price for your project.
  2. Talent Vs Availability – not everyone is a talented Test Engineer. In fact, most “testers” aren’t engineers at all. If your problem can be solved by “just get it tested” then almost anyone will do – and there are plenty of those folks out there. If your goal is “on time with zero defects” then you’ll need talent – Test Engineer talent and QA Manager Talent. And yes, the price for a Test Engineer is higher but see #1 above.

The Keys to Successful Mobile Application Testing

The three key areas where mobile app testing differs from software testing are:

  1. Faster and Simpler – mobile application projects are usually faster to start and complete since they are smaller and more focused. Applications on mobile devices are also usually simpler in functionality than software applications due to limited screen real estate and uncertain connectivity.
  2. Experience and Completion – mobile apps typically focus more heavily on the user experience than most software applications. Also, clear evidence that the transactions made in your mobile application have been completed are more important due to the tendency of mobile applications to lose network connectivity.
  3. All Those Different Devices – software applications and (most) web applications run in a web browser on a desktop operating system. There are a finite number of operating systems and web browsers that need to be tested against a software or web browser application. There is an almost infinite number of mobile operating systems/browser combinations – definitely more than you could possibly test.

With these three big differences in mind, can you see how selecting the right mobile application testing company might be important in the success of your mobile application project?

Questions for Your Next Mobile Application Testing Company

Here are some great questions to ask when you’re shopping around for a company to test your mobile application.

  1. With our very fast sprints, how will you design your testing strategy to help us increase our speed?
  2. Since we have very simple functionality, how much and what type of testing do you propose to make sure we achieve our goal of Zero Defects?
  3. What strategy do you propose to test the usability of our mobile application?
  4. How will you test and validate transaction completion and notification? How will you test graceful failures?
  5. What is your strategy to help us figure out which devices to test on and which devices that an emulator should be OK?
  6. Is hard device testing necessary or will a tool or emulator be sufficient? Which tools/emulators do you recommend and why?
  7. Where does test automation fit into your strategy and why do you recommend it?

Mobile application testing is similar to but different enough from traditional software testing that a slightly different approach to selecting the best mobile application testing company can mean the difference between your success and failure.

Want to talk with someone at TESTCo about how we’d test your mobile app? Most clients, at first, aren’t even sure how much testing will be necessary. We will give very practical advice in the first call. Call and talk to me personally. 888.254.9709 Or, click the green button on this page to schedule a call back.

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Mobile Application Testing Services Choices

How Much Testing Does Your Mobile Application Need?

Mobile applications are different than web or installed applications and deserve some careful thought to make the best choices about what and how much mobile application testing services are really needed.

There is a long list to consider and surprisingly, you probably don’t need all of those mobile app testing services to achieve your goal.

Mobile application testing services can include:

  • Mobile application functional testing
  • Mobile application regression testing
  • Mobile application cross device testing
  • Mobile application test automation
  • Mobile application security and penetration testing
  • Mobile application performance testing
  • Mobile application usability testing

Goals for Mobile Application Testing Services

Here are some questions you can consider to help you determine if one of the types of mobile application testing services I listed will help you meet your needs and achieve your goal.

First, what is your goal for your mobile application?

  • How many downloads or users do you want to use it?
  • What value will your users receive from using your mobile application?
  • How will you know they have received that value?

Now that you have a basic goal for your mobile application, see if the following questions help you chose the best and most appropriate mobile application testing services.

Mobile Application Functional Testing

Does you mobile application contain complex or simple functionality?

Simple functionality with only a few inputs/outputs/screens usually doesn’t need anything other than some basic validation that the inputs/outputs and screens work and flow properly. There are few inputs/outputs/screens so the number of combinations to test will be limited and can be accomplished relatively quickly.

Complex functionality where you have more than just a few inputs, outputs and screens probably needs (and deserves) a more robust testing strategy and plan. In general, you can’t test everything (it takes too long and costs too much) so selecting a smart test strategy will be very important to make sure that all of the “Important Stuff” is tested thoroughly and frequently. Almost any qualified Test Engineer or QA Manager will have a small library of Test Strategies and can help you select the one or two that most closely match your needs and goals.

Mobile Application Regression Testing

Regression Testing helps you make sure that you didn’t break anything that was previously working well. The main goal of regression testing is to insure that you don’t disappoint or anger your mobile application users instead of delighting them with new features and functions.

Mobile applications tend to be updated frequently. One of the benefits of a mobile application is that they tend to be smaller and simpler than other types of applications and can be updated very quickly and easily. This is a tremendous benefit because it allows you to quickly add or change features based on real-time user feedback.

But, being very quick to make changes to your mobile application may also hurt you if you don’t take just a little extra time to complete an effective regression test.

Regression Testing Can Be Challenging

  1. Familiarity breeds contempt. When you’ve seen and tested your mobile applications features and functions every day for the past 6 months, it’s easy to let your assumptions and urgency take control. This can result in skipping or overlooking some functionality in your haste to release your new mobile application. Using an experienced and trusted third party for your regression testing will insure that nothing is skipped (or assumed to be OK) during your regression testing. “Once over lightly and quickly” is not a good regression testing strategy!
  2. Lack of test documentation. Mobile applications tend to be smaller than web applications and good test documentation is usually the first casualty. And no, your mobile application doesn’t necessarily need a full set of ISO compliant test documentation. But, a decent list of test scenarios and use cases can help you complete your regression testing quicker and with a much higher (and measurable) level of quality and customer delight. An experienced third party software test engineer can quickly and easily help you build and maintain these test documents as a natural part of helping you regression test your mobile application.

Regression testing is simple but not always easy if you aren’t an experienced software test engineer. But, getting help from a professional, at least the first couple times, can go a long way to helping you release your mobile application faster, better and cheaper.

To Be Continued

In the coming weeks I will shed light on the five other types of mobile application testing so you can make smarter testing decisions. In the meantime, check out this post if want tips on how to select a mobile application testing company.

If you can’t wait for me to finish this post (hey, I can’t write all day, I have a business to run), call me (888-254-9709), or request a call back using the green button on this page. I’m happy to answer your questions.

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