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Why & How to Conduct QA Testing During the Mobile App’s Development Lifecycle? (Part 1)

In this article, we will explore why QA testing is important, and provide an overview of the best practices for conducting effective QA testing on mobile apps.

Introduction

Developing a mobile app is an intricate process that requires meticulous attention to detail, from the first stages of planning to the final deployment. A buggy app can lead to negative reviews, decreased user adoption, and ultimately, lost revenue. Quality assurance (QA) testing is a crucial step in this process as it helps ensure that the app functions as intended and meets customer expectations. In this article, we will explore why QA testing is important, and provide an overview of the best practices for conducting effective QA testing on mobile apps.

Why is QA Testing important?

Customers rely on app stores to find software applications that meet their needs, and a poorly-designed app will undoubtedly receive negative reviews. Without proper QA testing, developers may miss critical defects that can cause issues for end users. These issues can range from difficulty navigating the app to outright crashes. Bugs result in frustration, angry users, and bad publicity. The cost of losing customers and rebuilding a brand's reputation can quickly outstrip any upfront investment in QA.

First and foremost, QA testing starts with a detailed plan that outlines how the app will work, what features it will include, and the key metrics that will determine success. This includes setting clear goals, defining user stories, identifying risks, and determining the types of testing that will be used. Testers should be involved in every stage of the app development cycle, providing feedback that will guide the design process, and prioritizing bugs as they surface.

Additionally, developers should use a variety of testing techniques, including manual testing and automated testing, to ensure that the app works correctly and responds to real-world usage scenarios.

In conclusion, QA testing is essential to creating a successful app that delivers value to customers. It ensures that the app is functional, user-friendly, and meets customer expectations. Without QA, developers risk developing software that underperforms or fails, with consequences ranging from lost revenue to reputational damage. With proper QA testing and processes in place, developers can create high-quality mobile apps that delight their users and grow their businesses.

How to run QA Testing?

Requirements Document

As you ponder (and re-think) the issue your users are trying to solve, the potential in the market, the competition, and more, the idea slowly evolves into a realistic vision. If you are fortunate, this leads to a requirements document - a detailed plan that defines the app/feature's functionality, processes, targeted devices, and other crucial elements.

It is advisable not to wait for the code to be written before passing the requirements document onto the Quality Assurance (QA) team. Share it with them now so they may:

 

Comprehend the feasibility of the mobile application under development,

Create better test scenarios that account for common and outlier cases,

Establish a grid of compatible mobile devices for testing.

Prepare your QA team for the phases that lie ahead, as their involvement will be invaluable.

UX and UI design

UX and UI designers play a key role in this process, using design thinking methodologies to develop user-centered stories or scenarios, wireframes, and mockups. They also adhere to platform-specific guidelines to ensure the app looks and feels consistent across various devices and browsers.

Quality assurance (QA) testers are responsible for ensuring the app functions as intended and meets the quality standards before it is released to end users. They perform test cases, such as checking if all app permissions are necessary if users can complete tasks with ease if system interrupts are handled correctly, and if there are too many push notifications that can annoy users.

Delivering a uniform visual experience across different devices and platforms is also crucial. Designers need to consider factors such as resolution, screen size, graphics card, and color space to ensure the app appears the same on all devices.

Builds

During the development sprint, developers follow a continuous process of coding, testing, and debugging to ensure that their code functions as intended. To validate the performance of their code, they conduct unit tests using simulators and emulators.

After committing changes, quality assurance (QA) testers commence testing the builds. At this stage, QA testing is a crucial step in mobile app development to ensure an app's quality, functionality, and security. The following are the best practices for conducting effective QA testing on mobile apps.

Touch Input Testing:

The primary mode of interaction with mobile devices is touch input. It is essential to test all the tappable elements, touch gestures, one-handed usage, and other related functionalities thoroughly. Testers should use physical devices to ensure accurate touch input testing. Ensuring smooth touch responses will help users enjoy seamless app navigation.

Accessibility Testing:

Testing an app's accessibility ensures all users can interact with the app regardless of any physical or cognitive disabilities. QA testers must verify every screen's accessibility using valuable tools. The goal is to guarantee that users can complete workflows using various accessibility tools.

Notifications Testing:

Understanding the notification functionalities of an app is crucial. The notification testing process includes verifying how push notifications appear on the lock screen or in the app, error notification displays, and the handling of muted or disabled push notifications. Thorough notification testing guarantees that users stay aware of critical updates without overwhelming them with irrelevant push notifications.

Error Handling Testing:

An app should handle errors gracefully without interrupting the user experience. QA testers must verify that error logs are helpful and concise and that the app can handle lost database connectivity, and server-side and client-side errors. Identifying and eliminating issues in the error handling part of QA testing will help avoid app crashes and prevent data loss.

Log Files Testing:

Testing log files involves verifying that the app doesn't record logs by default retaining reasonable file size limits for log files. Additionally, providing options to enable/disable logging is good practice. Ensuring proper handling of log files guarantees that an app runs efficiently.

Security Testing:

Mobile app security is a significant concern in today's digital world. QA testers must ensure an app’s login authentication and authorization, encryption, certificate verification, cookies, terminated session data, and other functionalities are secure. Rigorous security testing will prevent unauthorized access and ensure user data remains protected.

Recommendation: Security Testing by WeTest

If you're looking for a reliable solution for security testing, we recommend trying out WeTest Security Testing. WeTest offers solutions for the security of mobile games and Apps including Mobile Game/APPs Hardening, Mobile Game Anti-Cheat, and Mobile Game Vulnerability Mining. Welcome to consult us to customize your needs!

Third-Party Software Development Kits (SDKs) Testing:

Testing third-party software development kits (SDKs) integrated into an app is essential. QA testers must evaluate the SDKs’ performance and impact on the app's functionality, such as optimal in-app event monitoring, third-party content usage, etc. Ensuring the SDKs' seamless integration will eliminate any issues arising out of third-party libraries.

APIs:

Application programming interfaces or APIs have become a vital component of modern digital ecosystems. It's important to consider who the service is for, how it will be used, the components required for authentication, and other relevant factors. To ensure that your app is secure and compliant with industry standards, developers must adhere to best practices when integrating APIs. The ICE OVER MAD mnemonic is a useful tool that can help developers make informed decisions when integrating APIs.

App Permissions:

App permissions are an essential aspect of developing a successful app. The process of granting or denying permissions can have a significant impact on the app's features and functionality. It's important to have a clear understanding of how users will interact with your app and what permissions are necessary for optimal performance. Developers should also consider how they can communicate the importance of permissions to users effectively.

Third-party apps Interactions:

Testing your app's compatibility with other applications such as keyboards, messages, calendars, maps, and more, is an essential part of the development process. Integration issues can cause significant problems for users and developers alike. In addition to ensuring features work correctly, developers should also consider how third-party apps may impact the app's performance and usability.

Time and Date:

The correct time and date settings are crucial for app functionality. Developers must ensure that their app's logic accounts for device time changes, especially if there is a risk of users exploiting bugs to avoid making purchases or payments. It's necessary to test the app with both past and future dates to identify any potential issues that could arise.

Tracing:

Effective testing is essential to ensure the smooth performance of your app. Utilizing tools such as PerfDog, you can test whether your app efficiently retrieves requested files and data without fail. With thorough tracking, you can guarantee that your app will provide seamless functionality for your users.

Database:

Migrating and changing databases can be a complex process that requires careful attention to detail. However, ensuring that any modifications or changes made to the database do not conflict with existing data can lead to a better user experience. To guarantee this seamless experience, rigorously testing your database and ensuring consistency is key.

Consistency:

Maintaining consistency is crucial when it comes to providing a seamless experience for your users. Whether your app is in-sync with the web platform or the state of the app is consistent with the backend or server, ensuring consistency will foster a harmonious experience. By thoroughly testing and verifying the consistency of your app's components, you can give your users peace of mind and confidence in your application.

Storage Capacity:

Understandably, storage capacity varies from device to device, and it can affect how your app behaves. By examining how the app functions on devices with different storage capacities, such as full, empty, nearly full, and nearly empty storage on both local and SD storage, you can ensure that your app provides a seamless user experience, no matter the constraints.

APP Data:

The app's key data is vital to its functionality, but it can't come at the cost of hogging device space. Ensuring that the app can store its essential data on the device without consuming all available space is essential. Moreover, testing whether the app clears its data upon uninstallation will go a long way in providing users with a better experience. By taking these precautions, you can guarantee that your app runs smoothly and offers a better user experience.

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