Mobile devices are so ubiquitous to our daily lives that leaving home without your smart phone is akin to leaving home naked: unthinkable, and the stuff of nightmares. We rely on mobile apps even more than we consciously realize – they are ever-present in our daily lives.
Mobile apps are supposed to delight the user: users should want to use the app, enjoy using it, and feel that is enriches their lives. How can companies ensure that the mobile apps they are deploying act as a good extension of the brand and provide a pleasing user experience? Nowadays it is impossible to deny that a mobile app is as an extension of a brand – it delivers a brand promise and are often integrated into the main processes of the company itself.
How come then, some mobile apps are so difficult to use, so buggy, and so insecure? In their webinar on the Big 4 of Mobile Testing, Theresa Lanowitz of voke Inc., Dan McFall of Mobile Labs, and Michael Eckhoff of Tricentis teamed up to share their strategies on avoiding the pitfalls of mobile app testing.
Just as mobile apps are integrated into an enterprise’s business objectives, the mobile testing should be integrated as a part of the end to end testing conducted for the main processes. Mobile app testing can become a futile effort however, unless you have a road map to guide and sharpen your efforts. Every business’s road maps will look a bit different, depending on the role their application plays within the wider enterprise process, and the business risks involved in the app deployment. No matter how intricate your company’s testing however, there are some landmarks that will always appear on the map.
Devices: Devices are reproducing faster than rabbits. An enterprise must determine which devices they will support – simply supporting every device known to man is an exercise in pointlessness. Instead you can take a strategic approach, looking at the devices that your customer base is using, and ensuring that your mobile app works on that platform in a manner that will delight your customer and speak well of your brand.
Security: Until recently, security wasn’t a big deal within web, enterprise, or mobile apps. Well-publicized hacks and leaks have begun to change that – you simply cannot run a mobile app as part of your enterprise brand, and not take security into account. Security should be a part of your overall end to end testing, with mobile apps seamlessly integrating within the broader spectrum. As an extension of your brand, mobile apps can damage your company reputation if a user’s password, banking data, etc. is not safe and secure within the app.
Automation: In the world of mobile apps, automation is increasingly required for survival. In the past many Quality Assurance companies relied on manual testing to ensure the quality of their processes, however in the face of the increasing speed of release cycle deadlines, automation is critical. The tech world has moved well past the days of manual testing – now automated testing is all but mandatory within functional and nonfunctional testing.
When the processes are boiled down to pure user experience, mobile apps are at their best when they deliver simplicity. They are the ultimate in minimalist beauty. The complexity is hidden from the user, and as a result, the user is delighted by the experience. Because that complexity is hidden however, many users just assume that an app will work. So what happens when the apps fail? It turns out they fail all the time – sometimes with catastrophic consequences [Want to know more? Read our Software Failures of 2014 series!]. It ends up being more than an app failure, but a brand failure as well.
Want to know more?
Hoping to learn more about successful Mobile App Testing? Listen to our webinar on the “Big 4 of Mobile Testing” here!