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Mobile apps testing strategy: An example test plan

A mobile app testing strategy defines a systematic approach to testing mobile applications to ensure they meet the desired quality standards before hitting the market. Think of this strategy as a blueprint. It outlines the types of testing required, the tools to be used, the sequence of the tests, and more. By the end of this post, you’ll have a clearer understanding of what constitutes a mobile app testing strategy, and you’ll even have an example test plan to guide you in creating your own.

Author:

Guest Contributors

Date: Jan. 05, 2024

Components of a mobile app testing strategy

A comprehensive mobile app testing strategy isn’t just about finding bugs or glitches. It’s a holistic approach that ensures the app’s overall quality, performance, and user experience. Let’s delve into the individual components that make up a robust mobile app testing strategy.

Objective setting

Before jumping into testing, it’s essential to define clear objectives. If you’re launching a banking app, for example, security might be the primary focus. On the other hand, performance and user experience should be prioritized for a gaming app.

Tool selection

You’ll need to select the appropriate tools to achieve your objectives. Manual testing tools might include checklists and real-world devices, while automated testing might involve tools like Appium or Selenium. Automated tools are ideal for regression testing, as they can quickly run through predefined tests.

Test environment setup

Mobile apps function in diverse environments. Different devices, operating systems, screen resolutions, and network conditions can all impact app behavior. An app might work flawlessly on the latest iPhone, but crash on an older Android device. Hence, having a varied test environment that mimics real-world conditions is crucial.

Test method selection

This step involves deciding which tests (functional, usability, security, etc.) are necessary based on the app’s nature and objectives. For instance, an e-commerce app would necessitate security tests (to ensure safe transactions) and usability tests (to provide a seamless shopping experience).

Feedback loop establishment

Feedback is invaluable. Establishing a mechanism to collect, analyze, and act on feedback ensures continuous improvement. For example, beta users might find the sign-up process tedious. This feedback can lead to design changes that simplify the registration process.

Budget and timeline setting

Resources, both in terms of time and money, are always finite. Allocating a budget for each testing phase and setting realistic timelines ensures that the testing process remains on track.

Allocating a budget for each testing phase and setting realistic timelines ensures the testing process remains on track

Risk assessment

Every app will have potential risks, be it data breaches, performance issues, or user dissatisfaction. Identifying these risks early allows you to prioritize specific tests or allocate more resources to critical areas. More rigorous compatibility testing might be required if a new feature causes the app to crash on certain devices.

Documentation

Keeping detailed records of test cases, results, feedback, and changes is essential. This provides a reference for future testing cycles and ensures transparency and accountability. That way, if a bug resurfaces after being fixed, testers can refer back to the documentation to understand the initial problem and the solution implemented.

Review and iteration

Finally, testing isn’t a one-time activity. As the app evolves, it’s crucial to review the testing strategy regularly, iterate based on new insights, and adapt to changing objectives or market conditions.

Crafting a mobile app testing strategy

Crafting a mobile app testing strategy is akin to creating a roadmap for a journey. It’s not enough to know the destination; you need a plan to get there efficiently without missing any scenic spots along the way. So, let’s dive into how you can create a comprehensive mobile app testing strategy that covers manual and automated testing.

Manual testing

Manual testing is all about the human touch. Unlike automated tests, where scripts do the work, manual tests rely on human testers who interact with the app, simulating real-world user behavior. This type of testing offers a unique advantage: it provides insights into usability, design, and overall user experience that automated tools might miss.

The first step when setting up a manual testing strategy involves scenario creation. These scenarios are real-world situations that users might encounter while using the app. For example, let’s say you’ve developed an e-commerce app. A potential scenario could be a user trying to add a product to their cart. Another could be a user attempting to use a discount code during checkout.

Once you’ve identified these scenarios, it’s time to design test cases for them. Test cases are a series of specific steps that testers will follow. For the scenario where a user adds a product to the cart, the test case might involve the following:

  • Selecting a product.
  • Clicking on ‘Add to Cart.’
  • Verifying if the product appears in the cart.

The actual execution of the test cases is where the rubber meets the road. Testers follow the steps you’ve laid out, documenting their observations, noting discrepancies, or identifying issues. After the tests, it’s crucial to gather feedback. This feedback forms the basis for improvements, bug fixes, and app refinement to better meet user needs.

Automated testing

While manual testing offers invaluable insights, it’s not always the most efficient, especially for repetitive tasks or large-scale testing scenarios. That’s where automated testing shines.

Automated testing begins with selecting the right tools. The market offers many options like SeleniumAppium, and Espresso. The choice of tool often depends on factors like the type of app you’re testing, the language it’s written in, and your specific testing needs. Our personal favorite, Tricentis Testim Mobile, stands out as the most robust and comprehensive.

With tools in hand, the next step is script writing. These scripts define the scenarios you wish to test, and when executed, they simulate user behavior, interacting with the app just as a real user would.

Once the scripts are ready, you can run them across various devices and operating systems. The beauty of automation is that these tests can be run multiple times, ensuring consistent and reliable results. After the tests are run, it’s time to analyze the results. Automated tools provide detailed logs and reports, helping testers identify failures, glitches, or performance issues.

Whether you’re opting for manual or automated testing or a mix of both, the key is always to keep the end user in mind. It’s their experience, after all, that determines the success of your app. Crafting a well-thought-out testing strategy ensures that the app functions flawlessly and resonates with its intended audience, providing users with a seamless and enjoyable app experience.

While manual testing offers invaluable insights, it’s not always the most efficient, especially for repetitive tasks or large-scale testing scenarios

Example test plan

Let’s craft a real-world mobile app testing strategy for a hypothetical e-commerce app called ShopEasy. This app allows users to browse products, add them to their carts, make purchases, and track orders. It also has features like user reviews, customer support chat, and discount codes.

ShopEasy mobile app testing strategy

The primary goal of our testing strategy is to ensure that ShopEasy offers a seamless shopping experience to its users. We want to confirm that users can easily navigate through products, make purchases without hitches, apply discounts, read and post reviews, and interact with customer support.

Manual testing approach

Scenario Creation

  • User registration and login
  • Browsing products by category
  • Searching for a specific product
  • Adding products to the cart and modifying the cart
  • Applying a discount code
  • Making a purchase and checking out
  • Posting and reading product reviews
  • Interacting with the customer support chat feature

Test case design: For the “Making a purchase and checking out” scenario, the steps could be:

  1. Choose a product.
  2. Add to cart.
  3. Navigate to the cart.
  4. Confirm product details.
  5. Proceed to checkout.
  6. Enter shipping details.
  7. Make payment.
  8. Confirm order placement.

Execution: Testers would simulate the actions of real users, following the steps outlined in the test cases and documenting their observations.

Feedback collection: After testing, feedback from testers would be consolidated. This would cover issues faced, suggestions for improvement, and any inconsistencies observed.

Automated testing approach

Tool selection: Assuming that our app is developed for Android, we can opt for Testim Mobile for the best results possible. Testim Mobile can streamline the testing process by automatically creating test cases based on user interactions, thus reducing the manual effort required to script scenarios.

Script writing: Scripts should be written for repetitive tasks and critical user paths. For instance, the entire process, from selecting a product to making a purchase, can be scripted to ensure that any change in the app doesn’t break functionality.

Execution: Automated tests should be scheduled to run during off-peak hours, ensuring that any changes made during the day don’t introduce new issues.

Analysis: After each test run, results should be analyzed. Failures would be flagged for immediate attention, ensuring that the development team can address them promptly.

Additional considerations

Performance testing: Given the expected high user load, especially during sale seasons, performance testing is critical. We’d simulate high user loads to ensure the app doesn’t crash or lag during peak times.

  • Security testing: Because users would enter personal details and payment information, security is paramount. We’d conduct penetration testing to identify potential vulnerabilities.
  • Usability testing: A select group of users would be invited to use the app and provide feedback on its usability. Their insights would help us refine the user interface and experience.
  • Localization testing: Because ShopEasy plans to cater to a global audience, ensuring that the app is correctly localized for different regions and languages is vital.
  • Feedback loop: Both manual and automated testing should have a robust feedback mechanism. Any issues identified would be logged in a tracking system, prioritized, and assigned to the development team for resolution. Post-fix, the issues would be retested to confirm their resolution.

Moving on

A robust mobile app testing strategy is the backbone of a successful app. Understanding its components and crafting a detailed plan ensures that your app meets and exceeds user expectations. Remember, it’s not just about finding bugs; it’s about delivering an exceptional user experience. So, take the time to test thoroughly, and the results will pay off.

This post was written by Juan Reyes. As an entrepreneur, skilled engineer, and mental health champion, Juan pursues sustainable self-growth, embodying leadership, wit, and passion. With over 15 years of experience in the tech industry, Juan has had the opportunity to work with some of the most prominent players in mobile development, web development, and e-commerce in Japan and the US.

Author:

Guest Contributors

Date: Jan. 05, 2024