In its January 15, 2015 report: Market Overview: Mobile App Testing, Forrester Research confirms many points we have been advocating in the past couple of years. As the mobile app market and users’ expectations mature, mobile apps have to deliver a flawless, smooth user experience. According to Forrester,
Time-to-market demands are a constant pressure; adoption of iterative testing as a part of Agile development practice is necessary to meet this need. (…) Dynamic mobile environments, along with a wide variety of devices, define the mobile quality challenge.
Throughout the age of technology, testing has been the chief tool to eliminate the pesky bugs, yet with mobile apps, many businesses are simply shrugging it off. This Forrester report on mobile app testing suggests there is no better way to ensure that a sizable mobile investment will end in disaster. Extensive, cross-platform mobile app testing needs to be an essential part of any enterprise mobile strategy, if it is to succeed, and these five testing tips can help you ensure that it does.
1. Test On Real Devices
If you want your app to work bug-free on all devices, you need to check the app on all devices. While there are many emulators out there, Forrester analysts insist that emulators “are never completely precise” and often drive up the costs of upgrading and fine-tuning the app. “Successful mobile app testing requires real devices,” says the report, “Many developers have learned this the hard way.”
2. Let Your Customers Play
Who will be the primary users of your app? Who will get the most value out of it? Whoever these folks are, those are the people that will give you the feedback you need. Beta testing is extremely common in today’s technological world, and for good reason. Businesses can use today’s technology to send apps Over-the-Air (OTA) to customers phones, and make it extremely simple to gain a lot of valuable feedback from their testing. It’s simple common sense. The best way to know what your consumers will think, is to ask.
3. See If A Caveman Can Use It
Your mobile magicians might think the app is the best thing since Candy Crush, but to the less tech-savvy, it might as well be a screen full of hieroglyphics. So find your co-worker who still uses an abacus, and have them play with the app. If grandma is getting the hang of it, you know your user experience will solid.
4. Embrace the Criticisms
Its understandable when you’ve put your heart, soul and a truckload of creativity into your app, that you can get a little touchy when people try to tear it apart. Let them. The more outside perspective you can get into your app performance, the easier it will be to know how your users will react to the app, and tailor it to deliver the maximum impact when it’s released. Keep a thick skin, and don’t feed the trolls.
5. Repetition is Key
Testing is continuous. When you’re designing, you should test. When you’re building, keep testing. When you launch, celebrate with a test. When your app’s old enough to start school, pile on the tests. You should continually be seeking to upgrade your user experience, and ensuring that your app is continually meeting your customer’s ever-changing needs.