THE UNWARRANTED UNDERVALUE OF MOBILE APP TESTING

Stardust_2015-Aurelie

Aurélie Méheust, European Sales Director at StarDust, The Digital Testing Company

Picture yourself coming out of a store having bought a product and noticing it is broken. Would you leave it at that or return to the store and complain? Why is it that in every industry product quality is taken seriously, whereas in mobile app development ‘broken’ apps are seen as a commonality?

Yet, as it has been said, again and again, consumers spend more and more time on their mobile phones browsing and buying. With this growth, mobile is being seen less and less as an ‘add-on’ and the consumer’s appetite for high quality mobile products is becoming unavoidable.

The UK m-commerce market is the largest in Europe and sales are expected to grow by 78% by the end of 2016. Shoppers want to shop, they want to do what is the most convenient for them; they don’t think of retailers as having, or not having, an omni-channel presence. Having said that, the percentage of online shoppers using their mobile to shop is low at 8% compared to 45% for browsing. One of the main reasons why consumers don’t use mobile more pertains to how frustrating they find shopping on mobile. One of the most commonly detected bugs in an app is that… it just crashes. This is probably the most irritating bug to mobile users, 70% of them delete an unstable app after only one use. Your customers need to have confidence when using your mobile app, therefore Testing is crucial but it is also often dismissed. Let’s have a look at the common factors as to which mobile app testing is so very often undervalued… Misunderstood, even:

  • Mobile app testing is time-consuming and perceived as expensive, but if you do it right the first time, it will be faster and cheaper.
  • Your users are not your testers: they do not have the tools nor the expertise to report bugs. And they do not want to be treated as ‘lab rats’: all they are asking for is for your product to be functional.
  • Mobile app testing is often perceived as a ‘best practice’: “We’ll test if we have time”. Yet, to ensure the success of your product, QA must be involved at the earliest stage of the project. Even the simplest QA process will provide great results.
  • It is not enough for the developers to try and fix the code they’ve written, a proper QA strategy also measures the quality of your app: is it functioning as expected? Does it perform well? Are the graphics displayed correctly?
  • There is a misperception that successful testing of app functionality on one device provides assurance across all others of the same OS. Given today’s fragmented digital environment, testing on a wide variety of physical devices and OS is not a ‘plus’, it is mandatory. Multi-device testing will meet user demands and reduce overall risk.
  • Mobile application testing needs to be addressed with a different mindset as opposed to testing desktop and web applications: certain criteria and best practice should be met when testing a mobile app: installation, launching & uninstalling, performance, connection, interruptions, interface, language & format, memory, media, stability, submission.

As we can see, anticipating and implementing a QA strategy ahead of a launch is therefore vital. QA done properly cannot be rushed, if you take into consideration what is at stake: lost revenue, negative brand image, losing customer trust. The value of having a structured QA vastly outweighs the cost and on top of this,  the time gained from this can be spent focusing on your core business. It has been proven that non-quality will cost you more, and as it is often said, ‘prevention is better than cure’…

 

 

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