Quality Assurance (QA) is an integral part of the mobile application development lifecycle. Sadly, many overlook the critical nature of this step.
To ensure the successful development of any app, QA must be involved in all stages of development – from creating the concept to analyzing requirements, to creating test specifications and releasing the finished product. Quality assurance is even key to post-development reviews.
But it can often be daunting to know where to start when creating your testing process. Simply follow the nine steps below for a seamless procedure.
The circle of [sprints] life.
Phase 1: Planning
When the development phase is almost complete, you must figure out what you’re trying to achieve and what constraints you have.
You should know the following:
- Does the app interact with other apps?
- Are all the features functional?
- Is the app Native or Mobile-web or Hybrid?
- Is the app testing limited to front-end?
- Does it include back-end testing as well?
- What is the compatibility with multiple networks?
- How frequently data/space based on usage?
- How is the load handled?
- Does any change in phone status affect the application flow?
Make sure you communicate with the team about their roles and your expectations. After all, communication is key to maintaining a great team environment.
This is also true when you create your test case sheet. The entire QA team should maintain and update this document with all functionality implemented throughout the entire process.
Phase 2: Identify Testing Types
Before testing any mobile apps, decide what testing is required to test the specific mobile app: functional, usability, compatibility, performance, security, etc.
Decide on which target devices to use and what functional requirements should be tested.
You must also determine what target devices to include. You can do this by:
- Figuring out what devices the application will support;
- Determining the earliest version of relevant operating systems will be supported;
- Identifying the most popular models for the target audience;
- Selecting some additional devices with different screen sizes;
- Deciding if you’ll use physical devices or emulators;
Phase 3: Test Case and Script Design
Prepare a test case document for each and every feature and functionality.
In addition to functional test cases, some special cases should also be covered:
- Battery usage
- App speed
- Data requirements
It’s equally important to determine which combination of manual and automation testing you’ll be running.
Prepare separate suites for manual test cases and automated test scripts as required. And identify any reusable automation scripts and modify them as per the project requirements.
Phase 4: Manual and Automated Testing
Now it’s time to execute both manual and automation test cases.
You’ve already identified and created which tests and scripts to use. In this phase, you’ll actually run these on the basic functionalities to ensure that there are no breakages.
Phase 5: Usability and Beta Testing
Now that basic functions are tested, it’s time to make sure that the mobile application is easy to use and provides a satisfactory user experience. This phase requires maintaining cross-platform matrix to ensure the platform coverage achieved by beta testers.
Once the app is tested in-house, release the beta version of the application to market.
Mobile devices vary between platforms, models, and operating system versions. It’s essential to select a subset of devices relevant to your application.
User Interface testing
User experience is key for apps to be accepted by end users. Check usability issues, navigation, and content. Test menus, options, buttons, bookmarks, history, settings, and navigation flow of the application.
Testing of menu options, buttons, bookmarks, history, settings, and navigation flow of the application.
External factors testing
Mobile device applications must also contend with interactions and interruptions from other device features like various network connection types, SD cards, phone calls, and assorted device settings.
Mobile devices have a diverse demographic of users so it is important to ensure that your application is widely accessible.
Phase 6: Performance Testing
Mobile device applications have less overall device memory and power available so must handle themselves very efficiently. Test app performance by changing the connection from 2G, 3G to WIFI, responsiveness, battery consumption, stability, etc.
It’s a great practice to test your application for scalability and performance issues.
App functionality should be fully tested, with special consideration given to installation, updates, sign-up and login, provisioning, device-specific functions, and error messages.
Functional testing can, for the most part, be carried out in the same way you would perform it on any other kind of application. For this reason, we won’t go into specifics other than pointing out areas that are of particular importance for mobile apps.
Keep in mind that functional testing should include testing all application features and not be focused solely on these areas.
In addition to functional testing, you should also be running the following tests:
- Installation test
- Upgrades testing
- Operational testing
- Sign-up and Login
- Device-specific functions
- Error messages
- Low-level resource testing: memory usage, auto-deletion, etc
- Services testing: both on- and offline
Phase 7: Security and Compliance Testing
Security and data privacy are of most extreme significance nowadays. Users demand their data and information is secure and private.
Ensure that the app is secure by validating SQL injection, data dumps, session hijacking, packet sniffing, and SSL.
As such, it’s essential to test the security of your mobile application’s sensitive data storage, and how your application behaves under various device permission schemes.
In addition to encrypting usernames and passwords, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the application have security certificates?
- Does it make use of secure network protocols?
- Are there any restrictions such as the amount of login attempts prior to users being locked out?
Phase 8: Device Testing
Execute test cases and scripts in all the previously identified devices, in the cloud, and/or in physical devices in the lab or via testing tools.
Phase 9: Control and Summary
This phase includes detailed and complete testing – from early iterative phases to regression tests that may still be required – to stabilize the app and uncover minor defects.
In the control phase, add features and change settings for the sake of development and testing that won’t be in the final version.
Once app testing is complete, additional settings and features used to develop the final version are then cleaned up, taken away, and the final version is made available to the public.
Test Summary Report
The entire end-to-end mobile application testing process should have been recorded. Double check that this is done and then create your final report.
This report should include:
- Important information uncovered by the tests conducted
- Quality of testing effort
- Quality of the mobile application
- Statistics derived from incident reports
- Different types of testing performed, and time taken for each of them
It should also indicate if:
- the mobile application is fit for use
- it meets all the acceptance criteria
Armed with the summary, management can now decide if a mobile app is ready to be released to the market.
Testing is tough. By tailoring these test phases to each app being developed – and meticulously carrying out every step – you’re guaranteed to end up with a fully functioning product.
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