4 Articles on Mobile App Testing Basics – Neotys Testing Roundup

1. A Great Mobile App User Experience Starts with Building Trust

Elizabeth Rosenzweig, principal consultant at the Bentley University User Experience Center, said that when our apps communicate with us, they build trust. When apps don’t communicate with us, they create distrust, undermining the credibility of both the app and the organization behind it.

Apps that offer the best mobile user experience aren’t just mobile. Sure, they take advantage of mobile device features like the camera and the GPS. But the best experiences also include old-fashioned features like phone support.

This realization was brought home to me this week as I worked my way through the unenviable task of moving my bank accounts from one financial institution to another. When I ran into trouble — the new bank’s mobile app wouldn’t let me complete the check deposit process — the app saved the day with a strategically placed Call a Rep button. With a single click, I was talking to a real person who explained why the app wouldn’t let me deposit my check.

I didn’t like the answer, but I loved the mobile app user experience. Instead of giving me an error message that didn’t really make sense or abandoning me altogether, my new banking app quickly directed me down a path that led to an answer.

Read the rest of the article here to see what else Rosenzweig has to say.

2. Testing to Meet Mobile Application Performance Demand

When business use of mobile applications began a few years ago, poorer performance, bugs and longer load times were expected and tolerated. Today, users expect that mobile apps should work just as efficiently as the desktop apps. The performance assurance buck stops at the software test team, which must rapidly adapt traditional quality assurance functionality, performance and usability testing processes for mobile.

“Mobile is late to the game, so there are existing testing processes and skill sets to take advantage of,” said Rachel Obstler, senior director of product management for testing tool independent software vendor Keynote Systems. That’s the good news. The bad news is it’s a big project to train all quality assurance (QA) staff on different tools and get them up to speed quickly.

Obstler offers tips on adapting test processes for enterprise mobile, avoiding common mistakes in mobile app development, creating a mobile strategy and more in this Q&A.

What hurdles do enterprises face in implementing mobile application development strategies today?

Rachel Obstler: There are challenges that are unique to mobile, such as device diversity, different operating system versions, hardware configurations and connectivity. They all add complexity to testing and, in addition, many companies have multiple technologies they are using to deliver their applications. They may have a website, but also a native or hybrid app as well.

To take a look at the rest of the interview with Obstler, click here.

3. Losing the Wi-Fi Connection: Testing Mobile App Behavior

It’s happens all the time with mobile apps. One minute they’re up and the next, they’re down. As testers, we can’t prevent the Wi-Fi connections our apps depend on from going down. But we can take steps to define how the app should behave when the connection gets flaky, or drops off altogether.

What happens if the mobile user is in a coffee shop and steps away? What if the user is on a 3G network and switches cell towers, goes roaming or gets out of range? Answering these questions turns out to be non-trivial.

The problem

If I move my device beyond the coffee shop’s Wi-Fi connection just as I click the submit button, it is possible the message I’m sending will never get to the server (and my book order, for example, will not go through). If the message does get to the server, it’s possible I won’t get a response.

To complicate matters, applications don’t just talk to the server when the user clicks the submit button — applications talk to the server all the time. Read the rest of the blog post here to see what else Matthew Heusser has to say.

4. Key Challenges in Mobile Application Testing

In this article, the author covers the key challenges most testers face with testing mobile applications. The following list is not an all-inclusive list, it provides only some of the many challenges testers could face:

1. Variety of mobile devices – Mobile devices differ in functionality, size, input methods and various capabilities.

2. Diversity in mobile platforms – There are different operating systems on the market. The major ones being Android, iOS, Symbian, Windows Phone, and Blackberry. Each OS has its own limitations. Testing a single application across multiple devices running on the same platform poses a unique challenge for testers that can only can be solved through testing scenarios.

3. Mobile network operators – There are over 400 mobile networks operators, some are CDMA and others are GSM. Each network operator uses a different kind of network infrastructure and this limits the flow of information. The performance of the carrier’s network can have a huge impact on the user’s experience with an app.

To read the rest of the key challenges for mobile application testing, click here.

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