Mobile apps are a hot commodity. Unfortunately, as a commodity, there is always a newer, better, or faster alternative. Yet, most apps don’t survive or thrive much past launch. In fact, according to Gartner, fewer than .01% of apps will be a financial success at the end of 2018. That’s an eye-opening stat.
Considering the average investment to design, build, and launch an app is a steep six figures, it’s in your best interest to be purposeful and strategic in every aspect of the mobile app development process — with an emphasis on QA. App QA is where many companies fall short. If your app doesn’t work (as well as provide an excellent user experience), you are bound to end up in the apps that fail category.
QA shouldn’t be an afterthought
Is testing the last possible task on your app development timeline? The problem is that developers are often in a hurry to wrap things up and meet timelines. But why launch something that hasn’t been properly vetted just to make a deadline? For one thing, developers aren’t always effective or proactive testers. That job should go to expert QA engineers, who should then go through multiple rounds of checking features and functionalities.
For app QA to bring the value it should, it can’t be an afterthought. It must be a strategic process wherein testing engineers share what they find and suggest with programmers, early and often, until the app is in its ideal (or truly launch-ready) state.
Poor mobile app QA is risky
App testing is all about the end user, their goals, and delivering the right outcome. Making sure these elements of the experience go well is just as important as the all the coding and design work that has built your app’s foundation thus far. Frankly, if app QA is done poorly, you put your app’s success at risk — no matter what it promises to do or how good it looks.
Let’s look at why your existing QA process may be failing and how to fix it.
#1: Beta testing failures
This is a huge oversight in app development. Too many development teams perform perfunctory testing and simply wait for bug reports with no opportunity for beta testing. While perfunctory testing is integral to success, it’s all the things it doesn’t cover that could lead to failure (aka users finding bugs you didn’t catch in time).
How to fix it: Include a beta test for QA engineers so that UX and real-world testing are all executed prior to launch.
#2: Your testers don’t know the app
Your QA testers shouldn’t be your developers; however, they should have knowledge of the app, otherwise they won’t have any context. This can make for sloppy testing practices. Testers need to be well acquainted with the app — its features, logic, and purpose — to ensure a better QA process all around.
How to fix it: Educate testers on the app (its goals and capabilities) before asking them to perform QA tasks in the virtual dark.
#3: Crash logs are lacking
Crashes are part of app development. Until you get to a point of no bugs or errors, crashes will occur. Of course, it’s much better to have them pre-launch than post-launch. An important part of crashes is logging them. These crash logs need to be well organized and with detailed reports so you can refer back to them. Without this information, it’s harder for a tester to try to identify why crashes occurred or continue to occur.
How to fix it: Log and organize crash information and empower your testers with it.
#4: Features have taken a backseat
While UX and UI are the key to user adoption, it’s easier to forget about the features themselves during QA. If the app has broken features or worse, can’t serve its main purpose, it’s a dud.
How to fix it: Keep UI and UX testing in the forefront, but make testing out all of the features equally important during QA.
#5: There’s no real-world testing
If you only test your app in a limited, set environment (and with a core group of developers or internal teams), you can’t know how it will perform in the real world. You need to consider different devices, locations, networks, and operating systems. It may be impossible to test them all, but a prolonged effort must be made. That means making sure to have that beta test period, so that as many real-world situations can be tested as possible to ensure the best experience for your user. Your app should perform well no matter where a user is or what device they have.
How to fix it: Work with QA engineers that can prioritize and deliver on real-world testing.
Get QA from Topcoder
One of the best ways to succeed with your app QA process is to work with engineers that specialize in QA and testing. With Topcoder, you get access to an entire network of best-in-class QA engineers who can do more than simply test your app and log defects; they can also suggest important feature improvements. Learn more about our QA services and get started fine-tuning your app.