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Best Practices to Get Most Out of Mobile App Testing in 2018

Mobile app testing is a method of ensuring the success of any application by validating and verifying the app’s functionality, usability, performance and security. Software Testing has become really vital in this digitally driven world. With the constant new releases with new features and bug fixes, software testing has to be performed often to ensure that the application is of the best quality. When we say best quality, the mobile app should have everything that a user expects while using it – functional accuracy, high performance, highly secured and affable usability. Therefore, a mobile app has to undergo different types of testing before its release: functional testing, performance testing, usability testing, compatibility testing, and security testing.

In this article, let’s discuss about best practices that can help in getting most out of mobile app testing in 2018.

Aiming to make your Mobile App functionally accurate

The goal of Functional Testing is to ensure that software works as per the requirement specifications. Functional tests will validate the app’s functionality including basic things like user launching the app, to the most complex workflows defined against the requirements. To get most out of these functional tests, lets discuss about a few best practices.

  • The first step for functionally testing a mobile app is to collaborate on the testing requirements. Functional testing outcomes are directly proportional to how testing teams comprehend requirements. Test plans and test artifacts are developed effectively.
  • The second step, create test plan which should include the objectives and scope of testing, the required resources for the test and a test schedule.
  • The third step, develop effective test artifacts. After that, decide which test cases should be automated.
  • The last step, an issue tracking system can be effective with task assignment at a basic level but for a more sophisticated scenario, having a mature test management system is advisable. Management of results depends on the test management tools used. There are organizations who use an excel based system, which consumes a lot of time to format at reporting time. Therefore, the last step involves leveraging the right test management system to analyze the test metrics which also depends on the sophistication of your testing.

All the above are generic for not just testing a mobile app but any application. But, here are a few aspects that make these practices specific to mobile app testing:

  • Analyze your users and the kind of devices they may use, and test on those real mobile devices. Doing functional testing on real devices yield better results.
  • Make sure to test under real user conditions such as – if a user receives a call, then the app should be on background and retrieve as the call ends. Validating the app against such real user conditions will improve the functional accuracy and also user experience.
  • Test Automation improves quality of the software and reduces time-to-market, which means high quality software delivered faster to the market. After executing mobile automated tests, exploratory testing should be done with user-centric, even considering all the navigations and touch gestures that a user may use.

Bring Effectiveness to your Mobile App’s Performance

Performance Testing is four step procedure, step 1: capturing requests that an application makes to server, to get responses for user requests; step 2: creating performance test scripts with captured requests using Load Testing tools; step 3: executing performance test scripts under different user load conditions; and finally step 4: analyzing the test results and preparing reports. Both client-side and server-side statistics are measured to understand application’s current performance and actions to improve the performance.
Performance testing for mobile apps doesn’t only mean measuring the performance when multiple users are doing the same thing on the mobile app at the same time. Mobile app performance testing also includes getting answers for the following questions even when a single user is accessing the app:

  • Does the mobile app get slow or become unresponsive when used for a longer duration?
  • Does the mobile app perform at the same level as it should when other applications are running in background?
  • Does the mobile app perform its best on different network conditions?

It’s a bare necessity to secure your Mobile App, work on hardening its security

Security testing refers to validating your application’s data and network security to prevent security breaches. When a mobile user wants to install a mobile app on his/her device, he/she will have this wariness whether to install or not because a native mobile app will access files, contacts and other data to perform some actions. While many organizations are busy in developing an innovative and intuitive mobile app, their mobile apps are facing security breaches and losing not only business but also the trust among their users. Therefore, the following best practices would ensure a mobile app’s security for all the possible vulnerabilities and security breaches.

  • Perform mobile app testing by leveraging OWASP top 10 mobile risks – Improper Platform Usage, Insecure Data Storage, Insecure Communication, Insecure Authentication, Insufficient Cryptography, Insecure Authorization, Client Code Quality, Code Tampering, Reverse Engineering and Extraneous Functionality.
  • Review the traffic between a mobile app and its server for vulnerabilities and security concerns.
  • Manually review the source code of the mobile app to discover insecure API calls and files.
  • Validating data encryption and caching; mobile apps leverage caching to perform offline functionalities.

As part of security hardening your mobile app, perform network security tests for authentication, authorization, session management, and weak encryption and protocols. Also making prototypes of the application by creating restore points can help keep track of your progress in case there is functionality failure.