The Basics of App Testing

by | January 26, 2016

Application testing is a vital part of the development process. Releasing a product that does not function correctly means missed business opportunities and potential extra costs for your company. It’s important to establish the optimal amount of testing to deliver application updates in a reasonable amount of time. If you spend too much time testing an app, your company’s app updates will come late and give your competition an edge. If you spend too little time testing, you may release a broken product that reflects poorly on your company.

The following app testing basics elaborate on how to work through the process.

Planning Your Test

Before your programmers and QA staff start testing an app, your business needs to determine what exactly needs testing. According to TechRepublic, designing a “comprehensive test plan with a checklist” that covers usability, features, and functions helps keep the app testing process focused on what’s important. TechRepublic also recommends testing should focus 80 percent on usability, with 20 percent on features and functionality; users are more likely to embrace an app that’s easier to use, over one with more features. Microsoft recommends considering the scope, methodology, pass-fail criteria, and schedule when designing your application test. They also suggest taking note of the training, personnel, hardware, software, and tools your company will need to perform the test.

Does It Work? Functionality Testing

The most important question in the app testing process is “Does it work?” If the app doesn’t work at all, it’s not ready for testing. Your app testing process should start with the installation of the application on a wide range of compatible devices. For example, you may opt to test an iOS app on several iPhone and iPad models to ensure compatibility. The installation process should be relatively painless for the user, which includes any necessary configuration the first time the end user launches the app. If the app is up and running, testers need to make sure that the app functions with an easy-to-use interface and does not crash under normal use cases. Functionality testing is about seeing if the app’s main features work in ways an end user would utilize them. For example, an app that calculates loan interest payments would be tested by entering data and checking the result, as opposed to messing around with rarely used options and unrealistic use cases to deliberately force a crash.

Performance and Stability Testing

Application performance is important because an inefficiently programmed app can run slowly and ruin the user experience. When dealing with apps that rely on cloud services or data centers to operate, your company is entering into an environment that relies on fast performance outside of just the end user’s device. For this part of the process, load testing and stress testing services can help identify problems with app efficiency as well as server performance. Load testing can help your development team determine how many maximum simultaneous users your infrastructure can handle, and whether you need to invest in additional hardware.

Staying Secure

Security needs to be a top concern during your app testing process if your application uses confidential user information. Losing or exposing user information could lead to expensive lawsuits and other damages. Developers should examine and probe all APIs and in-app procedures for handling confidential information to make sure hackers won’t be able to take advantage of any security holes.

Apica Product Team