The seismic shift to mobile devices has put more pressure than ever on the QA community. Faced with tight delivery deadlines and new features and widgets to review, there’s a tendency to focus on the superficial rather than digging deep to truly get to the core of quality. XBOSoft’s team has developed a short list of best practices that we think of as “The 6 Mistakes to Avoid” when performing mobile app testing. They are, as follows:

1. Placing more importance on UI than on features

Testing UI (user interface) is important because it gives the first impression to users who have the app, but your mobile app performance testing shouldn’t only focus on testing the UI. If your app doesn’t deliver the features your users expect, no amount of attention to the UI will prove to be satisfactory. The key here are clear paths or user scenarios for your different user profiles. Then test those features associated with those scenarios. The objective is for users to get their job done (task or goal) with ease and with accuracy, avoiding mistakes. Too much emphasis during mobile app testing on the UI can prove to be a distraction for the tester and a disaster for the user.

2. Mobile App Testing on a single device only

If you were test driving a new car, you’d want to take it on the back streets and the highway. It’s the same with mobile app testing: You’ll want to test on more than one device. That’s because although some use the same platform, certain problems only occur on specific devices. So, while in the real world you can’t test on all devices, it’s important to test on the various devices and OS versions that your users prefer. Most of the time, when you do an analysis of who your users are, you’ll discover that you can cover over 90% of your users with a handful of devices (less than 10).

3. Lack of experience with the device/platform

No matter which device or platform you’re testing on, testers engaged in mobile app performance testing must understand each of those devices and platforms. The app is exclusively designed for each; as a result, the app’s interactions may vary between devices and platforms. You can’t do effective mobile app testing if you don’t know them all. Take the simple act of swiping left and right or up and down. The different functioning devices may have different behavior (by design) on different platforms, so you’ll need to understand this and many other platform specific features thoroughly.

4. Testing only on emulators

Testers often perform mobile app testing on emulators because to save money. However, the extra expense involved in mobile app performance testing on real devices can pay off handsomely in more reliable and more effective defect identification. Never rely solely on mobile app testing on emulators. Even if they are your main testing devices, you need a few real devices to confirm your test results. XBOSoft recommends using emulators for basic smoke testing, and real devices for deep testing on user scenarios combined with focused exploratory mobile app testing.

5. No installation/upgrade mobile app testing

Installation and upgrade testing on an app is crucial. The installation is the first interaction a customer will have with your product; don’t lose a potentially long-term client by failing to perform installation and upgrade mobile app testing. Test both the initial installation and upgrade, as well as deletion and reinstallation of the app to determine if bugs appear that weren’t previously detected.

6. Failure to test on networks

Customers generally use mobile apps while on the go; moving around within a mobile network or switching to wireless networks is inherent to the user experience. Thus in mobile app performance testing, it’s important that your app can work properly across different networks and in transition. Another tip: Make sure you test in transition between online, offline and on different frequency bandwidths.