Tips for Effective Mobile App Design Testing
The testing phase of the mobile app design process is one of the most crucial parts of an app developer’s work – for both short term and long term success in the profession. In fact, the testing phase is as vital as the development and design of the application itself. If you rush through the testing phase and launch an app before its ready, it may become a failure that your client – and your reputation – don’t recover from. Although testing is hardly our favorite part of the mobile app design process, we all need to carve out the time to ensure that every bug, error, or ease of use failure has been settled before parading to the app stores. Taking shortcut methods in the testing phase is not uncommon in our community, but any failure to identify loopholes could render the app doomed in the future.
Proper testing involves several rounds of iteration to test all features and functionalities. You must scrutinize the same activities over and over again until the desired result is achieved. It takes discipline – but it’s a non-negotiable part of app design.
Ensure your success by ensuring your client’s app’s success. During the testing process, don’t forget to:
Pay attention to all angles, including both UI/UX and Functionality
Looks and user experience matters, but functionality is just as important to the overall app experience – if not more important. If features are slow, not working properly, or annoy the user, the app has failed in its purpose, no matter how pretty the app looks. Take a balanced approach to your testing process and think like your user – is the environment pleasant? Does the app do the job, or is the competitor’s app superior in achieving the user’s goal?
Test under different network speeds – and Offline, too
The best mobile app designer is a thorough mobile app tester. It’s true; not all mobile apps need a network connection. If your client’s app requires the Internet to operate, though, you’ll want to test the app under different network speeds, just to be sure. Interestingly enough, sometimes a broadband network can run an app beautifully, while a slow Internet connection can render the app immobile.
Sometimes apps also need to be available to users when there is no cellular connection or Wi-Fi connection. In this case, test that the app provides the same engaging user experience when offline, to be sure.
Consider user battery life
How much battery life is your app draining? An app that cuts down considerably on battery life is going to be tempting for your user to delete, especially with all the rich, heavy apps that the average smartphone user is carrying around these days. Tweak your app if necessary to improve battery consumption – this is one of the starkest examples of where testing is necessary to avoiding instant failure on the app market.
Test Your App on all Devices Possible
Missing out on any operating system version can allow for app glitches in that version. For instance, if you design an app for iPhone 5 and iPhone 6, but fail to test for the iPhone 4 operating system, you’re leaving an entire iOS version untested and vulnerable. While you may not lose all your users, anyone that’s on a glitch version may decide to nix your app for one that’s more friendly to their operating system. Consider that there are many phones and operating systems and you may not get to testing them all. Make sure you prioritize your testing based on your user demographic.
Pay Attention to Crash Logs
Make sure you properly maintain your crash logs. This is essential for not repeating the same mistake twice. Users really, really dislike an app that repeatedly crashes. Make sure you maintain records of all the crashes that take place at the testing phase and prepare a report that highlights what crashes you need to resolve. Ensure the crash process is succinct and clear to the app tester and the development team so crashes can be solved quickly and properly.
By paying close attention to the testing process, and ensuring all of the bases above are covered, you’ll protect your design reputation and your client’s investment.
For more useful tips on how to avoid mobile design failure, read our blog here.
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