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The most common reason for users uninstalling mobile apps is experiencing crashes or installation errors.
If you’re building an app for your business, a proper quality assurance process is crucial to its success. When users install a new app, they expect it to work as intended. Launching an app full of bugs and defects is a surefire way to lose customers.
Quality assurance incorporates several processes and tools. Developers follow QA guidelines to ensure a top-notch product. But how do you implement QA in mobile app development?
Keep reading to find out everything you need to know.
What Is Quality Assurance?
Quality assurance is a crucial aspect of good mobile app development. Quality Assurance (QA) refers to the steps that developers take to ensure a quality, high-performing product.
App developers need to ensure that their product works as intended and there are no bugs. Quality assurance is how companies deliver the best possible experience to the end-user of their application.
If your app frequently crashes or runs too slowly, it’s going to reflect badly on your business. Users may even get frustrated and delete your app from their phone.
The QA process comprises the entire app development cycle. QA incorporate several strategies and processes designed to guarantee a quality product.
The QA process may include the following:
- Following software development best practices
- Code reviews
- Constructing documentation
- Data testing
At this stage, you may be wondering what the difference is between quality assurance and quality control. Here’s what you need to know.
Quality Assurance vs Quality Control
Both QA and QC involve a set of processes for ensuring a quality end product. However, there are some key differences between these two mobile app development concepts.
QA is a proactive process which focuses on the entire development cycle. On the other hand, QC is a reactive process that aims to identify bugs in the finished app.
The goal of QA is to improve the app development process. Testing is done during development to ensure that defects to do not arise. QC aims to find bugs that slipped through the QA phase and eliminate them before launch.
During QA, the emphasis is put on choosing a robust app architecture, writing good quality code and continuous software testing.
The entire app development team is responsible for the QA process. With QC, there is usually a specific team responsible for testing the product for bugs and defects.
Both QA and QC take advantage of specific tools and methods.
Importance of Quality Assurance in Mobile App Development
When launching a new app on the app store, it’s crucial to test it first. The QA process allows developers to find and fix bugs and defects before an app hits the market.
Releasing an app that hasn’t been tested thoroughly is risky. If users encounter bugs and errors, they are going to complain. This could result in bad reviews on the app store or, worse, customers uninstalling your app.
When users download an app, they expect it to work. Failing to follow the QA process could mean failure for your new app. Your business will also suffer as a result.
QA for mobile apps is especially important considering all the different screen sizes and operating systems. Mobile phone software variations make QA a complex process. Developers must test their code on a range of different devices.
There are several tools available to automate the QA process. However, it’s still important to have a solid plan in place.
Businesses often overlook the QA process. What they don’t realise is that QA can reduce overall development costs. Good QA ensures low maintenance costs during the product life cycle.
QA allows you to find issues and fix them as you go. Failing to do this may result in many bugs down the line, which affect your customers.
Factors That Affect Mobile App Quality
There are several factors that affect the quality of your mobile app. Here are some of the most important ones.
Mobile app performance refers to the technical aspects of your app’s functionality. Bad performance can make users delete your app. This can directly affect your business’s revenue.
A key aspect of app performance is speed. Users will get frustrated if your app takes a long time to load. The transition time between different screens is another aspect of speed that users will notice.
Your app’s UI (user interface) should also be fast and responsive. The speed of your app is in part dependent on your network infrastructure. Slow network calls will affect the speed of your app.
If your app works how it should, under all conditions then it is stable. An app that often crashes or throws errors is not stable. Minimising these types of issues is an important part of ensuring a good user experience.
The most common cause of crashes is resource limits. If your app consumes too many resources it may cause stability problems.
User experience (UX) is a critical part of app development. UX refers to how users interact with your app. If users find your app difficult to use, they won’t hesitate to delete it.
To develop a user-friendly app, think about your target audience. Market research is important before designing your app’s UI.
An important measure of app quality is the ‘critical path’. This is the path a user takes from installation to fulfilling the core function of your app. It should be intuitive and easy for users to navigate through this path.
Quality Assurance Process
QA is an ongoing effort to improve the performance of your app. This is what you should focus on during the QA process.
One of the most crucial aspects of any mobile app is the user experience. For example, if there are problems with the navigation, you’re going to lose customers. It’s that simple.
Developers should think about the user experience during every part of the QA process. It doesn’t matter how good your backend systems are if your app is difficult to use.
Remember, users only interact with the front-end of your application. Good front-end design is the central focus of the user experience.
Integrations and Automation
The Agile Process approach to app development focuses on continuous integration. Automation is a key aspect of this as it allows for fast review and error fixing.
Automating the QA process speeds up the process and frees up time for your developers. Automation can also help save on costs.
The codebase forms the foundation of your app. Code that hasn’t been tested properly may cause bugs in the system. That’s why regular code testing is so important.
Developers test their code by writing test functions.
Part of code testing is code coverage. Coverage refers to the amount of your code that is covered by your test function. Most companies require code to achieve 90% coverage.
Another important aspect of code testing is peer review and feedback. Developers review each other’s code and give feedback regarding possible improvements.
Part of the QA process is to identify and fix bugs. But even better than identification is prevention.
QA should begin with functional and unit testing and then move on to the user interface. This helps to reduce defects in the application’s top level.
During QA the focus should be on eliminating severe issues and later moving on to fixing small bugs.
What if your app gets a surge in traffic? Will your backend systems be able to cope with the increased activity? Reliability testing involves pushing system capacity to check for failures and errors.
Maintaining detailed documentation is an important QA practice. This helps to ensure a stable development process. All documents should undergo an approval process before being published.
Non-Functional Quality Assurance Methods
When it comes to the methods used in QA, there are two kinds: functional and non-functional.
Functional testing evaluates the app against its requirements and specifications. On the other hand, non-functional testing aims to check the performance, scalability and reliability of the app.
The aim of vulnerability testing is to discover holes and weak points in your application. These are vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit to get inside your app and obtains sensitive information.
The aim of this step is to ensure there are so security risks that could compromise your users’ data.
Usability testing is also referred to as convenience testing. This process aims to ensure your app is easy to use and intuitive to navigate.
QA testers should focus on the app’s user interface and evaluate the overall user experience. Usability testing ensures a positive experience for your customers.
The aim of compatibility testing is to make sure that your app runs smoothly on different platforms. Mobile phones have different hardware and different operating systems. Compatibility testing is how you evaluate performance across different devices.
You should test your app on a range of devices with different screen sizes, operating systems and processing power. For web-based apps, make sure to test performance on different internet browsers.
The aim of performance testing is to test how your app functions under different circumstances. For example, how does increased server load affect your app’s performance? What if the user’s device is low on battery?
You should consider all of these different conditions when testing your app’s performance.
Functional Quality Assurance Methods
The quality assurance process should include functional testing methods. Functional testing ensures that your application performs according to its specifications. Here are some of the most important functional testing protocols.
The functional testing phase is incremented. Tested first are the units, then integrations and finally the system as a whole.
The term unit testing refers to the testing of individual software components. All mobile apps contain a range of software modules that work together to deliver various functionalities.
Testing each of these modules is crucial for ensuring your app performs well.
The aim of integration testing is to evaluate how each software components works together. Integration testing is only done after completing the unit testing phase. Integration testing checks to see if modules can work together to perform specific tasks.
The integration testing process comprises automated tests as well as manual tests.
System testing is another layer up from integration testing. This process aims to check the performance of the entire software framework. System tests require running the entire system to check for stability issues or unidentified bugs.
The final stage of functional testing is acceptance testing. This process aims to evaluate the end product to determine if all the objectives have been met.
Acceptance testing involves customers and end-users as well. They begin to use the app and check whether it meets their expectations.
Quality Assurance Best Practices
Following best practices is important for ensuring your QA process is adequate. Here are some of the most crucial best practices.
- Set your app release criteria
- Implement automated testing solutions
- Allocate enough time for the different testing phases
- Set time aside for QA
- Budget for your QA process
- Make QA part of your development process
Before starting to develop your app, you should plan and budget for your quality assurance process.
Your New Mobile App Development Partner
The quality assurance process covers the entire development cycle of an app. QA ensures that an app meets its specifications and delivers a quality user experience.
The aim of QA is to identify weaknesses and bugs in your application. Developers can then resolve these issues before launch. QA is a proactive process, designed to incorporate all aspects of an app’s development.
Building a mobile app can boost your company’s revenue and increase your customer base. Here at EB Pearls, we are leaders in mobile app development in Australia. Our expert team is ready and waiting to help you with your next project, so contact us today.