More than your company’s website. More than your business’ commercials on television, or ads in print. Even more than the physical location of your store, customers both old and new will interact with your products and services through your mobile application. In many industries, taxis being the most famous right now, it is the company with the better app, and not necessarily the better product that gains market share.
While traditional taxis and limo services scramble to reassert their command of the market by creating apps to compete with the market leader, let’s explore the risks and rewards of your business’ mobile application, and discover how the benefits of mobile testing enable you to increase your return on investment by reducing the pitfalls of a poorly working app.
#1 The functions of your mobile application translate to real revenue.
When you walk into a coffee shop or an electronics store it’s assumed that the coffee machine will be working and the cash register will be operating fine. We take for granted the fact that everything is in top working order. When something is not working right, it stands out. We don’t expect it. We call into question the trustworthiness of anything produced by the company simply because something not related to their product isn’t working properly.
Imagine a user having the experience of her life on your mobile application. Not wanting to let go of the experience, she joyfully clicks the shopping cart, ready to make a purchase. Then, out of nowhere, an error message appears. “Problems with checkout. Come back later.”
Do you think they will come back later?
Billions are lost each year by mobile applications breaking down right at the point of sale. It’s like fumbling the ball at the 1-yard line.
The same investment we make in making sure everything about our physical location is working properly is what we need to put into functional testing to see to it that there will be no unpleasant surprises for our digital customers. Smartphones have combined the online and offline world like never before. Mobile testers are the guardians of the company’s good name. It is not uncommon for customers to choose one brand over the other simply because the first brand delivers a better user experience on their Smartphone.
Your mobile app is your greatest form of advertisement.
A top of the line mobile automated mobile testing tool like SeeTest Automation will enable you to swiftly verify that every function on your application is working. An automated mobile testing process enables you to increase your test coverage to more devices, mobile operating systems, and multiple versions of them. The best-automated testing tools will let you cover all of this test coverage with one tool that tests on everything.
#2 In Driving there are speed limits. In mobility, there are speed standards.
Nobody likes to wait on line, especially in the age of instant information. If a page takes more than 4 seconds to load a page, well over a third of your users will leave on the spot. Mobile applications that perform quickly are no longer exceptional, they are expected.
To make sure your application is performing to standard, you need to confirm that it works fast anywhere. Did you know that the slowest performing mobile networks in the United States were New York City and Los Angeles? Who would have thought? Simply because your application is working well in your mobile lab, or over the phones connected to your local computer doesn’t guarantee that they will perform as well 8,000 miles (13,000 km) away.
Network Virtualization testing is the practice of simulating any of the 400 local networks across the world and executing functions under different network conditions. This makes sure that there are no unnecessary freezes, stalls, or crashes of your app while your users are enjoying them.
Imagine how great it will feel when you make a sale from someone in Montana because they saw a tweet about your superior service from a friend in Mumbai!
The other challenge to performance is the load. A desktop app will call functions based on what’s available on the computer’s operating system. A web app will utilize the browser. A mobile application often makes use of both. As a result, even if your web traffic and mobile traffic are exactly the same, a standard mobile application can use up to an additional 20% of server space to operate. At the same time, the mobile audience is far greater than desktop. In some parts of the world, there are 5 mobile devices for every 1 desktop computer. In others, the only way people reach the internet is on their Smartphones. A third of mobile users will activate their mobile device before getting out of bed.
Try hauling your desktop computer next to your favorite teddy bear!
The peak levels of potential traffic are far greater for mobile than desktop. To be ready for the most pleasant of surprises in your daily traffic, you need to test for load. Being prepared for a huge rush of traffic prevents your best day from becoming your worst nightmare, and encourages all these new users to return to your app.
#3 You can’t be too diligent about your brand’s reputation.
All too often a small company with a nascent product will outsell a huge company with a superior product simply because the smaller company has a better mobile app. It could also be that the huge company skimped on its quality assurance and there were problems that slipped by everyone . . . only to be discovered by the end users.
Social media has eclipsed email as the most ubiquitous form of digital communication. Where someone is unlikely to send a blast email to all their friends about your app, all it takes is the wrong post at the wrong time and the impact on social media can be a disaster. Top quality social media posts can see 20,000 to 30,000 views in a matter of hours. Hundreds of people will share the post to their friends, magnifying the impact of the message exponentially.
If that message is about how great your competitor’s mobile application works, it will make an impact on your business. Stores in Sri Lanka and Sacramento will see declining sales for the month simply because a competitor released a stellar version of their app, or your team released its new app incarnation with defects that weren’t detected or fixed.
This raises the stakes. With DevOps and continuous integration, new releases of the same mobile application are coming to market every month. On any given release, the game can change drastically. One bug and you can suffer a setback. A mobile app can be fixed in a day, but a company’s reputation takes time. This makes a thorough mobile testing plan a matter of dollars and sense.
#4 Time is more important than money.
With 20,000 types of mobile devices, 4 unique mobile operating systems each with several different versions, and over 400 local networks a mobile app can be working over, there are at least 30 million different combinations of environments your mobile application needs to execute and perform on. To test for this massive coverage, you have to work fast.
The best way to start is with quality test automation. Taking it the extra mile is to make sure that your testing tool integrates seamlessly with the major continuous integration platforms. To really crush your mobile application testing is to utilize the cloud with a mobile device lab.
A mobile device lab consists of 10, 20, 40, even hundreds of different devices all with their own mobile operating systems, and versions working in one location. They are always hooked up somewhere so the batteries are always fully charged. They can be accessed by remote from mobile testers in all of your business’ offices. If you have offices in locations over several time zones you can organize a non-stop 24 hour testing operations. Even if you just have one office, you can run automated scripts on multiple devices after your mobile testing team has finished its work for the day and keep it all going.
Add a quality network virtualization tool, along with a load tool and you have end to end mobile testing going on at every moment maximizing your mobile app’s test coverage while minimizing room for error in your mobile application.
#5 An App can become a dinosaur overnight.
A mobile application works over a mobile operating system, or browser, or a combination of both. These platforms operate over a mobile device, which runs on a mobile network. Every day, all of these platforms are improving, making new features of your app suddenly possible, and making current features of your app less than what they now can become.
This demands flexibility in your DevOps process. You have to react quickly to new changes in order to keep your mobile app the best in the industry. This is also an effective business tactic. Your business may not have the resources to create an app as huge as your competitor, or your IT department may not be budgeted enough to compete with other businesses, but if you can include some features that are more technically advanced, or cutting edge, you become automatically competitive.
This requires 2 levels of mobile testing. One, you have to test the new features you create for the improved mobile platforms. Two, you need to make sure that the new code for these features didn’t upset the functions of the rest of your code. Regression testing makes sure that what you coded last week didn’t break the functionality of what another programmer wrote 15 years ago on a web app while listening to Destiny’s Child.
This requires automated testing. The ideal is to have a mobile testing solution that integrates into the main continuous integration platforms like Jenkins to get your new release to market as fast as possible. The best way to accomplish this is with an end to end solution that combines automated functional testing with mobile performance testing like network virtualization and load testing.
The goal of every company is to grow. As mobility becomes more ubiquitous in our digital age the quality of a mobile app will contribute more to that growth than ever before. The lack of quality of a mobile app can also negatively impact that growth as well. For today’s business, the stakes have never been higher for delivering a mobile application quickly, and without any problems for the user.
Employing the best mobile testing tool on the market to this end puts you a step ahead of your competitors, making you and your QA team active contributors to the bottom line of profitability.
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