Mobile Testing: Top Things Checklist

Gita Malinovksa
Gita Malinovksa
12 Nov 2014
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Mobile testing may look similar to browser testing but in reality it differs in more than one way. Estimation of mobile testing can become quite complex as each website / app tends to behave differently. Here are a list of things that you should look out for.

Usability The audience wants to feel smart when using an app. They want to be able to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. Hiding complex functionality and making the app seem basic and easy helps them do this.
Users have especially high expectations of mobile apps and if they are not met then it stands to reason that there will be a low rate of user adoption.
Using functions that the vast majority of mobile users are familiar with, such as swipe, double tap, zoom and scroll, immediately makes users ‘feel at home’ and encourages them to use the app further: when you know how to do something, you’re more likely to do it.
Speed We live in a high paced society. We don’t want to wait for things - in fact we want, and expect, it yesterday. Mobile users in particular are likely to have limited time to spend on your app so it needs to deliver quickly.
Add in the fact that people are increasingly unable to focus on one thing and get distracted easily then if your app doesn’t produce the goods immediately then there’s a high chance your user will have moved on to the next thing.
Performance Users expect the app / website to load in 2 seconds or less. They expect the app to not drain their devices’ battery. If these requirements are not met, then there’s a high chance your app will be uninstalled / unused in no time.
Screen sizes You should test on a variety of screen sizes. With every mobile device that is released to the market, there is yet another screen size to test. Make sure you test your app / website on as many sizes as possible and don’t forget to test in portrait and landscape view as that is usually when issues with the layout, menu and pop-ups arise. Try entering text in text fields and make sure the keyboard sliding out doesn’t break the design.
Upgrades Users upgrade their mobile devices’ software on average every 2 years. But, when your app / website is submitted to the various stores for approval it will be checked against the latest operating system so it needs to work here, as well as on older versions. Consider applying for the iOS developer program which will enable you test apps on the new iOS versions early. You should make sure that you can easily upgrade without uninstalling the previous version and ensure that the installation on the latest operating system works seamlessly. Try re-installing the device and check if it is possible to restore users app data.
Security OWASP has released the Top Ten Mobile risks. Apps should ensure that the user is authenticating securely and that it only requires permission for things that are really needed.
Storage and data A few things to test around storage and data include:
  • Database and file storage on mobile device
  • App code, media not easily accessible
  • Caching – users don’t clear cache on apps, so will that break something?
  • Location - If your app is using any of the location features, make sure you test them and see how they work outside the office
  • Limitations – identify if the app fails only on one specific device with a specific OS version (they might not have GPS, no compass or have faulty software or OS that can’t be updated)
  • Accessibility – there are no separate guidelines for mobile accessibility, but default web and user agent guidelines apply.

If you would like to see an even more extensive checklist, please see one released by Ministry of Testing.

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