Currently, there are more than 10 billion mobile users all around the world. This is one of the prime reasons for the rising demand for B2B and B2C mobile applications. A recent survey suggests that the global mobile app market is increasing by 10% every year and it has a present valuation of $150.6 billion. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant boost in the valuation of the mobile app market. This is due to the shift in work from home culture and an overall rise in the average online time. So, we can pretty much say that we are currently in a “mobile-first” world. In this generation, there is no room for bugs or errors in an application. These rules are applicable for e-commerce apps, loyalty apps or SaaS products.
Users will immediately abandon a buggy application and will never return. This phenomenon is known as bounce rate. The primary motive of a mobile application is to minimize bounce rates and maximize user retention. A recent survey suggests that more than 25% of apps are abandoned after a single use. Some of the factors that affect the bounce rates are poor User Experience, confusing UX, too many bugs and glitches, app crashes, or a slow loading time. To avoid all these issues, you have to create a mobile app that functions seamlessly on both Android and iOS platforms.
However, mobile app testing can get complex due to various operating systems, device specifications, user interests, carriers, and certain situations. So, in this article, we are going to discuss a 5-step mobile app testing process that can help you to overcome all these issues. We will also discuss the role of various tools in this process.
5 Steps Mobile Application Testing Process
Step 1: Setup the Goals for Mobile Automation Testing
Software testing helps to ensure the proper functioning of the mobile application. This means that you can ensure that the app is functional on all operating systems irrespective of any unexpected situation. Mobile application testing is the process of mirroring the development phase while setting the unit testing as the primary base.
In this process, all the testing mechanisms are performed by a human tester. It is a slow process as it completely depends on a single human being. Manual testing slows down the development process and dramatically affects the final delivery of the mobile application. Companies often lose a lot of time and money due to this testing process.
Automated testing is the complete opposite of manual testing. In this process, all the testing phases are conducted with the help of an automated test script. Developers mostly use automatic testing to perform the redundant processes in the software development life cycle. Moreover, the testers can reuse a massive portion of the automated test script for their future products as well. However, the developers must remember that automated testing requires a massive initial investment to introduce it in the testing environment.
Step 2: Create A Plan for All the Test Cases
You have to layout different testing cases throughout the project development cycle. You can find all of these cases with the help of Agile Matrix. Many testers have the misconception that the testing phase is reserved for the end process. In reality, the entire app development process is an integrated structure. This means that you have to integrate the testing with the development process. There are various scenarios that you have to consider while developing the test cases for automation testing. For instance, test cases must consider areas like repetitive processes, time-consuming data entry tasks, areas prone to human error, parameters that can be easily measured, and low-risk tests.
The Developers must remember that they cannot automate tests that rely on the subjective feedback and the exploratory side of end-users. You also cannot automate those tests that have to be run only once during the entire testing life cycle. Since it is a time-consuming process to set up the entire Automation Testing infrastructure, you’d want to make the most out of it. The three most common tests that you can automate are functional tests, integration tests, and unit tests.
Step 3: The Process to Select the Perfect Test Automation Framework
Now that we have successfully determined all the tests we can automate, it is time to choose the perfect Framework depending on the project requirements. We can define an automation framework to be an integrated system that will set all the rules for the test automation project. Many experts consider the test automation framework to be one of the best practices for creating and reviewing automated tests. Now, let us take a quick look at some of the best frameworks for performing automated mobile app testing:
Linear Automation Framework
This is the most linear and incremental Framework for performing automation testing. The developers can use this framework for performing the perfect unit testing or testing of simple mobile applications.
Modular-Based Testing Framework
This testing Framework is designed for performing various scenarios for the ease of mobile application testing. The developers can combine all the modules into larger scenarios for testing more complex mobile applications.
Library Architecture Framework
The library architecture framework is quite similar to the modular testing framework. The only difference is that it does not combine the test scenarios into modules, instead, it combines them into functions.
The data-driven Framework is essential for Complex applications that need to process a lot of data. This framework is suitable for applications that need to perform the same test with different sets of data.
This is one of the more complete Frameworks for performing automation testing of mobile applications. With this framework, the developers can pair the data with all the keywords that are stored in the form of a table.
Hybrid Testing Framework
The hybrid testing framework uses two or more of the above-mentioned frameworks. This provides enough flexibility for the testers to create the ideal test environment for the projects.
Step 4: Selecting the Perfect Tool for Mobile Automation Testing
Tools play a vital role in determining the success of the Automation Testing process. Every tool is different and has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. The testers must properly choose the perfect tool depending on their personal preferences and project requirements. This is because the correct choice will help the company to utilize the full potential of the testing framework. A basic understanding of the test automation framework will also assist in the tool selection process. Let us consider the example of LambdaTest Mobile App Testing to understand the role of tools:
LambdaTest Mobile App testing
LambdaTest mobile app testing tool helps the developers to test the mobile application on a safe and secure Appium grid. Using this tool, the developers can also test the mobile application on a cloud-based test automation platform.
There are also other tools such as Appium, Robotium, Quantum, etc.
Step 5: The Difference Between Virtual and Real Devices
To utilize the full potential of the testing process, the developers have to understand the differences between real devices and virtual devices. The use of virtual devices is indeed a lot simpler and more cost-effective compared to maintaining real devices. However, certain testing mechanisms are completely impossible to conduct on virtual devices. For instance, it is almost impossible to get a perfect visual element report from any emulator or other virtual machine. It is also impossible to determine the app loading time with the help of virtual devices. So, the developer needs to maintain a perfect balance between virtual and real devices. Moreover, the testers cannot consider their devices as the benchmark for app testing. A recent survey suggests that more than 80% of the user base uses devices that are at least 2 years old.
The test cases are independent entities in the testing scenario. This means that you can start developing the test cases even before the app testing process. This process also helps you to begin the testing process early and reduce the production phase. Early delivery of products is highly important to increase the loyalty of the customers. So, companies must focus on reducing their time to market. In simple terms, the secret to growth is the faster delivery of high-quality mobile apps. A focused and organized testing strategy helps the companies to quickly analyze the feedback and perfect the app.
In the earlier parts of this article, we already discussed that great mobile apps are partly based on great development and partly on great testing ethics. We also discussed the crucial role of testing tools and frameworks in this process. Companies should choose these tools based on their project requirements and personal preferences. All these processes will help them to utilize the full potential of their testing environment.