App Testing Best Practices for Optimal UX, Performance, and Security

June 21, 2024

Nithya Rachel

App Testing Best Practices for Optimal UX, Performance, and Security

We’ve grown reliant on mobile apps and web apps for daily tasks and business operations. Yet, if a mobile app has confusing navigation or a web application takes too long to load, we seek alternatives. 

Studies show that 71% of users abandon apps within days if they don’t meet expectations. Even minor delays in load times can significantly impact user behavior. A 100-millisecond delay in page load can hurt conversion rates by 7% (Akamai). 

Thorough app testing mitigates user frustration. By prioritizing UX, performance, and security in app testing best practices, you can ensure your applications provide a seamless user experience and function flawlessly under various conditions.

App Testing Types and Strategies

To ensure a seamless user experience, testing should ideally start from the beginning of development. There are different testing methods that can help you identify a wide range of potential issues. By carefully considering features, budget, and release goals, you can create a customized testing strategy that maximizes quality. 

The most effective approaches often combine manual and automated testing.  

Automating repetitive tasks can help you achieve speed and consistency, while relying on human testers for areas like usability evaluation and uncovering unexpected bugs. A well-defined test strategy sets the foundation for successfully implementing best practices. 

Here’s a breakdown of some of the most common testing types to incorporate into your test plan:

Functional Testing   

Verifies that the software’s core features work as intended.  

Non-Functional Testing   

Evaluates performance, usability, security, and other aspects that impact the user experience.  

Compatibility Testing   

Ensures the software works across different devices, operating systems, and screen sizes.  

Installation Testing  

Verifies the installation, update, and uninstallation processes work smoothly.  

Interoperability Testing 

Checks if the software can communicate and work with other systems or components. 

Usability Testing 

Assess how easy and intuitive the software is for users.  

Performance Testing 

Measures the software’s speed, responsiveness, and stability under different load conditions on both on-prem and cloud environments 

Accessibility Testing 

Ensures compliance with standards like Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.2 (WCAG 2.2), so people with diverse abilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with a website or mobile app. 

Security Testing 

Assesses an application’s resilience against vulnerabilities to identify and address potential security risks. 

API and Microservices Testing 

Testing API and microservices for response timeouts, authorization, error and exception handling. 

Modern apps often connect with peripheral devices, like cameras, sensors, smartwatches, and more. Testing ensures that peripherals and apps communicate properly with devices. For example, if a sensor is sending signals of equipment status to a mobile app, test cases must include scenarios like compatibility across firmware versions, different network conditions, data sync, and security.  

Case Study: How Quality Assurance Drives Efficiency for a Security Products Manufacturer

Best Practices for App Testing

1. Create a Comprehensive Test Plan:

A comprehensive test plan must be focused, adaptable, and should emphasize accountability. The test plan must include these details:

  • Clear Objectives: Define the goals and objectives of testing to ensure alignment with the app’s requirements and stakeholders’ expectations.
  • Scope: Clearly outline what functions and features will be tested and what won’t be tested, to manage expectations and focus resources effectively. 
  • Test Cases: Detail specific test cases covering both normal and edge-case scenarios, ensuring thorough coverage of the app’s functionality. 
  • Testing Types: Specify the types of testing to be conducted, such as functional, UI/UX, performance, security, and compatibility testing, based on the app’s requirements and priorities. 
  • Prioritization: Prioritize testing types based on the app’s criticality, user impact, and potential risks.
  • Resources Allocation: Allocate resources such as devices, simulators, testing tools, and potentially cloud-based testing services that match a project’s requirements and constraints. 
  • Timeline: Establish a timeline for testing activities, including milestones and deadlines. 
  • Roles and Responsibilities: Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of team members involved in testing, ensuring accountability and effective coordination. 
  • Communication Plan: Establish a communication plan for information sharing among team members, stakeholders, and any external parties. 
  • Risk Management: Identify potential risks and mitigation strategies to address any challenges that may arise during testing. 
  • Feedback and Iteration: Create methods for gathering feedback from testing and plan improvements based on findings. 

2. Implement Early Testing:

Testing should not be an afterthought. Begin unit and integration testing right from the start of development.  

This proactive approach helps pinpoint bugs at their source, reducing the time and effort required to fix issues later. If you’re using an Agile development method, make testing a part of each sprint for continuous quality control.

3. Leverage Test Automation Tools:

Use automation to reduce manual effort in testing processes.  

Tools like Selenium and Appium are popular, open-source tools for automating tests across web and mobile applications. Selenium with Cucumber and Java, Python 3 allows for the creation of tests written in natural language for web applications. Appium can be used with Selenium and Java for automated testing in mobile apps. Perfecto Cloud and AWS Device Farm provide access to a wide range of devices, ensuring apps function flawlessly across various brands and operating systems. JMeter, a powerful tool for performance testing, helps analyze application behavior under heavy use. 

At Eleviant CTG, our team is proficient in these frameworks and tools. We can implement automation into your development pipeline.

4. Test on Real Devices:

Virtual testing environments like simulators and emulators are best suited for initial stages of development when quick iteration is necessary. Virtual test environments are faster to setup, easier to debug and cost less but they do not accurately replicate all aspects of real device behavior. They may not accurately reflect real-world performance, usability, or compatibility across various devices.  

Therefore, it is crucial to use real devices with varying configurations to evaluate app performance, battery usage, and compatibility with different operating systems and hardware. The best practice is to use a combination of both virtual and real device testing throughout the development process.

5. Include User Acceptance Testing (UAT):

Bringing real users to try your app is not only about discovering hidden flaws but also about aligning your app with your target audience. By including users with diverse abilities during UAT, you are more likely to uncover accessibility barriers and create an app that is both user-friendly and inclusive. This benefits user experience and expands your market reach, making it a win-win situation. 

Case Study: How a Pizza Ordering Platform Created an Inclusive Experience Through ADA Compliance 

6. Prioritize Critical Bugs:

Adopt a triage strategy to focus your efforts. Prioritize addressing bugs that cause crashes, affect core features, or disrupt the user experience. Having a bug tracking tool like JIRA to categorize and assign priority to bugs will give your team the direction needed to address the most critical issues first. 

7. Commit to Continuous Improvement:

Revisit and adjust your test plan as often as your app undergoes updates or feature additions. Use real-world insights from analytics, user interactions, and app store reviews to identify areas of your app that require further testing and optimization.

Eleviant CTG’s Test Automation Framework

A test automation framework is a structured approach to organizing and managing your automated test scripts, data, and environment.  

We’ve developed a robust test automation framework for web and mobile apps. Our framework handles common UI and error handling functions at the base level, allowing your team to focus on creating efficient and reliable automated tests.  

You’ll benefit from detailed reporting and CI/CD integration. This ensures that stakeholders are quickly notified of any issues.

Conclusion

Testing your app is crucial to ensure its optimal functionality, performance, and overall user experience.  By optimizing app testing procedures for enhanced user experience, you can gain a competitive edge in a crowded marketplace.  

At Eleviant-CTG, we offer comprehensive app testing services to optimize your mobile app. Contact us today to discuss your project. 

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