Wednesday 27 January 2016

Few Ways to Test Mobile Apps under Real User Conditions

Mobile Apps Testing under Real User Conditions

To make a mobile app popular and profitable in the longer run, businesses must get its user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) tested thoroughly. The businesses further need to test the app using real devices and under real user conditions. Most businesses use emulators and simulators to assess the application’s functionality and performance across a variety of devices without investing in real devices. But the emulators often fail to provide detailed information about the application’s performance on a specific device or in a particular user environment. That is why; it has become essential for enterprises to explore ways to test the mobile app under real world conditions using various devices, platforms, users, networks and test configurations.

Exploring Options to Test Your Mobile App under Real User Conditions

Field Testing
The field testing model requires businesses to deploy testers in field. The deployment will enable the testers to assess the mobile app across a wide range of networks and service providers. For instance, the testers can assess the application’s functionality and performance under a number of network connections including 2G, 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi and cellular. Likewise, they can test the application with no or poor network connectivity, switch from one network to another, and identify the hot spots and dead spots.

However, the testers have to use user scenarios and mobile persona additionally to effectuate field testing. These two techniques will help testers to make the tests more realistic and obtain more reliable test results. As a fictitious identity, mobile personal represents a group of users who will use the mobile app. When the testers are familiar with the targeted users of the app, it becomes easier for them to simulate their actions and behaviours realistically. Further, they can create a variety of test ideas by keeping in mind the targeted user group.

On the other hand, user scenario, as a narrative, describes the usage of the mobile app, and how it fits into the lifestyle of users. The testers have to identify scenarios according to individual members of the targeted user group. They can further customize the user scenarios based on mobile persona. On the whole, the testers need to combine mobile persona and user scenarios to understand how different users will use the mobile app, and test the app effectively in various contexts.

User Testing
As its name implies, the real world testing model involves real users in the mobile testing process. A business can release the mobile app to diverse users to get it evaluated on a wider variety of devices, platforms, networks and environments. Further, the feedback and suggestion received from real users will help the enterprise to deliver a high quality mobile application. Each business also has option to choose from a number of user testing methods. Some of these methods involve selected end users, whereas others emphasize on in-depth auditing of the application’s usability and user experience.

A business can always save money by getting the application tested by people selected randomly. The randomly selected users will use the application, and share their views and feedback. Despite being informal, the testing technique helps businesses to get relevant test results. Also, an enterprise has option to share the mobile app with diverse users through an online platform, and get the usability testing performed remotely. It can further pay the tester for the bugs identified by him, or provide a detailed survey questionnaire. The developers can evaluate the feedback and suggestions shared by the remote users, and take the required actions to make the mobile app flawless.

A business also has option to get the mobile app testing by a seasoned user testing professional. The professional will audit the application’s usability and user experience thoroughly, and provide his feedback along with identifying the defects. The enterprise can further deploy different user testing professionals to get the app tested based on diverse thought processes.  Alternatively, the business can also invite end users to visit its in-house usability lab and test the mobile application, while being observed by the user testing professional.

Many enterprises nowadays opt for crowd-sourced testing to identify all flaws in an application, with reduced testing time and cost. But a business has to consider several factors while making the application available to real users for testing. It is always important for the business to pick the right real world testing option, and implement a custom strategy by keeping in mind the pros and cons of the option.