Today, a mobile-first strategy is not just for pure-web players; its for all businesses looking to reach, serve, or retain their customers. Key to this effort is the quality of your mobile-testing strategy and practices.
Since 2018, Google has started to roll out mobile-first indexing for websites. Google also announced that mobile-indexing will be the default for all new websites as of July 1, 2019. A key component in this process is the quality of your websites including their load times and ability to adapt to smartphones and tablets.
The best way to ensure high quality digital platforms is to implement QA test campaigns that account for their specificities. Below, discover our checklist for enhancing your mobile-testing strategy.
Mobile-Testing Tip #1: Choose the right test configurations
Mobile testing across the right configurations is extremely important due to the fact that bugs or software anomalies can be attributed to certain versions of operating systems, screen sizes, browsers, and other differences that exist within the smartphone and tablet markets.
A visual representation of the fragmentation of the Android smartphone market in 2015. While each tile represents a unique configuration (brand/model/OS version), the size of the tile reflects its share of the market.
To enhance your mobile-testing strategy, use a tool like Google Analytics that can provide valuable data on the configurations that your customer base is using to browser your website.
Mobile Testing Tip #2: Test Automation and Manual Tests
A second way to enhance your mobile-testing strategy is to incorporate a mix of automated and manual tests to increase test effectiveness as well as test efficiency.
In general, automated testing is great when test cases are repetitive in nature during each sprint or across a number of configurations.
Automated testing is equally for suited for regression tests that need to be executed over and over again to ensure new iterations to website do not result in unintended bugs or anomalies.
Other situations that call for automation include tests that need to be executed using a large collection of data or simulations.
Tests that are not repetitive or are more subjective in nature should be executed manually. Using the right combination of automated and manual tests, when appropriate, is a smart way to maximize the ROI of your QA campaigns.
Mobile-Testing Tip #3: Choose the right test strategy
Third, choosing the right mobile-testing strategy is paramount to the success of any QA campaign. In many instances, it may be appropriate to evaluate specific features or processes like creating an account, using discount codes, or requesting a return.
In situations like these, using a scenario testing ensures test cases are executed in a precise manner in order to evaluate every step in important processes that can easily be sidelined by the presence of a bug.
On the other hand, evaluating a mobile website or app from the perspective of a random user is valuable since many first-time users are unlikely to follow a traditional funnel or path. Here testers can browse and evaluate both functions as well as the overall user experience in order to asses the platform in meaningful manner.
Mobile-Testing Tip #4: Designing the Right Test Cases
The fourth way to enhance your mobile-test strategy is to design test suites and test cases that accurately reflect the capabilities of the product being tested. We recommend writing test cases based on your user stories to guarantee each case spells out what will be tested as well as the expected result.
The following are a handful of aspects to consider when creating your test cases :
Landscape or Portrait Orientation
Some apps or websites are designed to be used only in portrait mode, while others allow or prompt users to switch between these two orientations. Verify that test cases take this into account to uncover any bugs or problems associated with the user interface.
Apps more so than websites have the ability to take advantage of hardware such as fingerprint scanners, cameras, or other sensors. Likewise, hardware connectivity is also important when testing functions when it comes to Bluetooth, Wifi, or NFC connections.
For apps or mobile websites that take advantage of in-app payments or payment gateways, testing these functions is critical towards the success of the app or site. In these cases, it is equally important to evaluate back office functions to ensure the right procedures are followed after a payment has been made.
Testing mobile apps and mobile websites across a variety of conditions, especially network speeds is important. Tests like this can reveal bugs or performance issues that are caused by slower cellular networks or Internet speeds. This is quite important for brands that have multilingual apps or mobile websites that serve multiple markets.
Oliver Chuffart, E-Commerce Project Manager for La Redoute, explains the benefits of testing across various conditions.
“In Russia, for example, network quality fluctuates and smartphones are on average older. Testing in real and various conditions reveals bugs that could only be noticed when testing with real devices and real conditions.”
Additionally, another important measure to consider is an app’s or website’s performance when interrupted by an incoming call or alarm. Tests can also reveal issues when switching from a wifi network to a cellular network.
Evaluating an app or mobile website after a temporary network disruption is also a good idea since this happens often as people move in and around buildings, subway systems, parking garages, etc.