Through The Wringer: Quality Assurance Testing For Your App
Mason Carter wrote this article
It happens all the time.
An application can seemingly be designed and developed to perfection.
But then it comes time for the app launch, and the true test begins.
Too many applications get a lot of initial press coverage and then fail because they’re overloaded with users. A lot of users at once mean that typically, a lot of different app scenarios can play out. Often times, the developers of these apps didn’t test out enough possible scenarios and combinations to ensure the app’s success in any eventuality.
At ChopDawg.com, we have an in-house development team that is proactive when it comes to quality assurance or QA testing for your app before your app launch.
During App QA Testing, our development team will do everything in its power to break your app.
Testing. Poking. Prodding. Repeat.
Through careful documentation of your app along the way, with a unique project proposal planning the entire scope of your app from Day 1, we’ll stretch your app’s logic to its absolute limits. We have an agile methodology for what we do, but we also have some secret sauce aspects to our testing.
What We Don’t Want:
For you to have to be reactive to issues when your application launches. The launch should be a time of celebration. While we have designated Quality Assurance developers on the team, everyone thinks with a quality-first mindset. The seamless integration of both designers and developers in-house and our day-one process limits any miscommunications in the overall scope and vision of your app.
Typical Quality Assurance for an app can take anywhere from one to three months depending on the complexity of the app.
Of course, with our 90-day bug warranty, we’ll be there to squash any bugs that managed to slip through the wringer.
When it comes to Quality Assurance for your app, it’s about being proactive, not reactive.
QA testing is a skill that requires an appreciation of what users need and will do on your app. It also requires in-depth knowledge of the technology under the hood of a working application. It’s a balanced set of skills honed across years of experience developing applications.
In ChopDawg.com’s case, that’s almost ten years!
We test a lot of scenarios ourselves through unit testing.
As a team, we also integrate some test-driven development strategies where we work through scenarios as we write code. Sometimes, this means taking a few steps back during the development process in order to prime your application so that it can handle the real-world once it launches.
1. We sort all of the bugs that we encounter into three priority groups: P1s, P2s, and P3s.
P1s are the most important to fix, or else the product doesn’t function.
P2s are noticeable and more prominent issues but don’t necessarily prevent the product from functioning.
P3s are smaller issues, typically styling related; we need to address these but P3s not the top focus at this phase.
This is how we organize and help you as our client to follow along during the QA testing process. Someone that’s doing QA has to be able to find all sorts of issues from large to small to hard-to-pin-down problems and then articulate them in precise, intelligible bug reports.
2. We run compatibility tests throughout the process.
Next, our team gauges how your application will run on different types of devices.
If your creation is a mobile application, we make sure it is compatible with all phones using Android or iOS depending on the interface chosen.
Our goal here is consistency. When we are building a web application, we want to make sure that it is running consistently off an array of browsers and computers. Compatibility is the top-level of our testing.
We run all of our more in-depth tests with the notion that every scenario needs to be tested on many devices.
3. When we design your application’s product flow, it’s also a roadmap for our programmers.
Every function needs to work in the way that you want and expect, and once the application is ready for testing, we make sure that it follows the product flow to a T.
This is called functional testing, and we are making sure that your application is working to the requirements you set with the initial design. Since the product flow is the roadmap, the functional testing is to see if the product flow works in a real-world environment. The programming needs to be compatible with the design every step of the way.
This is the number one reason why we always go through the design process of your app first.
4. How do we prepare your application to perform well under real-world conditions?
I talked about the realities of throwing your application into a real-world environment — one of the ways that we gauge performance is by load testing.
We run your application through a series of demand simulations that mimic real user behaviors and loads. How does your application respond when we load it with as many users as possible?
Our goal is to overload your application until it breaks.
We want to see how it responds to scenarios that are realistic and others that probably wouldn’t happen, but we’ll test anyway. We can then identify the points of failure that still need to be addressed with your app’s development.
5. We also run your application through a litany of security tests.
In the age of widespread data breaches and greater consumer transparency, we know how important your app’s security is.
This is truly a growing movement amongst users. They want to know what you are doing with their data, and that it is safe. It’s our job to make sure your app checks off all these boxes.
To determine if the information and data your application is protected, we identify any possible loopholes and security risks. If you’re curious about mobile app security, you should read this blog post, too. It’s definitely a point of concern for many mobile apps in the marketplace today, as 85% are not built to industry standard security measures.
6. Let’s not forget about the importance of integration testing
Even after we test each unit of the application, we still need to make sure that everything is integrated accordingly.
We want to make sure that all of the specific tasks and functions that your application can do are not in conflict with each other. All of the ways that your application interacts within itself need to be seamless, essentially creating its own eco-system.
We also apply a lot of different user scenarios, such as logging into the application or sending files.
7. Is your application usable and achieving the goals you have set out for it?
Usability testing allows our team to verify if your application is doing what it has set out to do. While we set out to plan as much as we can before the application is programmed, it’s still crucial to see how usable your application is in practice.
We do present you with a non-functioning prototype of your application before we code it so that you can test the overall user experience yourself.
It’s a great way to test it with friends and others before programming begins, and really start to drum up excitement for your soon-to-be-app.
8. Beta testing is key to getting real feedback
During the last phase of functional testing, we asses whether or not your application is ready for app launch.
This involves ensuring that your application is in compliance with all of your requirements and meets users’ needs.
We test your product both internally and externally so we can help you run your beta test. Beta testing is so essential for getting real feedback and so that we can address any final concerns with usability. We’ll also help you overcome any potential roadblocks to getting your app approved by the App store for a seamless final delivery.
With Quality Assurance, it’s also about making sure your application feels good for users
It’s our goal that the intentions of your application’s design are in line with the technical implementation from the very beginning.
We put ourselves in users’ shoes and make sure that we aren’t operating in a vacuum.
This is why we have a variety of people involved in the QA process. We don’t want our developers who are close to your application to be the only ones testing it.
When it comes to our P1s, P2s, and P3s, we want to consider how users would respond to certain issues. It’s a process that’s exciting and can be daunting at the same time.
But thorough QA is something that needs to be done, and it’s a part of our process that is all the better by your being included in it as well, sharing your valuable input.