There are 2.8 million apps on Google Play, and another 2.2 million in the Apple App Store. In a world where 73.2% of people are likely to leave a review after a negative app experience, and jumping from a one-star to a four-star review can lead to a 730% increase in conversions, mobile app testing is vital to your project’s survival in a highly competitive marketplace.
Whether it’s using A/B testing to fine tune your design, running unit tests on new features before the next patch, or building your app from the ground up with Test Driven Development (TDD), there are many ways to incorporate testing into your mobile app development project. Here are three ways you can ensure your mobile app is properly tested before your next launch cycle.
1. Secure the Future of Your Mobile App with a Security Audit
From online banking to fitness tracking to mobile shopping, and even dating, mobile devices have become an integral part of our everyday lives. Mobile apps are the software that link us to APIs and servers around the globe, making our current digital lifestyle possible. With the amount of sensitive information that gets transmitted between apps and devices, the importance of securing a mobile app cannot be understated.
There’s nothing like a security breach to shake consumer confidence and compromise your brand. Hackers are constantly on the lookout for ways to inject malware into apps, intercept sensitive information, commit identity theft, or even break into your company’s back-end network and steal your data. Fortunately, there are also many ways to secure your mobile app. From two-factor authentication to the proper implementation of platform-specific security controls, and the encryption of sensitive data and information, a seasoned mobile developer can help you build security into your mobile app from the bottom up.
Tip: A security audit is a great way to begin the process of securing your mobile app. It can help you evaluate your app’s current level of security by identifying problem areas and potential vulnerabilities. Security audits are especially useful for businesses that must adhere to certain regulations and standards like PCI-DSS, HIPAA, and NERC-CIP among others. Your initial audit can inform more detailed security tests like vulnerability assessments and penetration testing, which may be performed by a mobile security expert.
2. Eliminate Bugs Before Launch Day
Quality control is just as important for digital products as it is for physical goods—if your fancy new espresso machine failed to consistently produce your morning doppio, you’d be justified in leaving a critical review. The same is true for mobile apps, where user reviews can have a direct impact on your conversions and referrals.
Like that espresso machine, the best place to product test a mobile app is while it’s still on the “assembly line,” before it hits the digital shelves of an app store. Unit tests are a mobile app developer’s best friend. They involve breaking your app down into its most basic components and features, and testing them individually for bugs and logic flaws. These tests are usually performed during the development process, catching bugs as they appear while building new features.
Tip: Take unit tests to the extreme with test-driven development (TDD), a method that flips the software development cycle on its head. TDD begins with a failed unit test, which then gets the minimum amount of code required to pass the test, before it’s finally refactored (polished) into publishable code. Engage a skilled mobile developer experienced with TDD so your app is built from the bottom up with lean, quality code.
3. Turn Your Mobile Website into an MVP for your Mobile App
There’s a lot of time and money that goes into the cost of building a mobile app, and that investment can be steep for some. That’s why you might want to make sure there is enough of a market for your potential app before you enter the development stage by testing the waters with a mobile website.
A mobile website is often a company’s first foray into the world of mobile. These websites incorporate responsive web design principles to ensure your web pages display properly across a wide variety of screens. But while most are content with settling for a simple mobile port of their website, a mobile website’s true value may lie in its potential to serve as an MVP (minimum viable product).
An MVP is a product with the bare minimum of features required to satisfy an early adopter. A mobile version of your website can help you gain useful data on the number of existing customers who already prefer to engage with your business over their mobile devices.
Beyond conventional analytics, you may also choose to consult with a professional developer to approximate the features you’ll eventually build into a mobile app through your mobile website.
Tip: An experienced user tester can perform user tests to help you refine your design and capture actionable data points. Armed with real user data, you’ll have a much clearer vision of the mobile app you wish to create, when you’re ready to commence building the first version of your app.