A recent Nielsen survey reports that the average U.S. mobile device user accesses an average of 27 apps per month. This same report states that the top 200 apps enjoy over 70 per cent of that usage. Is your app one of them?

If that new mobile app you just launched for your flower shop is suffering in Google Play or the App Store, you need to know why. Is it experiencing a decline in downloads and in-app purchases?

Small business owners need to understand they can risk their app’s survival by pushing it to market too quickly. Pre-release app testing will often help you catch any issues that might cause stability problems later. Mobile apps usually go through several rounds of testing where bugs are fixed and application stabilization is verified before they’re released. Post-release app testing is just as important.

Let’s explore a few questions you can ask yourself before you release your app to ensure the stability of your mobile app.

Here’s How Small Businesses Can Improve Mobile App Stability
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#1. Have you tested your app’s performance?

Apps need to run fast and they need to function properly. Is your app doing what’s it supposed to do as quickly as it’s supposed to do it? A survey conducted by Dimensional Research found that “after using an app that ran slowly on a regular basis, 48 percent of respondents uninstalled or removed it; 33 percent stopped using it.”

Chris Hoffman, tech writer for How-To Geek, suggests users ditch the Facebook app and use Facebook’s mobile site for a “less annoying experience.”

Users really dislike mobile apps that function like a clunky old-school website. Sometimes apps have bugs that crawl into the code and keep the app from functioning with ease. These bugs interfere with the user’s overall experience.

#2. What does your app look like?

When participants are asked to rate a website or mobile app, 94 per cent of the responses are about the design.

Make sure your app uses high quality graphics and fonts that are easy to read. Can your app’s users see and read everything easily? In addition to ruining the mobile app’s visual appeal, small fonts and images are difficult for older users who have vision problems. If they can’t see it, they won’t use it.

#3. Is your mobile app as secure as you think it is?

In a joint 2017 Now Secure and Accenture study, about 8 per cent of respondents were concerned about security issues with their mobile banking app, yet research shows that 40 percent of security findings in mobile banking apps involved insecure communications.

Your users need to know that any data they add to your app is secure, especially when they add personal data that can be used to steal their identity. Is their data safe and how do you know this for sure? Ensure your developers have made all necessary efforts to enforce access and data protection measures.

#4. Do you know where your mobile app data is going?

Data collected on your mobile app can be used for sales and marketing purposes, not just in-app purchases — so don’t lose your app’s data. Lost data can result in lost revenue and you won’t see the return on your investment you’d hoped to see.

Now that we have discussed pre-release app testing. After your app had been released, here’s what you can need to do figure out where there are stability issues.

Tip 1: Use automated app testing.

Choose a good automated app testing software to test your app’s features and functionality. These automated tools create scripts around your basic features and help protect your mobile app’s existing functionality.

Don’t fall into the trap of believing that thorough pre-release testing will stall your progress and keep your app from getting to market on time. Automated testing often keeps app release scheduling on time and allows you to release a quality product with very few glitches.

Tip 2: Use Google Play and the App Store to survey app users.

Your user reviews in Google Play and the App Store can serve as survey data. Start there. Use those reviews to survey individual users with a few questions about the app’s performance, layout, design, customer experience, security, and features. Send additional survey questions using customer contact data collected through the app.

Tip 3: Test your mobile app using a focus group.

Source a group of targeted social media users and ask them to download the app. Ask them to test your mobile app and answer a series of survey questions in exchange for an Amazon gift card. Prepare a lengthy quality assurance survey that will provide you with extensive feedback that’s designed to help you really test your app’s stability.

Here are the highlights of this article:

Pre-release testing and post-release testing will improve your app’s stability if you keep the following in mind:

  • Test your app’s performance.
  • Pay attention to your app’s graphics, fonts, and overall visual appeal.
  • Make your user’s security your number one priority.
  • Use automated testing before your app is released.
  • Remember that Google Play and App Store surveys can be used for survey purposes.
  • Form focus groups to collect extensive data from targeted users of your mobile app.

Additional resources:

  • Evolutionate provides an extensive list of tips and tricks for mobile app testing and quality assurance.
  • Apptamin gives readers a list of resources for finding early beta users for their mobile app.

Do you have any comments, tips, or resources to add? Please post them in the comments.

Please note: This article first appeared on Medium.