Quality Assurance means releasing risk-free products. Customers are always enchanted by a bug-proof application that is giving them a seamless experience in every aspect. And whose responsibility is it to ensure that a glitch-free application is delivered? A Quality Assurance team. A typical QA team consists of a QA engineer, QA analyst, and a QA tester.
A QA engineer is responsible for taking care of the test environment, writing test cases, and configuring the test environment. QA analyst is the one who is responsible for writing test cases; however, they can not set up the test environment. A QA tester is responsible for running all the written test cases, running smoke testing, regression, etc.
QA testing should be carried out rigorously at every stage of app development to check and prevent mistakes. In this blog, I will be discussing the eighth step of the app development process, which is, Quality Assurance. I am Sanjay Kidecha and welcome back to the mobile app development process series. If you have missed our previous blog, please go through the index.
- A Guide on Lean Canvas Model;
- How to Prepare a Product Requirement Document and its importance;
- Importance of Wireframe in Product development;
- A complete guide on selection of technology stack for startups;
- How prototyping helps businesses?
- A handbook to select development company for startups;
- A detailed guide on project management & delivery milestones;
- Role of Quality assurance in product development;
- Importance of User testing;
- Know where you should deploy your project?
- How Feedback and product iteration makes a difference in product development?
- What is the variation in the cost? What factors affect the variation?
- Why is a Good design the ultimate thing in the project?
Let’s start this blog by discussing the basics of Quality Assurance.
The quality checking process is continuously integrated into the app development cycle right from the first step, coding, to the last step, feature execution. Explaining the cycle in simple words, the developer initiates coding, a QA engineer starts writing automated tests. These automated tests are executed to see if any other functionality is affected by updating any part of the code.
It passes through static code analysis where the quality of code standards is checked. Then, it goes through unit testing, where each unit of the software design is tested, and then it passes through the virtual device testing.
Further, every piece of code is reviewed by another developer, and the code deployment is carried out. Specified use cases are defined, and it is tested manually.
Only after repeating this cycle continuously, a feature/functionality in an application is released. Every feature/functionality mentioned in Functional Vs. non-functional requirement document is covered for testing.
Hence, I would say Quality Assurance is crucial for the application’s success and ensures that the users are not disappointed by the product. The product released after a proper quality check works flawlessly.
Now, let’s discuss what things fall under the responsibility of a Quality Analyst?
Approval from a quality analyst gives the entire team the confidence that a bug-free application is on its way. As described by Max Summers, the following are the responsibilities of the QA team.
- QA team is responsible for training the users (if required) for the product they intend to use.
- QA teams check the product under specific environments and hence are responsible for recommending the test environments. They are the ones who would suggest the system version, device selection, and security issues.
- The QA team needs to keep a constant review check on the product’s quality by carrying out manual and automated testing.
- QA team selects the automation frameworks and test management tools required to carry out the testing.
I will highlight some of the common QA issues frequently encountered by the QA team.
App crash and slow speed are some of the common bugs that bother almost 62% of the audience. And as a result, they abandon the application. Hence, I would like you to go through these common bugs that are likely to be found during the app development.
User data input:
The first point of interaction of a user with the application is the signup page. The QA team should rigorously check and validate each field that needs to be filled by a user for registration/sign-up. Similarly, there would be other such pages where a user has to fill in the data. The QA team needs to check all those pages before making the app live.
A QA team ensures that no abnormality is found in the application’s flow and navigation. They should ensure that all the screens and flows are directed as designed.
The cameras, sensors, screen orientation, message generation, etc. works as planned. The application’s installation should be seamless and should be completed within the decided time.
Messages and Notifications:
You would have often felt how a particular pop-up message from an application confuses you to the extent that you uninstall the application. This happens quite often, and hence, the QA team should check that the messages are well-crafted and aligned with the app flow. The popup messages should be correct grammatically and understandable by the whole bunch audience.
If you can spare some time and check the user’s feedback for a random application, you would observe that many of them have complained about the app’s performance. The reason being, the QA team, often ignores the load testing parameter.
The increasing number of users over the application often makes the app go slow. Hence, a QA team needs to ensure that the application works seamlessly, even with the maximum number of users registered.
The QA team needs to check the app’s functionality across the targeted platforms. The reason being, every device processes a function differently. If the team hasn’t carried out the testing, it may crash. The bug can easily come in and deviate from the app’s functionality.
The tester should check that no link is broken or UI is interrupted. It is necessary to develop a comprehensive report that covers all the discrepancies found during the testing.
As mentioned above, there are stringent requirements when it comes to the app’s security. A mobile app development company just can not miss upon ignoring any of the compliance rules. QA teams need to check that an encryption method is in place to secure the private data. The team should follow data encryption strategies to store and authorize the data stored in the device.
The application should open using secured protocols and meet compliance standards. It is of paramount importance that the application’s data is protected from unauthorized and malicious users.
Did you know that various testing types affect the mobile app quality assurance process and help you make informed business decisions?
In my opinion, it would be best if you educate yourself on the testing types and guide your team accordingly.
Automated app testing:
It goes without saying that a new product version should not give rise to new bugs. Hence, it is important to carry out automated app testing to check complex business logic execution without affecting existing functionality. Automated app testing mitigates the chances of human errors and also reduces the time to market.
Visual elements testing:
To deliver a robust application, it is important to carry out the visual testing process. This visual testing ensures that all the visual items and layout are arranged as planned. The visual elements are verified. All the visual details are checked for their compatibility and validated across multiple platforms. To perform this, you can use tools like Selenium, Galen, and Appium.
User acceptance testing(UAT):
QA team meticulously checks all the functionality in real-world scenarios. The team uses tools to iterate the app development process and capture all the granular details of the process. The UAT is carried out across various platforms, generates reports, and allows you to meet strict deadlines.
What are the best Quality Assurance strategies and practices to ensure that there is no room for bugs?
I recommended following the below-mentioned practices to surpass all your competitors in the market. A tester’s job is to put a reasonable question at each stage of the application functionality and look out for mistakes.
If you have hired mobile app developers, then ask them if they have a reliable quality tester in the team. Same way, ensure that your app development partner company has a team of QA engineers who will take care of the entire application. Now, let’s look at some of the best practices that you need to follow.
Practice 1: Dedicate a Quality Assurance analyst for the project:
Just like you need a dedicated team of developers to develop a product, in the same way, you will need a dedicated QA specialist. This dedicated QA specialist will lay down the quality assurance strategies for the given project comprehensively.
Practice 2: Do not consider it as a Do It Yourself Task:
You are definitely the best judge of your application, but testing is not something that you should try your hands on. It would help if you had a professional team of testers who would implement the right set of strategies and deliver an approved product.
This being said, do not hand over the task to the developers; they are not the best persons to find the mistakes. It would help if you had a team with a bull’s eye who would pick up the mistakes and rectify them.
Practice 3: Go for Multiple testing approaches:
I have mentioned above what are the different testing types you can go for. It would be advisable to carry out multiple testing approaches, including cross-platform testing, functional testing, UI testing, performance testing, and security testing.
To start with, you can go for Smoke testing:
Smoke testing is also known as Build Verification Testing, which is preliminary testing to determine if the application works efficiently without getting doomed (smoked). The testing is very basic; however, the approach is different for Native and Hybrid apps. In Native, the application is checked for its installation speed. In Hybrid, it is checked to ensure web view implementation.
Moving further, the application is tested on different devices. As discussed above, test the product over different devices to find out screen size-specific issues. Pick up your targeted mobile phones and execute all the functionalities of the application.
The next step is to test the application at various stress levels. I have mentioned earlier that an app inadequately tested, fails to respond properly under multiple user’s registrations. Similarly, test the application for high data inputs, CPU utilization, battery usage, memory usage, etc.
You can opt for automated tests to keep track of bug developments. You can use tools like Selenium or Appium to receive continuous feedback.
Practice 4: Document the output of the tests for having a better insight:
QA testing is a continuous process, and you are likely to miss to repeat a test case you have already performed. Hence, you need to maintain clear documentation of the entire testing process.
If you do not wish to do it manually, you can go for testing tools like Testlink, QA touch, TestRail, or Jira.
Practice 5: Test the product for an older operating system:
You may be tempted to develop the product for the latest version of OS, but you need to consider test cases of the users who may not willingly update the OS. Hence, you need to consider old operating systems and ensure that it functions correctly as expected.
I hope that these above practices lead you to develop a crash-free application. There is a lot of competition in the industry. You should use manual and automated methods to cover every test case.
I hope my article gives you a detailed insight into the Quality assurance process and testing measures that you need to follow. We at Kody Technolab, have a dedicated team of experts who work proactively to launch a bug-free application. They check the product quality and ensure that they meet the standards. If you have any doubts about the process, feel free to connect with me here.
In the next blog of the series, we will be discussing user testing and its implementation in the product development life cycle.