It should come as no surprise that we are hyper-focused on quality around here. And ensuring the quality of our clients’ apps day in and day out means ensuring the quality of our process, too.
Over the years, we have reflected on and refined the best testing practices that enable us to support the efficient and effective development of myriad applications to users around the world. Of course, these practices aren’t our proprietary secrets—on the contrary, we encourage their use by any developers or businesses who are developing and deploying apps on a regular basis.
Today we’re highlighting just a few of the best practices that help us maintain high-quality work and high-quality results for our clients (and eventually, for their users!) on a consistent basis.
Here are five best testing practices to ensure strategic and successful QA testing every single time:
Make Time for Testing
QA testing often comes at the tail end of the app development process—the app has been designed, the code has been developed, and now testers are deployed to find any last-minute fixes before launch.
While that’s a better scenario than foregoing testing altogether, it’s not ideal. Testing should be implemented far earlier in the process—as early as the design and development stages. “Test-driven development” is a phrase coined by Kent Beck and it refers to developing and testing in tandem to ensure cleaner code without a lot of bugs.
We often encourage our clients to incorporate testing earlier in the design and development of an application—allowing for extra time to catch big bugs and ensuring the smooth launch of a high-quality app to your users.
Work with Skilled Testers
You’d think this would be one of many obvious testing practices in quality assurance . . . but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. With the growing popularity of crowdsourced testing, more and more QA testers are simply “regular” people.
Of course, regular people can be valuable testers for beta versions and usability testing, but there’s significantly more value in working with a professionally-trained tester to ensure the quality of your app.
Skilled testers know how to test not just for usability, but also for functionality, platform compatibility, security, accessibility, and more. They know how to write test cases that model every possible user workflow and file bugs that developers can easily decipher and efficiently fix. And, perhaps most importantly, they know what a quality app looks like from the inside out—and they know how to enhance your app so that it meets a quality standard.
Use Real Devices
If you know your audience well, then you know which devices and browsers on which to test. If you don’t already have every device available, consider working with a testing team who can match real user settings by testing on the specific devices and platforms you need.
We’ve talked about the difference between using an emulator/simulator to test your app as opposed to testing on real devices. While there can be value to using an emulator to test your app, using real devices has significantly more advantages: you can manually execute functional test cases, run connectivity testing, and observe performance testing on the actual devices and browsers your users use. Overall, testing on real devices (done by real professionals) provides more accurate results to find and fix bugs.
Of course, maintaining an up-to-date device library is an expensive investment for a developer or business. That’s why our device library is one of the key features for our clients in the PLUS QA Test Lab.
Consider the Overall Experience
It’s all about the user experience. The phrase seems almost overused at this point, but it’s true.
Sure, as testers we want your app to function correctly, but not just for the sake of “meeting requirements”. No, we want it to function correctly so that your users have a positive experience using your app.
That’s why, when we write test cases and follow user workflows and file bugs, we’re thinking about functionality and compatibility, but we’re thinking beyond that, too—we’re thinking “what will be it like for users to interact with this app”? How can we make it even better?
Because ultimately, our job is not just to make sure an app works; it’s to make sure your users actually want to use it.
Test Local, Go Global
All of our testers work on-site at one of our three offices in the United States. Why? Because we believe that testing locally provides a clear advantage over outsourcing our work to offshore employees. By testing in the United States, we offer our clients specific and significant benefits: we understand their market and we’re able to quickly communicate with them, often in real-time.
Of course, testing locally doesn’t mean you can’t also test for a global audience. Our local team is a diverse set of employees hailing from 14 countries. While we understand the value of working with a local testing team, we’re also vigilant about employing professional testers with diverse backgrounds, experience, and skill sets—ensuring our clients apps are tested with the unique and broad perspective they require.
If the quality of your app is of the highest priority to you, too—and you wouldn’t be reading here if it weren’t, right?—then we encourage you to adopt and adapt to our five best testing practices, too.
Or better yet—connect with us to learn more about working with our team to ensure the quality of your testing practices and your app from the start!