Have you recently developed a mobile application that needs to be tested? Have you been assigned to test a mobile app on behalf of a client? Or are you simply curious as to what items should be tested before launching an application?
Whatever the case may be, here are a few items that should be part of your mobile testing checklist, regardless of size and scope:
- Sign-up & Login: This may seem like a no-brainer, but if users cannot easily access your application, your efforts will have been wasted. If your app or mobile site requires and password and username (not recommended), pay close attention to the fields and make sure that it’s easy for users to enter their information.
- Menu Options: Often times, menu options can be difficult to access and decipher. Make sure that menu items like Help, About, etc. are easy to find and navigate.
- Keys: Any problems related to scrolling, text selection, the back button, etc. are bound to lead to trouble, so make sure you’re key functionality is clear and consistent. Also, be sure to cross-check if your app will run with a keyboard and/or touch-screen.
- Data Handling: An important consideration for all mobile apps (but for games in particular) is data handling. Does your mobile app store saved information properly? What about data deletion – or worse – unintended data deletion? Make sure to include this in your testing scope.
- Connection Speed / Carrier: With the iPhone now running on Verizon, testing on only one carrier is no longer an option. Make sure that your most basic app tests include some of the most popular (and likely) carriers, as performance can vary greatly from one carrier to another.
- Operating System: Like carriers, the mobile operating system running your app will have a huge impact on its relative performance. For some operating systems (like Android), you will not be able to test across every possible combination, but you should identify 3-5 of the most popular ones and test accordingly.
- Screen Size: While this applies mainly to tablets, screen size discrepancies should be a top consideration while testing your mobile app. For instance, how much should users have to scroll from left-to-right, or top-to-bottom, if at all? For more on this, I suggest you read yesterday’s article on screen size pitfalls.
- Interrupts: How does your mobile app behave when the device battery is at full strength, medium strength and low strength? This is just one of the many variables to consider when testing, but it’s also one of the easiest items to check for. Others include incoming calls, SMS, MMS and video calls.
- Error Messages: Your error messages should be clear, concise and actionable. Do this, and you’re a step ahead of virtually all mobile applications on that market today.
Obviously, there’s a lot more to mobile app testing than the items addressed here….but you have to start somewhere.