Okay, so you know what aspects of your mobile application are in need of functional testing. But before you start crafting test cases or user journeys, you must answer another important question: manual testing or automation?
For established companies, the answer to that question would be a resounding “both”. But for startups with limited testing budgets and rapidly-evolving applications, manual testing – although slightly more costly – is the preferred option. Although there are several open-source automated solutions (see this) many of them are exclusively made for one operating system (iOS). Preferred
Other advantages of manual testing include:
- Find real bugs: Automation suites will highlight some errors, but most bugs within mobile apps – especially usability and layout issues – are only discovered under true real-world scenarios.
- Adaptability: Manual testing can be altered much more quickly and effectively than an elaborate automated test. Chances are, if you’re working within a startup environment, your testing requirements are likely to change as new features are added.
- Real feedback: Unfortunately, automated tests can’t give you an honest (human) opinion about your app’s performance, usability and functionality. We’ll let you know when this changes. In the meantime, you need to see results from real users with real devices.
- Variable Control: As we’ve alluded to earlier, there’s simply too many outside variables to rely on automation for all of your testing objectives. Until you’ve isolated and addressed all of these variables, manual testing should be your preferred methodology.
Mobile testing for start-ups is all about discovering new areas of concern. So, to rehash an old quote from mobile testing expert Karen N. Johnson:
“If you don’t know what you need to test, then how are you supposed to automate it?”
Good question, right?