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Enterprise Mobility Blog, Mobile App Testing

Where Does QA Fit in Today’s App-Heavy World?


It seems there are apps for everything these days. At this very moment, you can download an app to gently wake you at the end of a 15-minute nap. Need to fake a phone call? There’s an app for that as well. Whether you’re looking to send cash to a friend or find a date for Friday night, apps have changed the way the world works.

However, development teams across the country are struggling to maintain proper quality assurance as consumer demand grows. Dan McFall, vice president of mobility solutions for Mobile Labs, recently spoke with Reach Further Magazine on the growing need for QA and how a lack thereof can crumble a company’s business plan.

As an example, McFall points to a hotel booking application. If a user accesses the app and is unable to reserve a room, you’ve probably just lost a user. However, a small typo will probably go overlooked. That’s why developers need to find balance between delivering a bulletproof app and not waiting for perfection.

In our world today, apps are revenue drivers. Non-functional app can cost companies thousands or even millions of dollars.

Can you imagine how much money Amazon would lose if people couldn’t complete a purchase on their app? Amazon did $107 Billion in revenue for 2015.

That’s $293,150,685 a day, $12,214,611 an hour, and $203,576 per minute! You can bet Amazon takes QA and testing on their app very seriously because they know what’s at stake.

Even if you aren’t the size of Amazon, it’s critical to understand the financial side of your app testing and to thoroughly test for functionality and performance bugs before a release, while still getting the app released quickly.

While it’s ultimately up to your development team to establish a culture emphasizing this balance, you can also achieve balance implementing the right testing tools. McFall recommends testers use both functional and performance tools to create a holistic testing process.

Functional tools focus on the immediate user experience. They help answer questions such as, “Do buttons do what they’re intended? Is the proper information displaying on the screen? Does a page load without errors?”

Conversely, performance tools test situational factors, such as how the app will perform when accessed by large crowds of people. “Is the app and/or server fast enough for our user base? Do certain user actions cause crashes? Is the app a huge battery drain for the device it’s on? Is it too difficult to complete certain actions within the app?”

However, the conversation doesn’t stop there. App testing should be continuous and never stop. But we have to have that balance between functional and performance testing. The answer isn’t always crystal clear or a “one size fits all” solution. Each app is unique and each business has its own unique business goals.

Looking at Amazon again, their shopping app is a basic shopping app and the functionality is pretty straight forward so they might not spend as much time testing and improving the functionality. However, Amazon found that if their website was 1 second slower, it could cost them $1.6 Billion in sales so it’s very likely that Amazon spends a significant amount of time testing the performance of their app.

Don’t forget to check out our eBook on Amazon, Enterprise Mobile App Development & Testing: Challenges to Watch Out For in 2017 !

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Read the discussion on the need for QA on Reach Further Magazine and then let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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