Mobile Assurance

Technology Trends
Remember the days when the telephone was just a device that sat in the corner ignored until it rang? Well, those days are long gone !

We are now living in the mobile phone era, and it has only just begun! We are always on the move, with our own personal butler hidden in our pocket, ready to help and advise us in every possible way.

According to the International Telecommunication Union’s 2015 report, mobile broadcast is the most dynamic market segment, with the mobile-broadband penetration having increased twelve times since 2007, reaching 47%.

The fact is that the mobile-market’s rapid growth, coupled with users having decreasing attention spans, means that you don’t get a second chance to make a memorable first impression. People want to get the information they need as fast as possible, presented to them in a user-friendly, reliable way.

Recent surveys suggest that almost 50% of the customers will delete an app as soon as they encounter a flaw, so quality is definitely an ingredient in the recipe for success when it comes to the ever changing world of mobile apps.

In this light, mobile application assurance is critical, but surprisingly it is still not easy to undertake. This, coupled with the fact that assurance is usually overlooked (or done manually)  may be the reason for the vast amount of poorly rated apps in the app stores.

Favouring speed over quality is therefore not a good business strategy.

Mobile developers and testers are confronted with a great deal of challenges - Having to choose between different test strategies and tools in order to achieve the best possible outcome. The goal of a test strategy should be to understand if the app meets not only the the businesses needs, but also the needs and expectations of the users.

One way to achieve this is by ensuring that collaboration is at the heart of the development lifecycle. From day one, there needs to be a close working relationship between all parties, especially between the developers and quality assurance teams. 

In addition to this, we have developed an in house automated testing framework, based on state of the art technologies and tools allowing us to deliver reliable and consistent mobile applications which delight both the business and the user.

Device and operating system fragmentation gives us a further challenge meaning the test strategy has to be abstracted away from the device.

In order to achieve this goal, we are using Appium/Calabash, a tool that allows the automation of native, mobile web, and hybrid applications across iOS and Android platforms.

As mentioned before, the goal of the quality assurance process should be to ensure that the developer understands and produces the customers’ requirements. In this sense, the Behaviour Driven Development (BDD) approach for automated tests fits like a glove. Our framework uses Serenity BDD library on top of Java code, enabling us to define and implement clear and flexible test scenarios, and at the same time have a comprehensive report on the test results.

There is no doubt or surprise that the number of mobile-device users is on the rise, opening a huge potential platform for business opportunities. On the other hand, directly proportional to this trend, the customers’ expectations are rising, along with zero tolerance for poor performance applications. The bar is high and the only way to guarantee the success of an app is to put an emphasis on undertaking the necessary quality assurance alongside development!

 

 

Tim Walpole

Developer

Tim is a Mobility guru. He knows all there is to know about apps and the world of mobile.