When venturing out into the world of mobile app development, your enterprise is faced with a multitude of important considerations. Two of the most critical matters to be addressed are the issues of quality testing before app deployment, and ongoing performance management afterwards.
No matter what the purpose of your mobile app, fitting it into your overall business strategy requires that it function correctly all the time. High demand must not be able to crash it, whether that demand comes from a spike in customers on a peak shopping day or from employees around the world all trying to access it at once. Downtime must be a rare occurrence, and glitches must not wreak havoc on the user experience.
To ensure that your mobile apps respond to demand and function as intended, no matter what the circumstances, they must be tested properly during development, and then monitored on an ongoing basis after deployment to ensure that users are consistently experiencing the best possible functionality.
The unique nature of business mobile apps brings with it a unique set of complexities in quality testing. It’s not enough to test mobile apps within just one operating system, or on just one device – there are hundreds of variables confronting mobile app developers, from multiple hardware devices and operating systems, to various types of middleware and modes of operation, and every one must be tested in order to ensure universal functionality.
Before deployment in an app store, an app must of course be tested for usability in and of itself, while also undergoing load testing to confirm its ability to handle spikes in demand, user experience testing to ensure the code is up to any challenge, and mobile device testing to make certain that it will work identically on any device. Doing so sets the stage for proper performance once deployed.
Once an app is actively being used by employees or customers, however, it remains imperative to continue to monitor its performance. This monitoring takes two forms. First, a watchful eye must be maintained over the system, tracking response times, average CPU usage, and other measures of functionality on the back end. But it’s just as crucial to monitor the end user experience, integrating a device-centric approach to performance management as well.
Mobile app crashes and errors, the effects of signal strength and connectivity issues on performance, app usage, and user behavior are all only visible from the vantage point of the device, as they are not a result of the app design itself, but the outcome of its interaction with an infrastructure. As such, they must be monitored from the user’s point of view.
In spite of the fact that less than optimal functionality may be caused by something outside a mobile app developer’s control, such as a weak wifi connection, the user experience will be just as negative as if it were an app-related issue, and so steps must also be taken to minimize the effects that problems like these can cause.
By testing mobile apps for quality assurance before deployment, and monitoring their performance on an ongoing basis afterwards, you can ensure that users are experiencing optimal functionality at all times.
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Lacey earned a B.A. from Baylor University. Sic'em!