Quality Assurance Testing on Multiple Devices, like a Boss

27 September 2016 ‐ 4 min read

Being in the business of building great apps, we’re passionate about the little details and the big ideas. When it comes to ensuring that mobile applications we develop work well, we apply a simple principle: never stop testing. But that process begins long before...

Being in the business of building great apps, we’re passionate about the little details and the big ideas. When it comes to ensuring that mobile applications we develop work well, we apply a simple principle: never stop quality assurance testing. But that process begins long before we gather our usability testing tools and resources. Building applications for multiple platforms is somewhat of an art, however. Here’s how we approach it:

Writing quality code from the very first line is imperative.

Before QA Begins

Before Quality Assurance testing (QA) even begins, the most important thing you can do is ensure your team is both skilled and detail-driven. Writing quality code from the very first line is imperative, as well as ensuring that your iOS and Android developer working on the same application check in regularly with each other, to ensure they’re heading in the same direction.

Don’t Be A Last Minute Larry

Once you’ve started developing your application, don’t leave all the testing right to the end of the project. Build quality assurance testing time into your sprints. This approach enables testers to identify bugs early on and reduces the risk of them becoming big or complex problems down the line.

Use An Emulator Or Simulator

Developers should make use of an emulator (for Android) or simulator (iOS) while coding. These enable your developers to check the application’s flow, design and usability along the way.

Test On Real Devices

When you’re conducting quality assurance testing, test on real devices. Emulators and simulators function primarily as visual guides, but you’ll need to ensure that you’ve thoroughly tested your application in the real world – that means you’ll need real devices.

OS and Screen Sizes

Check to see how your application functions on different operating system versions – you’ll be surprised at how things change from version to version! Also ensure that you test on the smallest and largest devices, as well as one that’s somewhere in the middle. Essentially, test your application for at least three different screen sizes, because that way, you’ll be well warned if there are any issues across a spectrum of screens. The look, feel and flow should fit for all operating systems and screen sizes, rendering well, no matter what device is in your user’s hand.

The look, feel and flow should fit for all operating systems and screen sizes, rendering well, no matter what device is in your user’s hand.

Test On Multiple Connections

You may think your app runs well on WiFi, but what happens when your user is relying on 3G, 4G or LTE connectivity? What happens when there’s no connectivity at all? Testing on multiple connection types helps you isolate any issues and check what they’ll be presented with when their Internet connection drops or if they’re completely offline.

Think Up The Impossible

Test, and test again, but also investigate all possible user scenarios. Remember too, that even the smallest change can have a big effect on your application’s usability, so use your creative thinking to ensure that your application functions well, even in a seemingly impossible scenario.

Play Cluedo With Your Code

Ultimately, Quality Assurance testers need to put their inspector Cluedo hat on and help the developer solve the mystery of the line of code (murderer) that broke the user payment process (victim) on the card entry screen (place) using the wrong command (weapon). Bug hunting just started sounding fun, didn’t it? Well, don’t forget to log them.

Bug Logging 

Providing feedback to developers in a way that’s clear, concise and easy to find and to understand is a vitally important part of Quality Assurance testing.

For each bug you discover, be sure to log the following:

- Device state and connection used

- App state – was this application freshly installed or is this a recurring user?

- User state – is the user logged in or out?

- The Screen

- Action – what did you do to make this bug appear?

- Result – what did the app do as a result?

- Expected result and if it can be reproduced

A Methodical Approach

Being methodical is your best way forward in quality assurance testing, and working through the entire application is essential. Here are our top things to look out for when you’re testing across multiple platforms:

- Error handling – Make sure that error messages make sense when displayed

- Check that the application’s flow makes sense

- Test all the touch states

- Links, images and information displays correctly

- Check screen rotations and make sure that both orientations display correctly.

- Test the "responsiveness" of the design, by ensuring that different screen sizes display correctly and allow for scrolling when needed.

Ensure that all update and refresh functionality within the application works correctly – yes, even when you think it’s not. We hope hope you find these tips helpful, and would love to know what you think.