Today, we’re going to talk about quality assurance and the role it plays in mobile app development. Maybe not the most exciting part of development, but all so important to an app’s performance.

In software development, quality assurance (QA) ensures apps work the way they’re supposed to and meet a user’s expectations. If you want to launch great apps, it starts with having a solid QA process in place. Because if you don’t, you’re likely to end up with a real mess on your hands.

Before we dive in, let’s do a little thought experiment.

Imagine you design a car so perfect industry experts are calling it the future of transportation, even though it hasn’t gone on the market. Everyone’s telling you to strike while the iron’s hot, so you speed up the production line and schedule an early launch.

And it works—people flock to buy your car. But there’s one flaw that’s starting to have an impact on sales. It might not even be a big flaw. Maybe the temperature balance is off, the interior lighting’s too dim, or the cup holders are slightly too small. Whatever it is and however big it might be, this one flaw starts to earn the car a negative reputation, and people stop buying it.

How on earth does this happen? Well, a lot of the time it comes down to how much importance designers place on quality assurance. So as humans so often do, instead of continually testing their car-of-the-future during development, your teams plowed determinedly forward with their original concept.

Man looking through file drawer for quality assurance
Steps to Ensure Quality Assurance in App Development

Quality Assurance: A “Luxury” That’s Really a Necessity

There’s a great line in Iron Man 2 where Tony Start says, “What’s the point of owning a race car if you can’t drive it?” We say, “What’s the point of launching an app if no one can use it?”

A top reason people uninstall an app is that they simply can’t use and enjoy it. And why they consider an app unusable is typically due to crashes and errors.

So, it’s super simple: If your app doesn’t satisfy a user’s expectations, it’s going nowhere.

Just like designing a better driving experience, developing an app requires:

·       Careful planning of features, functionality, and user interface.

·       Continual modification and testing.

·       A willingness to iterate and adapt, making changes and adding new features based on industry trends and user feedback.

·       Dedication to ensuring a well-designed, functional, and useful product.

·       Staying focused on the end goal: the user experience.

The agile methodology Zibtek employs during app development is grounded in iterative and incremental development, continual testing, and user satisfaction. We integrate QA throughout the app development life cycle, ensuring any defects or errors are caught and addressed as early as possible. Automated systems help us speed up the testing process so your app is not only of high quality but manages to meet deadlines.

What is Quality Assurance in App Development?

To understand the crucial role QA plays in app development, let’s look at the consequences of not making it a priority.

1. User dissatisfaction. In most cases, you get one chance with your app. If it doesn’t meet user expectations or fails to function properly, it can be difficult if not impossible to attract and retain users and overcome negative reviews.

2. Launch delays. Waiting to test at the end of the development process can lead to budget-busting delays as issues are identified and addressed. And the additional time spent on recoding can lead to lost revenue.

3. Security breaches that cause significant financial and reputational damage to your business.

In worst-case scenarios, your company could be sued for any harm or damages caused by quality issues, resulting in expensive litigation.

How to Manage App Quality Assurance

Is there a “best” way to manage an app’s QA? Is it better to focus on manual testing, or are automated tests the most reliable? Generally, automation is the way to go. Engineers use various tools and techniques to implement automated testing in the app development process.

One such method is Continuous Delivery (CD), which focuses on ensuring your app can be released to production at any time. From building to testing to launch, CD automates the entire software delivery process, making it easier for developers to make and deploy changes without manual intervention. It’s a time-saving approach that enables companies to respond to market demands and customer needs much more quickly.

Implementing CD in mobile app development is done with multiple tools and processes.

1. Version control systems like Git are used to manage code changes and track the app’s development history.

2. Continuous integration or CI tools like Jenkins and Circle CI automatically build and test an app with each code change.

3. Automated testing tools such as Appium or Selenium, to run and test an app on various devices, platforms, and operating systems to ensure it works as expected.

Once an app passes all tests, developers use CD tools like Amazon’s AWS CodeDeploy or Google’s Cloud Build to line it up for production.

Rock climber harnessed in by rope safely secured
Steps to Ensure Quality Assurance in App Development

Step-by-Step Guide to QA App Development

QA in your app’s development ensures it meets desired quality standards before it’s released to end-users. Developers use a system of steps to verify the app’s functional, user-friendly, and error-free. At the same time, they identify and fix any issues before the app is launched to the public.

Step 1: Define the app’s quality criteria and objectives by outlining the features, functionality, performance, security, and other criteria essential to your app’s success.

Step 2: Establish a test plan that delineates testing strategies, approaches, and tools. Types of tests generally include function, performance, security, and usability.

Step 3: Create test scenarios and cases for each type of test and execute them on various devices, browsers, and platforms.

Step 4: Report in detail any bugs or other issues uncovered during testing to the development team. Screenshots and logs can be extremely helpful.

Step 5: Developers should prioritize fixing any identified bugs that significantly impact the app’s usability.

Step 6: Regression testing is done as new features and changes are made to the app to ensure functionality is not impacted.

Step 7: A final round of testing is done to ensure the app meets the quality criteria and objectives defined in Step 1.

Step 8: Feedback loops are used to monitor user feedback and analytics once an app’s launched so to schedule updates and future iterations.

Trusting the QA process is essential to ensuring an app’s quality and adoption. It also helps you reduce costs and time to launch by fixing defects early on. And it enhances customer satisfaction and loyalty, and what’s more important than that?

Why Trust Zibtek to QA Your Apps

You can have the most skilled team of developers in the world working on your app, but without proper QA, you’re risking its success.

Years of designing software have taught us that delivering an app that works how it’s supposed to is what leads people to enthusiastically embrace, use, and rave about it.  Zibtek’s agile approach to development and quality assurance ensures your app is one users love and use. Our experienced QA testers produce superior results with fewer errors, something we believe sets us apart from other software development companies.Schedule a meeting with us today to learn more about quality assurance and its vital role in app development.