The average app will lose 77 percent of its daily active users within just 3 days of installation. It also loses 90 percent of its daily active users within 30 days.
Do you want to make sure this doesn’t happen to your business? If so, you need to make sure you put it through a rigorous app testing process.
If you’re curious about the quality assurance process for an app or software project, keep reading. This guide outlines everything you need to know.
What Is App Quality Assurance?
Quality assurance (sometimes known as QA) is a thorough testing process that ensures you’re providing your customers with a high-performing app or software product.
During the quality assurance phase, a team of professionals will look for anything that could impact the product’s effectiveness or contribute to a subpar user experience.
Quality assurance is an essential part of the app or software development process. It can make or break your product’s performance.
Quality Assurance vs Quality Control
Some people use the terms “quality assurance” and “quality control” interchangeably. They’re not synonyms, though.
Quality assurance is focused on processes and issue prevention. It takes place before an app or software product goes live.
Quality control, on the other hand, is focused on a specific product and detects issues after an app or software goes live. It’s also used to evaluate the success and functionality of a product post-launch.
Why Does Software and App Testing Matter?
Regardless of their size or the type of product they’re releasing, all businesses need to prioritize software and app testing. The following are some of the top reasons why these tests matter:
Deliver on Your Promises
Do you want to be known as a company that delivers, or a company that falls short?
Think about why you wanted to create an app or software product for your business in the first place.
Chances are your decision to move forward with the development process had to do, at least in part, with a desire to solve a problem for your customers and provide them with a better experience.
When you invest in and prioritize software and app quality assurance, you increase your chances of delivering on your promises and solving your customers’ problems. This, in turn, increases their satisfaction with your business and their trust in your products or services.
Prevent Future Problems
Nobody launches an app or software and wants something to go wrong with it. If you don’t take the time to thoroughly test your product, though, you may run into bugs or other issues down the line.
Sometimes, these issues are small, such as a misspelled word in a popup message. They might be annoying, but they don’t significantly impact your app or software performance.
In other cases, though, the issues are larger and can impact the success of your product. For example, if your instructions are unclear or your software is hard to navigate, this can hurt sales and your business’s bottom line.
Increase User Engagement
Remember the statistics we mentioned at the beginning of this guide — the ones regarding app abandonment after the initial download?
If you want to prevent your users from abandoning your app or software after they download it, you need to take steps to boost user engagement and keep them coming back repeatedly.
One way to do this is by thoroughly testing your product. The more complete your testing is during the quality assurance phase, the more confident you can be that people will A) enjoy your product and B) want to continue using it long after it’s been launched.
Improve Brand Image
Nobody wants their company to be known as the one with the faulty app or software, right? If you want to improve your company’s reputation and brand image, you need to rigorously test your product before you launch it.
Careful testing ensures that you’re putting something out to the world that people truly want and enjoy using.
Quality assurance helps you to pick up on potential issues early and address them before they have a chance to impact the user experience. This saves you from negative reviews. It also increases the likelihood that other people will want to download and use your app or software.
Increase Product Security
Software and app quality assurance aren’t just about making sure your product looks good and functions properly. This process also involves testing the security of your product.
Remember, all apps and software products deal with some kind of user data — names, phone numbers, credit card information, work-related data, etc.
Keep in mind, too, that nothing messes with a company’s reputation more than a data breach. If a breach were to occur, it would wreak havoc on your app’s popularity, your brand image, and your bottom line.
Proper quality assurance helps you to identify potential security issues before your product launches. This, in turn, reduces the likelihood that hackers will steal and use your customers’ data.
True, quality assurance adds to the total app development timeline. In the long run, though, it saves you time.
Think about how much extra time and effort you’ll have to put in if you experience a data breach or if a certain aspect of your app or software malfunctions. How many headaches will you have to endure to fix your app or software and make sure your customers are satisfied?
When you prioritize quality assurance right from the start, you save a lot of time and save yourself a lot of stress. This frees you up to focus on other aspects of your business and make more progress toward your long-term goals.
Save Money Long-Term
Not only do software and app quality assurance save you time, but they also save you money.
Consider the expenses associated with a data breach, or the cost of updates to your app or software because you didn’t catch a bug before launching.
From legal costs to PR costs, these expenses can add up pretty quickly. No matter how large your business’s budget is, you likely want to avoid these extra bills if at all possible.
Consider the cost of a bad reputation as well.
If word gets out that your app or software doesn’t work well or is hard to use, people are going to leave negative reviews or tell their friends or family not to bother with it. This will deter others from downloading and using the product and will eat into your bottom line.
Increase Confidence in the Final Product
Don’t you want to feel as confident as possible in your app or software before you release it to the public? When you include quality assurance in your development process, you can rest assured that your product works well and provides value to your customers.
You owe it to yourself, your team, and your customers to launch the highest-quality product possible. You’ve already invested time and money into creating the app or software — it’s worth it to invest a bit more in quality assurance.
What Happens During Software and App Quality Assurance?
You know why software and app testing matters, but do you know what happens during this phase of product development?
Here are some specific types of testing that may take place during a typical app or software quality assurance process:
Functional testing ensures an app or software works — or functions — the way it was initially intended. It ensures that the product meets its essential requirements and that every feature included in the app or software works properly.
Functional testing factors in your specific goals for the app or software. It also considers the industry in which you work and the way your target audience will use the product.
Regression testing ensures that the initial code used to create your app or software doesn’t crash as a result of refactoring, optimization, or the implementation of new features.
Sometimes, small code modifications can cause unrelated features to break down later on. Regression testing helps you to prevent this from happening.
In most cases, regression testing involves a variety of automated tests, including the following:
- Multi-platform automation
- Risk-based regression
- Parallel execution
- Performance impact analysis
Regression testing can also take place after a product has been launched to identify bugs and glitches.
Cross-platform testing helps you ensure your app works properly on both iOS and Android devices. If you plan to release your app to users of both types of devices, you’ll need to make sure your developers test them on both platforms.
iOS and Android platforms each come with unique features and functionalities.
Because of this, you shouldn’t assume that your app will work well on both of them just because it works well on one. You must make sure it renders properly, that the interface looks good on various devices, and that the performance is of the same quality across the board.
As the name suggests, usability testing involves various people using your app or software to determine how easy it is to use.
This process assesses various aspects of your app, including how easy it is to navigate, as well as how easy it is to read text and icons. Not only does this help you improve user experience, but it also gives you a chance to discover potential glitches.
In some ways, performance testing is similar to usability testing. However, this type of testing focuses more on technical issues, such as how downloading and installation work or how your app affects a device’s battery or RAM.
If your app slows everything else on the device down or drains the battery quickly, people may be less inclined to use it. This can hurt your business’s reputation and affect your profitability — so you can see why performance testing is such a key part of the overall testing process.
Security testing helps you to ensure your app or software provides proper security.
During this testing process, your development team will evaluate authentication, data storage, and more. If you’re working on a healthcare-related product, you’ll also need to test the app or software’s data encryption and make sure it’s HIPAA-compliant (otherwise, you could be opening yourself up to potential lawsuits).
Proper security testing also ensures you’re authorizing the correct users and only giving them access to their information. It assesses database structure and security, too.
Beta testing involves having real users — not just developers — use your app or software.
Beta testing provides you with more relevant feedback from the people who will actually be downloading and using your product. It is usually the last type of testing done before conducting a larger launch and making your app or software available to the general public.
How to Avoid App Quality Issues
Of course, some bugs will always show up during the quality assurance testing — that’s why it’s such an important part of the development process. At the same time, though, by engaging in best practices during the other development stages, you can avoid a lot of common issues.
Here are some important steps to take — or ensure your developer takes — while working on your app or software product:
Careful Product Conceptualization
Quality assurance technically doesn’t occur until later on in the app development process — at Alpha Bravo Development, it is the 4th phase of our development process. However, you and your team can take steps along the way to speed up the quality assurance phase and ensure a high-quality product right from the start.
For example, careful product conceptualization increases your chances of creating a high-performing app or software that provides value to your audience.
During the conceptualization stage, when you’re thinking of the features you want your product to have and the functions you want it to perform, make sure you have a thorough understanding of your target audience and what they want/need in an app or software.
Conduct market research beforehand. Then, plan your app according to the results of your research.
Thorough App Planning and Design
Taking your time during the planning and design processes is key, too. Ideally, this stage of app or software development will include the following:
- Wireframing: Digital sketches of designs that outline styling, color, graphics, and more.
- Style guide: A set of guidelines your development team will follow when creating content and building your app or software.
- Mockups: A visual layout that resembles the finished product and is rendered using the style guide and wireframes.
- Prototypes: A usable product that simulates the real-time user experience and shows the basic functions and design of the app or software.
When your developers go through all of these stages, you’re more likely to get a quality finished product that helps you achieve your specific app or software development goals.
Make sure your app or software — and all the content the product contains — is properly localized. Localization involves altering various aspects of the app or software so that it is relevant to people in a particular location or members of a distinct cultural group.
Localization helps you make your product more appealing to specific people. It also shows that you care about multiple groups of people, rather than creating a homogenous app that alienates certain types of users.
This is great for your brand image and increases the likelihood that more people will use your app or software.
Product Descriptions and App Store Information
During the quality assurance process, you can also evaluate the product descriptions and app store information related to your app or software.
Be sure to add details about specific in-app products — if applicable — as well. You should also confirm the countries that can access these products and subscriptions — if there are any restrictions.
How to Find a Developer That Cares About Quality Assurance
In a perfect world, quality assurance would be the norm. However, not all developers and agencies make it as much of a priority as others.
The best developers understand the importance of software and app quality assurance, and they will do everything they can to make sure your product is working properly before they release it on the app store.
If you need help finding a developer that will take quality assurance seriously, here are some tips that can simplify your search:
Do you have any colleagues in the industry who have recently released an app or software? If so, you may want to start by getting in touch with them and asking them which developer or development agency they worked with.
This is an easy way to start building a shortlist of candidates. It also increases the likelihood that you’ll find a good match sooner — assuming your colleagues are happy with the work their developer did and feel that their quality assurance process was sufficient.
If you decide to search online for developers or development agencies to help you with your app or software, this tip is a must.
Reading reviews helps you learn more about each developer’s process, how seriously they take quality assurance, and how thorough they are. This, in turn, will make it easier for you to narrow down your options and make the right choice.
When reading reviews, pay attention to more than just the number of stars someone received. Take note of when the review was left (if it’s from years ago, things may have improved) and why, specifically, the person left the score they did.
Look at Portfolios
Sometimes, the easiest way to get a sense of a developer’s quality assurance process is to look at their portfolio.
Check out their past work and consider its quality. Are there spelling errors or design issues? If so, that might be a sign that they don’t take quality assurance very seriously.
You may even want to consider downloading one of the products they’ve worked on in the past and trying it out for yourself. Is it easy to navigate? Does it have fast loading times and a well-designed layout?
Schedule a Consultation
Always schedule a consultation with a developer — either in-person or over the phone — before making a final decision.
A consultation gives you a chance to meet with the developer or development team and learn more about their process, their prices, their experience, and more. This provides more insight into how well you’ll work together and how receptive they are to your ideas and feedback.
Ask About the Development Process
During the consultation, be sure to ask about the development and quality assurance processes, too.
Find out how many phases they go through when creating an app or software product for a client. Ask how long their quality assurance process typically takes and what they do if they run into any bugs or errors along the way as well.
Don’t be afraid of asking too many questions during your consultation. You’re investing a lot of money and time into building your app or software, after all. You have every right to know what you’re getting.
Final Thoughts on Software and App Quality Assurance
As you can see, quality assurance is a key component of the software or app development process.
Now that you know how important it is, are you ready to find a software or app developer that cares about quality assurance and is committed to helping you create a great product — one that your customers will love and want to use long-term?
If you want to work with a developer that checks all the boxes discussed above, look no further than Alpha Bravo Development. Contact us today to learn more about our app and software development services — as well as our quality assurance process — or to get a free quote.