Mobile App Testing – Best Practices – Part II

Hello, everyone!
As we may know, testing Mobile Apps is as hard as testing a Game for Microsoft, Nintendo or Sony. It follows the same points and rules along the elements necesarry to make a great App and/or Game.
So, to continue our learning about this, please enjoy below the second part of the post Mobile App Testing.
Good Reading! Miss part one? You can check it here.

MOBILE GAME TESTING – BEST PRACTICES – Part II

For mobile games specifically, the QA and testing involved is slightly different and also more extensive as you need to test a number of additional elements here such as: the UI & functionality, graphics performance, user experience, multiplayer experience (if applicable), cross platform performance, battery consumption and lastly memory usage/leakage.

UI & FUNCTIONALITY BASED TESTING

For mobile games you need to look at both the UI & functionality a lot more closely, since for mobile games, these 2 elements ARE its key selling points i.e. visual appeal and gameplay. Thus the aspects of the game which should be examined in detail during testing include:

 The Title Screen – is it well designed
* Menu functions – are they working? easy to navigate?
* Game flow & gameplay rules – game flow should be progressive and the gameplay should not be too difficult or too simple
Character Model & World / levels / scene design – are they well designed & polished
* Opponents in the game – not too easy nor too difficult
* Collectibles – are there enough collectibles in the game?Is there a good variety of collectibles?
* Scoring mechanism – should be accurate and simple
* Social Network Interaction – should be perfectly functional and easy to use, so users can share their experience and/or scores with their friends.

USER EXPERIENCE AND GRAPHICS BASED TESTING

Equally important for a mobile game are its User Experience and Graphics, since these 2 elements also hold the key to its commercial success. To test these two elements the following factors must be examined in detail.

* The game’s Graphics & UI – does the game display properly on all target devices & OS (in case of cross platform games). Do the UI layout & its elements (toolbars, buttons, icons, etc.) display correctly on all devices

* Usability of Buttons / Navigational Flow – are all the buttons working correctly. Is the navigation logical?

* Grammatical Text & Fonts – Is the text used within the game grammatically correct throughout? Is the font used legible?

* Special Effects & Animations – Do all animations run smoothly? You need to test for clipping to ensure that two or more polygons do not overlap and cancel each other out and test that all required overlaps (semi-transparent object placed over solid color objects/backgrounds) are appropriate in size, placement and purpose.

* Sound Effects – Do all sound effects play correctly, without distortion & at the right moment? You should to listen closely to all the sound effects to ensure that their start point and length is appropriate.

* Collision between Objects – do all collisions in the game take place correctly? There should be no incorrect or inappropriate collisions, so the gameplay looks realistic. For this you will need to move the character through all objects to observe the consequences (collisions, event triggers or object triggers).

* Screen Orientation – If screen orientation is supported, does the game display correctly in both portrait and landscape modes?

* Screen Resolution – if multiple screen resolutions are supported, the game should be tested on all the supported resolutions to ensure that the graphics do not get altered.

ONLINE MULTIPLAYER GAMES TESTING

If the game supports online multiplayer gameplay, you also need to test this capability, to ensure that: the game allows internet connectivity on both devices, the game state is synchronized on both devices, both players have a similar distribution of game resources and there is no lag in game response time for both players. You should also check to see if the game continues to run if a player exits from the server (if applicable). All of these elements are vital for multiplayer gameplay and any issues in any of these areas will severely impact the game’s experience, resulting in negative feedback and uninstalls by users.

CROSS PLATFORM TESTING

mobile app testing best practicesIf your mobile app or game is cross platform you should test it on all its supported platforms and on as many different physical devices as possible (from the list of targeted devices). However given the investment involved in physical hardware it may not be possible to test the game on all supported devices physically. So you can use a workaround solution like DeviceAnywhere, Testdroid and Perfecto Mobile, which are cloud based services that provide the ability to remotely control real devices in order to test mobile apps &games, without incurring any hardware costs.

MEMORY LEAKAGE TESTING

Since all devices and operating systems have varying memory limits ( for e.g.the iPhone 3G has 128 MB, the Samsung GalaxyS4 has 8 GB, etc.), thus it is vital that you run a memory leakage test on the app or game (which tests for memory allocation and de-allocation on different instances in the game), as incorrect management of memory allocations in the game will severely impact the its performance, by reducing the amount of system memory available on the device. In the worst case, it can result in the app/game crashing or causing the device to slow down.

BATTERY CONSUMPTION TESTING

Certain apps/games also drain the mobile device of an excessive amount of battery. This can be because the app continues to run even when not in active use or because it starts automatically when the device is powered on. This sort of battery drain is negatively viewed by users and results in users’ uninstalling the app and giving poor ratings. So it’s essential you conduct a battery drain test on the app/game as well, to ensure that it works optimally and does not drain the user’s device battery.

FINAL WORDS

Given the stiff competition in the mobile apps market and variety of apps & games available for users to download, it is vital that you thoroughly test each and every aspect of the app / game before releasing it into the market, to ensure that the product meets the quality standard demanded by users. For if the app / game is released in the market with potential bugs, the users who download it will simply uninstall it when they find the app is not up to their standard. They may also leave negative feedback for the app on the app store, which will drive other potential downloaders away.

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Well, that’s it. Hope you could learn something new as I did. Many thanks for Muhammad Kashif – source – for the text.

Until next time!
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