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Testing Requirements for Mobile Applications. Dennis Soh Article authored by: Valéria Lelli Leitão Dantas, Fabiana Gomes Marinho, Aline Luiza da Costa, Rossana M. C. Andrade. Background. Explosion of mobile technology 60 million smartphone users in US in 2009

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Testing Requirements for Mobile Applications

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testing requirements for mobile applications

Testing Requirements for Mobile Applications

Dennis Soh

Article authored by: Valéria Lelli Leitão Dantas, Fabiana Gomes Marinho, Aline Luiza da Costa, Rossana M. C. Andrade

  • Explosion of mobile technology
    • 60 million smartphone users in US in 2009
    • Expected to grow to 142 million by end of 2011
  • iPad, other tablets growing in popularity
  • Android, iOS, Palm WebOS, Windows 7 among mobile OSes
  • Each has unique properties, including unique development environment, programming language support, etc.
  • Testing software on mobile devices has unique challenges
  • These must be considered early in development
key factors
Key factors
  • Mobile Context
    • Environment limitations; e.g. screen, (lack of) keyboard, etc.
  • Mobile User
    • On-the-go; not sitting at a desk
  • Mobile Application
    • Different aspects of the device that the software can interact with; network operator, I/O interfaces, etc.
research methodology
Research methodology
  • 2 questionnaires, sent to 40 professionals at 15 companies
    • Professionals worked on >1 mobile app, >3 months experience in mobile app dev.
    • Questionnaire 1: for developers
    • Questionnaire 2: for QA
testing requirements
Testing Requirements
  • Development process model must focus on testing process
    • Incremental process most popular; used by 70% of professionals surveyed
    • Test process should consider mobile context; 85% of professionals not using test process designed for mobile
testing requirements10
Testing Requirements
  • Mobile applications must be tested on both emulator and real devices
testing requirements11
Testing Requirements
  • Test reports must document details about the test environment (emulator/device, device model, OS version, etc.)
  • Testers must verify that application does not harm any existing applications
    • Interruptions (e.g. someone’s calling you) must be handled appropriately
testing requirements12
Testing Requirements
  • Applications must be tested according to their targeted mobile context limitations
    • Memory, CPU, screen size/resolution, power, etc.
  • Test process must differentiate between features to be tested in controlled environment and features to be tested “in the field.”
testing requirements13
Testing Requirements
  • Usability testing specific to mobile applications must be included in testing phase
    • 56% of professionals perform usability testing, only 18% do so in field
  • Mobile user must have a clear sense of the state of the application.
    • What have you already done? What can you do now? Can you undo actions?
testing requirements14
Testing Requirements
  • Application must support change in device orientation
    • Portrait/landscape format
  • Application must ask for permission before making connections
    • What if user doesn’t have unlimited data? Lawsuit!
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Testing Requirements
  • UI layout must be appropriate for mobile devices
    • Minimize scrolling, appropriate contrast in background/text, appropriate text size, etc.
  • Important/irreversible actions should require confirmation
    • Easy for user to make mistakes due to screen size/imprecise input
testing requirements16
Testing Requirements
  • Sound (if present) should be useful and be integrated with device’s sound controls
  • Buttons should act in manner appropriate to the device
    • E.g. don’t bind the “exit” or “back” key to positive actions such as select and “OK”
and the survey says
And the Survey Says…
  • No real consensus on the “right” way to test mobile
  • Very limited adoption of automated test tools (only 10% of professionals surveyed)
testing the tests
Testing the Tests
  • Researchers applied test requirements to a mobile shopping app
  • Test requirements were found to be beneficial in highlighting areas of concern specific to mobile apps
  • Testing for mobile has unique challenges
    • Vastly different spread in hardware configs
    • Mobility
    • Hardware constraints
  • Recent proliferation of mobile devices -> lack of consensus regarding development
    • Companies are “winging it”
  • Proposed requirements offer a “starting point”
    • No comparison point because this is presumed to be better than “winging it”
  • In future..
    • Requirements should be refined and prioritized
    • Requirements specific to certain categories of applications should be defined