The evolution of mobility—and the availability of everything from smart phones to tablets—has changed how businesses interact with their customers. I’m sure many of you have a story about how mobile computing changed your business for the better, or about an unfortunate pitfall encountered while adapting to mobile technology.
An often overlooked aspect of mobile access is website and application testing, which is critical to a productive, successful customer-business relationship.
Why is mobile device testing so critical?
Testing offers the chance for you to see your website as your visitors do, and to understand the experiences they have when they visit your site. By identifying and fixing problems ahead of time, you can avoid issues with your customers later.
Whether you are testing a page or an application for a full-sized browser or a mobile device, the same checklist applies. Often, testing on a mobile device is forgotten or an afterthought. With the explosive rate of growth in tablet devices, it is critical that they be included as part of a comprehensive testing process.
The more devices on which you test your website, the better, but the priority should be:
- iPad and iPhone
- Android tablets and phones
- Windows tablets
- Other smart phones
- Standard cell phones
Best practices in mobile device testing
The best way to test a website on a mobile device is to actually load it on a mobile device. In general, this means posting the page or site to a live web server and then browsing to the page on the devices to test them.
Testing should include:
- Testing for initial usability with a standard contemporary desktop browser. Simple as it seems, this can eliminate a lot of non-OS or –device specific bugs and issues.
- Design and human interaction testing using mobile device emulators on a desktop. This is easier to manage, especially when coding for multiple device types or OS builds, than using actual devices.
- Obtaining sample device(s) for use in predicting hardware issues, such as battery drain, network accessing, installation, and performance/resource contention.
- Ensuring the back end business systems can handle projected load, and more importantly, highly dynamic variability of that load over time.
- Localization testing, to ensure that certain variables like time zones, currency, or geospatial location are handled properly.
- Network testing, to verify carrier performance in routing of requests, blocking of certain traffic types, DNS issues, etc.
- Security testing, to make sure that the thin or thick client ID mobile side app does not create new issues for your customer.
Don’t let the evolution of mobility hinder the success of your business. Make mobile device testing an integral part of your testing process.
Feel free to reach out to us for recommendations on testing tools for your mobility devices and applications at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chief Solutions Architect