Why Mobile Apps Fail and How to Improve Them

1 - Why Mobile Apps Fail
2 - Behind the Data
3 - Users as Part of the QA Team
4 - What Errors Are Users Experiencing?
5 - Why Are These Errors Happening?
6 - The Answer to the Challenge
7 - Improve Overall App Quality With More Devices
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Why Mobile Apps Fail

by Darryl K. Taft

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Behind the Data

Perfecto Mobile gained insight from an audience that knows mobile app development and testing the best—nearly 900 members of DevOps, quality assurance teams and the developer community. Large organizations were well-represented, with 53 percent of the respondents working at companies with more than 1,000 employees.

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Users as Part of the QA Team

One of the most alarming statistics from the survey showed how users have become part of the testing team—and that's not good. According to the data, nearly half of errors (44 percent) are uncovered by users. After all the work in building and testing an app, it is quickly diminished when it is a user who is impacted by the error. Dev/test teams need to focus on a strategy to improve mobile app quality; using end users as testers cannot be part of the solution.

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What Errors Are Users Experiencing?

Today's mobile apps are focused on providing the optimal user experience. However, according to the survey, users are seeing various types of errors that are impacting their experience. Looking at the types of errors users are getting frustrated with, user interface issues topped the chart at 58 percent. When users were asked to rank the other issues they most frequently encountered, performance (52 percent), functionality (50 percent) and device compatibility (45 percent) were most frequently reported.

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Why Are These Errors Happening?

Perfecto Mobile asked practitioners what the top mobile testing challenges are and how they're leading to errors experienced by users. The top three challenges that mobile app testers face, the survey found, are insufficient device coverage (63 percent), lack of reliable automation (48 percent) and needing more coverage to execute test scenarios than time permits (47 percent).

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The Answer to the Challenge

To ensure that mobile apps don't fail, more testing is needed. Survey respondents said they believe the most critical measures to reduce mobile app defects are more functional testing (testing an app against business requirements); more device/OS coverage (ensuring your app works across 50 to 80 percent of your target audience's mobile devices, networks and OS version by continuously automating test scripts across a defined sample of real devices); and more performance testing (testing an app's responsiveness under various network and load conditions).

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Improve Overall App Quality With More Devices

To overcome these challenges and improve app quality, build a stronger strategy when it comes to device coverage and automation. Not planning for the tremendously fragmented market or using the automation resources available will guarantee an app to fail. The strategy needs to consider how the app will perform on different operating systems, OS versions, carrier networks and devices. The best option to include all devices is to utilize a cloud-based device-as-a-service. This will help assure sufficient device and OS coverage and have teams focused on testing, not managing devices.

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