No-one is pretending that developing and testing an enterprise mobile app is easy. But avoid these five big mistakes and it will go a lot smoother.
1. Choosing function over form
Getting your back-end systems synced and responsive might feel like it is the bulk of the development. In truth it is only 50% of the task. The second 50% is to take that information and present it in a form that is attractive and usable. Remember that your customers (whoever they are) are consumers of other mobile apps. They have an expectation about how intuitive it should be, how slick it should be.
First impressions count, and the ultimate goal with mobile app testing is to ensure that users have a great experience. This includes no bugs or latency, quick launches, a comfortable user interface, and streamlined functions that work as they are intended to. It’s not just about keeping your customers happy. It’s a case of making your app worthy of being used. It has to be function AND form. Otherwise it will fall flat. And that’s why usability has to be planned for and tested. It’s fundamental.
2. Getting by with emulators
Emulators have their place in mobile testing. But you cannot stop there. If you are in any way serious about your app working, you need to test on real devices. Emulators cannot replace real-world experience. Apps have to be tested in the wild. You need to know what happens in live network conditions. That is when you will discover all the issues that you would have missed. Your CEO won’t be too impressed with “Well, it worked fine on my emulator.”
3. Testing wrong – or not enough – devices
Testing the right devices is pretty obvious. But working out which are the right devices for an enterprise app can be less obvious. We’re years into the BYOD trend and many enterprises have stopped trying to control it. If your audience is multiple enterprises, you can take the overall trends around enterprise penetration of different OSes and work from there. If your audience is one enterprise, your own, find out for sure which devices they use. Just don’t underestimate the many different versions of each Operating System are still being used. You can’t just test “iOS” and “Android” – there are so many flavors and formats and you have to make sure it will work on all.
4. Trusting it’s secure because it’s home made
Even if your app does not have a wide distribution, security is always a priority. What is your plan of action in terms of securing data, fortifying field rollouts and updates, remote device management, and in worst-case scenarios, data wipe and recovery? How will you ensure your app will be completely free of susceptibility to viruses, malware, and adware? What are the security measures and protocols you will put in place to test and ensure that there are no vulnerabilities related to how the app saves, transmits, and manages data?
5. Stopping testing when it’s launched
It’s tempting to think that testing is just a phase. Something you do once then forget about it. It’s not. That’s pre-launch testing. What happens when the feedback starts? What happens when Apple or Google release an update? What happens if a back-end system goes down? Monitoring is vital. Maintaining and improving the quality of the app needs to be a consistent process. We are talking about continuous quality, not a check box item.