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How to Improve your Mobile App testing Strategy

Read about how to add efficiency and productivity into your mobile app testing strategy with no-code automation
In this article we’ll be discussing how to elevate your mobile app testing strategy with no-code test automation. No-code testing is a highly effective tool for increasing accuracy, speed, and efficiency when building out your overall mobile app testing strategy. Transitioning into using no-code tools with your team successfully can come with some questions and challenges; we’re here to address those preemptively.  This article is a great playbook summary for anybody who wants to transition their organizations into automated testing and reap the manifold benefits. With solid time and planning, adopting no-code tools can be seamless and easy.


How we Got Here 


Let’s get started with a short high level overview of the mobile app testing landscape. In the early stages of software development release dates were slow, spanning as long as two years. But as the software industry has moved to focus on mobile apps and agile development, releases occur as frequently as weekly. Meanwhile the testing landscape has remained largely the same the entire time; manual and time consuming. To make matters worse, mobile apps are an increasingly vital part of our everyday lives. Ensuring quality is key to the consumer experience and competition has become progressively fiercer.  


Current challenges to mobile app testers break down into several broad categories:  


Time. Time commonly named is the largest barrier in mobile app testing strategies. Long testing cycles slow down the development process. This in turn pulls resources away from more actionable work like fixing bugs and rolling out new features. Manual testing is a holdover from a previous era of software development and no longer reflects current development needs. It doesn’t take much guesswork to understand that that the time spent on manual testing comes at a high cost as well.  


Emulator vs. Devices. Secondarily, device setup and maintenance. While the topic of this article is aimed at the benefits of adopting no-code automation, we can’t ignore this important facet of the testing world. It’s simply a fact that setting up a device lab is challenging, both in terms of set up, maintenance, and device cost. Unfortunately the alternative, emulators, come with it’s own set of challenges. While they are ostensibly a viable workaround for the pain points above, emulators simply do not reflect real world situations.  


Coding requires expertise. To maintain quality in your test creation, execution and maintenance you need to hire a specialist. This comes at high cost and can make redundancy hard to build into your current team. In turn, this can have a negative impact on the overall efficiency of the testing cycle.  


No-code Automation is the Future of Testing  


To talk about the benefits of no-code, we need to start with a basic definition and history. No-code applications, often also referred to as “scriptless” remove access to the direct code from the user and replace it with an intuitive visual interface. These are a natural progression of technology as we move further and further away from the zeros and ones of the first machine codes. As an apt example, users rarely have or need access to the code supporting their phones. We simply reap the benefits of the highly user friendly appearance.  


While there may be pushback against adopting no-code as part of the testing process, it ultimately increases the ease, accessibility and speed at which the testing process moves. We’ll now go through some common pain points of adoption and how to overcome them. 


NoCode Automation, Test Creation, and Maintenance 


Let’s dive into concerns about test creation and maintenance next. Creating automated tests can be challenging, especially when applications undergo frequent changes or updates. Test scripts may require constant updates to reflect changes in the application’s user interface or functionality. Ensuring the stability and reliability of automated tests over time requires proactive maintenance efforts as well as a specialist. Finally, writing code is just one aspect of the process. Mobile apps constantly evolve. In turn, test scripts must also constantly evolve. A specialist must frequently maintain the code and check that there are no false positives or false negatives. 


This is a common fear of QA leaders when they think about making the shift to automated testing. Thankfully, there are ways to work around this. With no-code tools teams can now create automation tests within minutes with no specialization required using drag and drop interfaces. By making the test creation process more accessible this has the potential to change the QA process drastically for the better. No-code tools have the ability to empower testing teams to focus on building rather than writing code for testing.  


Maintenance carries similar challenges, especially during fast feature releases. For example your team may have challenges finding the export or resource IDs needed to update scripts adding yet more time into the test process. Replacing these time-consuming problems with no-code tools that do the heavy lifting below the surface allows your team to expedite their test time and removes the learning curve entirely. 


No-Code Automation and Test execution  


No-code automation tools rely on capturing and replaying user interactions. However, variations in application behavior, network conditions, or external factors can sometimes cause test failures or false positives. Ensuring stable and reliable test execution can be a challenge during the transition. Choosing a no-code tool that offers both an authoring and execution environment is especially important. Much how no-code removes the learning curve for test creation and maintenance, test execution can be similarly streamlined and expedited by people of all technical backgrounds. 


High quality no-code automation tools are able to turn manual tests into consistent processes, especially when paired with real devices. The reality is that the scalability of no-code automation allows for more tests, more consistency, to be run for longer amounts of time and faster. This is proving to be especially important in our post-COVID world in which teams are primarily remote. With no-code automation team members do not need direct access to constant code updates and simply work with the visual interface, increasing overall ease of use.


No-Code’s Impact on Debugging and troubleshooting 


Identifying the root cause of failures or issues in automated tests can be more challenging. Especially when compared to manual testing, this may be seen as a barrier to adoption. No-code automation tools by nature abstract the underlying code, making it difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of failures. Testers may need to rely on logs, error messages, or external debugging tools to investigate and troubleshoot issues effectively.  


This is a notably different approach than that of the manual testing process. No-code offers a range of solutions to not only offset but improve this change. Previously testing came from a manual analysis of patterns from disparate logs and tools which testers needed to integrate and understand holistically with great effort. With the abstraction of No-code comes equally abstracted debugging solutions which offer equal accuracy at a much faster speed with less tester effort to understand. No-code automation also does the heavy lifting of combining multiple device ecosystems like iOS and Android frameworks during test execution, but offers granular feedback for error reports, streamlining the process as much as possible. Such a tool, paired with easy-to-read analytics, offers a comprehensive 360 view of your test case quickly and easily. 

No-Code and Reporting (Functional AND Non-Functional) 

You can’t discuss debugging with reporting, of course. Traditional reporting has been fragmented, static and with no built-in insights. Testers frequently use 8 – 10 unrelated tools to get reports on functional and non-functional testing aspects but there is no way to get a unified picture of their app’s quality. Because these types of test reports were historically disparate the overall reporting process lacked efficiency and streamlining entirely. 


But a quality no-code automation tool is also able to provide simple, unified reports to get a complete picture of your app’s overall quality. Using a tool that allows you to select what type of information, but also what level of information is best. This can be done through screenshots, videos, device logs and/or repro steps. This package of information helps developers diagnose and solve issues efficiently and easily. When selecting a tool it’s also important to find one that seamlessly integrates this data with your current project management and ticketing systems.


No-code tools that provide visual feedback of not only when the error happened, but also the steps leading up to the error offer information to make optimal decisions. By receiving simultaneous reports on both the visual interface and backend performance, test developers are able to maximize their time speaking with all stakeholders easily and quickly. Sofy, for example, provides streamlined reporting on UI load time, the network traffic, CUP usage, memory consumption, visual accessibility and more.  


Quality Test Coverage via Cloud Device Labs 


Ensuring comprehensive test coverage in your mobile app testing strategy can be a challenge during the transition to no-code automation testing. Testers need to identify all critical test scenarios and design automated tests that cover them adequately. There may be scenarios that are easier to test manually but more difficult to automate, leading to potential gaps in test coverage 


Going back to the pain point of time spent on testing, a huge amount is spent on device labs themselves. They are the most optimal choice for maximum coverage in your mobile app testing strategy, however. Here’s some facts.  As much as 23% of the time manual testers spend within the test cycle alone is spent on setting up the devices themselves. This includes setting up the device, figuring out the settings, and installing it before the testing can even begin. As mentioned earlier, emulators come with their own unique challenges. The solution? Cloud device labs.  


No-code Automation and Cloud Device Labs: the Perfect Match 

Cloud device labs offer the best of both worlds: testers can get maximum real-world test coverage without the extensive time and costs of purchasing and maintaining labs. When paired with no-code automation, this combination offers enormous time and resource benefits while improving efficiency and productivity. This helps your team forgo the increasing issue of device fragmentation entirely and allows them to focus on creating better products, faster.


What to Look for in No-Code Tools – A Quick Recap 


Choosing the right no-code tool to elevate your mobile app testing strategy is integral to a seamless transition. To sum up the larger points of this article, organizations need to prioritize no-code tools that promote efficiency, productivity and quality. These broad terms cover a variety of different features and abilities, including: 


  • Easy-toread reporting 
  • Easytouse visual editor for test creation, maintenance and execution 
  • Streamlined reports on functional and non-functional aspects 
  • Integration with other systems like JIRA, Slack etc 
  • Pairing with a cloud device lab

With these specific features in mind, efficiency is found not only in the authoring of test cases but also in terms of the performance of execution of test cases at scale. Productivity can be seen by removing the amount of time spent on device maintenance entirely. Quality improvements can be seen across the board by speeding up debugging, improving reporting accuracy for faster and more accurate fixes, and reclaiming time normally lost during manual testing for new feature deployment.  


Want to learn more about a real-world use case of how no-code was adopted? Listen to the discussion from Sofy CEO Syed Usman and CTO Usman Zubair here.