So you’re done building your app and can’t wait to launch it on the stores? Before you submit your app to the app store, have you taken the time to test your app?
Final tests should be conducted on your app pre-flight to check for design mistakes, usability issues and access bugs. Taking the time to ‘proofread’ your app can help you find minor (and major!) problems that might get your app rejected, saving you tons of time in the long run. Also, testing your app before the big launch can help identify areas of improvement which, when fixed before your app goes live, can help you avoid getting bad reviews, poor ratings and uninstalls.
Here are the top 3 checks you’ll want to do before signing off on your app:
1. Testing for Design
Before submitting your app to the stores, the first thing you should check is aesthetic. Do your menus, elements, titles, fonts, colors etc show as you want them to?
Apple’s iOS Human Interface Guidelines and Google’s Android Design Principles describe the basic principles for designing a user-friendly interface and even if you’re building your app using a cross-platform development tool, like AppsBuilder, you’ll want to double check for conformity and consistency. By previewing your app separately on both operating systems, you will be able to check your selection of fonts and styling.
In terms of design, you’ll also want to check how your app renders when it switches from landscape to portrait mode. If you want your app to be viewed in both layouts, you’ll need to optimize your background image (see image below). Otherwise, you can take a tip from some of the list of top apps like Meerkat, Periscope and Snapchat who have adopted a portrait only mode.
2. Testing Usability
Usability is all about how your users are navigating through your app and their experience.
When developing your app you will build bits and pieces and eventually add sections and sub-menus to your need and liking. Therefore, the idea you start off with may change along the way. At the end of the production process and collage, it is advised to go through your app in and out of the menu to see how simple or hard navigation is.
When it comes to navigation, you’ll want to check that your menus work, but testing should also include checking native navigation settings. Web App or HTML5 App can be tested directly on the web and abide by native features of your browser. For Android and iOS apps (published on Google Play and the Apple App Store respectively), performing native tests will help decision-making when it comes to using the device’s native buttons or your custom ones.
A second usability test you’ll want to conduct is on your content. Whether it’s posts from your blog, multimedia galleries or widgets, users will want to scroll through screens easily. It would be a good idea at this point to simulate a purchase if you are taking your eCommerce to mobile.
You’ll also want to test out any forms you’re using – from a table reservation or subscription to your newsletter they should be easy to understand. Ask a friend to fill out the form and check that your form is mobile-friendly. For example, use drop down lists with options in certain areas rather than making users type their own answers. One may also realize that a description is needed in the header or on top of certain fields to better explain the required information.
3. Testing Settings – Security and Access
Yes, most app goals are to attract as many users as possible. However, letting everyone access your app and all its features is an issue app marketers forget to look into. So is your app public for anyone to access? Is it public with certain private feeds? Or does the whole app require a login from users? Enable access control for pages, forms, RSS, image feeds and any other content.
Among various setting that help tweak your preferences, caching content would be helpful to keep important feeds saved. It does so by keeping data on the users’ device even when he/she is disconnected from the internet. Generally, caching functions on mobile apps are similar to the ones on web browsers. Images, texts and form information are stored locally on the user’s device to be accessed even when disconnected from everything.
Convinced You Should Test Your App?
Congrats! You did it! Now, your menu is worthy of any top app, your private content is safe behind a login form, your forms have the right responses, images look beautiful in portrait and landscape and font along with buttons are device-specific. Keep in mind that once your app is launched, it’s the initial comments from users which will truly guide future changes.
And remember, if you’ve using AppsBuilder, download our Android and iOS Preview apps to test your app directly on your device! While you’re on stores downloading our app, leave your rating and feedback to optimize our own apps (even experts need feedback!).