The stage is set. Your product is ready to be showcased to the world. You’ve placed the app on the app store after your development provider has given you the go-ahead. You launch your product marketing and communication campaigns on time. All seems to go well until your first customers report a bug, and then another and then another, and a crash!
For mobile apps, a crash or a glaring bug is the last thing a user wishes to tolerate. Coupled with the availability of choice for your target audience, bugs in your app make user churn rates shoot out of the roof in no time. According to a study by Quettra, the average mobile app loses nearly 77% of its users within just three days. At the end of the first month, nearly 90% of those original new users are gone.
To put things into perspective in a real-world scenario, a new terminal called Terminal 5 opened at Heathrow airport in 2009. Engineers had given a go-ahead to the terminal without covering all customer-specific scenarios, resulting in the baggage handling system failing at launch. This caused a total shutdown of the system and over 42,000 bags failed to reach the bag owner’s flights and over 500 flights needed to be canceled. This was caused by incomplete test coverage, resulting in a failure that caused millions of dollars in losses, delayed or canceled origin and connecting flights, and an overload of stress and frustration for everyone involved in the process.
Building trust with your target audience with effective testing
This incident showcases why it is important to give adequate coverage of test cases in software engineering at all times, especially during pre-launch for an unmatched product or service reliability. It is important to note that your app builds trust with your initial set of users. These users will be your biggest brand ambassadors, ensuring that your app installations increase by the day. The first step towards building trust is by providing your users with a world-class, bug-free app that works perfectly out of the box.
Developing an app that your users will love is as important as ensuring that the app is well-tested for all possible scenarios in your QA test cases. In testing parlance, ensuring that all scenarios are addressed with your test case in software testing is called Test Coverage.
What is Test Coverage in testing?
Test coverage determines whether the test cases for your app actually cover the application code well and what must be exercised when these cases run. Test coverage also lets you monitor the quality of testing, and helps our QA analyst group to create test cases that cover missing areas.
What are the benefits of high Test Coverage?
To put this in numbers, if your software has 10 requirements, and we create 100 tests for this, but only 90 tests execute then the coverage is 90%. Based on this metric, both automated and manual test cases are created for the remaining scenarios so that they are executed at each test run, ensuring near-100% coverage.
- Test coverage helps in identifying any product requirement and test case gap analysis at the outset, enhancing product quality and reliability.
- Test coverage also prevents defect leakage as test coverage analysis checks coverage percentage to reduce chances of error.
- As an important tool during regression testing, test case prioritization, test suite augmentation, and test suite minimization, test coverage provides high quality at all times.
What is the difference between test coverage and code coverage?
Test Coverage and Code Coverage are measurement metrics for software testing that help testing and development teams produce quality software. These metrics ensure that any software meets essential quality characteristics of effectiveness, security, correctness, reliability, and maintainability.
Code coverage is simply the percentage of (lines of) code that is covered by your test cases. These tests can either be run manually or automatically. The primary objective of this test metric is to cover the maximum number of lines of code and reduce instances of bugs. Code coverage helps in easy maintenance of the codebase, exposure of bad code, and results in faster time to market. Code coverage is measured using the following formula:
Code Coverage Percentage = (Number of lines of code executed by a test / Total number of lines of code) * 100.
Code coverage includes the following subtypes:
- Branch coverage: Checks if loops and other decision control structures.
- Function coverage: Checks if functions in the code execute at least once.
- Statement coverage: Checks if all statements are validated successfully.
- Path coverage: Checks if all flows in a sequence of controls and conditions.
- Condition coverage: Checks if all boolean expressions are validated.
Test coverage is a metric that evaluates the functional quality of a product. Test coverage attempts to find the areas of a requirement not implemented by existing test cases and helps testers to create additional cases to increase coverage percentage. This metric takes into account the software requirement specification, functional requirements specification, and other documentation. Test coverage encompasses measuring the capability of your test cases to verify product features, risks, and requirements.
Test coverage is evaluated using mechanisms or testing types that include:
- Unit testing: Checks if the unit test coverage encompasses all aspects at the module level.
- Functional testing: checks if features cover all aspects of the functional requirement specification.
- Integration testing: Checks if the software performs well as a whole on the system level.
- Acceptance testing: Checks if the software conforms to the product requirement specification.
Code coverage and test coverage are independent terms that complement each other. They provide near-100% coverage while testing software—thereby maximizing efficiency, reliability, and security.
How do you measure test coverage?
At Volumetree, our testing process is tightly coupled with the product development process at the outset. This helps the QA team in ensuring wider test coverage and helping development teams get more done with high quality and reliability. We use Test Coverage Metrics to ensure that your app is well-tested and will not bomb at launch.
What are Test Coverage Metrics?
Simply put, test coverage metrics help us to measure and improve our testing process by maximizing testing efficiency to enhance product quality. Test coverage metrics answer important questions such as:
- How many bugs did we fail to find?
- How long did it take to perform the test?
- How much of the software did the test cover?
- Did we test using the right environment and platform?
Additionally, it is important to test the right scenarios for maximum coverage.
Why is test coverage analysis so important for mobile and web apps?
When it comes to mobile and web apps, most organizations opt for a zero-defect policy so that users love your app as much as you do. This is done due to the following reasons:
Low tolerance levels for bugs
Users absolutely hate buggy apps on mobile platforms. Additionally, the sheer number of alternatives available makes bugs an absolute no-no for your app.
Functional testing cannot check everything
The agile testing manifesto recommends that all types of testing must be completed in each iteration to prevent defects. This means that you will need functional, performance, security, accessibility, and many more types of testing to cover all grounds in each iteration.
Why is it important to ensure test coverage beyond devices and platforms?
Mobile devices run dozens of apps at all times in an environment that is riddled with constantly changing conditions that may include:
- Switching networks and providers
- Background apps
- Available memory and consumption rates
- Spikes in mobile traffic
- Low battery conditions
- Phone calls and other interruptions
This requires that your app must be tested well for reliability at all times. Remember—your target audience has the power of choice on their side.
How do we ensure high test coverage at Volumetree?
At Volumetree, we understand that your user has a range of apps to choose from at their disposal and we strive to ensure that your app is the app of choice. Here’s how we give high test coverage at each level in our quality assurance process:
Effective data collection
It is important to have a mix of the most important and relevant metrics available for your app. This includes knowing the device and platform type used by your end-user and your competition. Knowing your competition’s market share is also important to plan tests effectively. A combination of market share analysis, customer data, and competitive data are essential for comprehensive data collection to guide your test scoping. At Volumetree, only high-value, robust and cross-platform test cases are incorporated into the pipeline of our test case management tools and our Continuous Integration regimen.
Determining the device and platform criterion
With dozens of mobile devices running a diverse range of operating systems, it is important to know what your app will be pitted against. Here’s a small list of device types that must be a part of the test lab for mobile apps:
- Top or popular devices – This list must include devices from your customer data and popular devices in the market.
- Upcoming devices – Knowing what is new and upcoming is important for future device and OS compatibility. Keeping an eye out for new devices, OS updates, and trends is important to reduce R&D time and make your app future-ready.
- Legacy devices – Older tablets, mobile devices, and OS versions are included in this list. As your market list may have older devices that are more in demand due to low cost, this list can help you test if your device runs well with an older generation CPU.
Including user conditions
Once we know what devices are on the list for your mobile app, we then start to list down real-life scenarios that your users may face every day. These include:
- Mobile network types and WiFi use
- Number of apps running at the same time
- Screen orientation
This list can be exhaustive and complex but provides us with meaningful, real-world data that helps us test several devices and operating systems on a functional level. This factors in real-user situations and helps us to enhance our test coverage manifold. This also helps us to meet all your user expectations in our testing regimen and increase the depth of our test cases.
Defining the perfect coverage mix for QA test cases
With the device, platform, and conditions criterion mentioned above, we then proceed to use this data to determine the perfect test coverage mix. This also helps us to test your app for various demographics and platforms. Our coverage mix considerations include testing for supported countries (languages, preferences), supported mobile platforms, and coverage levels (essential, enhanced or extended). The essential group consists of the top-10 devices and OS versions. The enhanced group is a list of the top 25 devices that include the top-10. The extended group can include the top 30 or 35 devices and OS combinations, including legacy devices.
This will validate your app against old, new and upcoming devices.
For each group, we cover the following attributes in our test cases:
- OS and device popularity including custom OS versions
- Screen size, resolution, and other attributes
- Device age
- OS version update frequency
- Individual device properties including CPU, Ram, etc.
- Audience demographics
Why is it important to use test case management tools?
In an agile environment, development is often test-driven. This provides a continuous check on software quality, adherence to the current requirement specifications, and delivering a better product to the end-user. However, testers often find themselves overwhelmed with the sheer number of scenarios an agile environment may throw at them. Using test case management or test coverage tools can help your Quality Assurance team to move beyond spreadsheets and use tools that help them to work effectively and efficiently. Here’s a list of some important test coverage and test case management tools:
A simple and easy-to-use tool, Testpad helps teams create natural test plans that are driven by hierarchical checklists. Additionally, an in-built reportage tool also helps to check if your product is ready for release.
TestRail is a comprehensive test case management utility that will easily help to organize your QA team. With real-time insights into testing activity, powerful reportage and metrics, TestRail is one of the most-used testing tools available today. TestRail easily integrates with leading test automation and defect management tools such as Ranorex, Test Monitor, GitHub, Atlassian Jira, AxoSoft and Bugzilla.
Considered to be one of the best tools for organizations moving towards a DevOps based continuous testing regimen, Zephyr helps agile teams with quality management, automation, analytics and deployment. Zephyr easily integrates with Jira, Confluence and many other industry-leading tools.
Xray is one of the best Jira-driven manual and automated test management app for QA. With its tight integration with Jira and support for both manual and automated tests including Junit, Nunit, Robot and many others, Xray covers the entire testing life cycle including test planning, test specification, test organization test execution and test reporting.
Qase is a modern, fully-featured test management tool that is built for both QA and Dev teams. Qase offers easy test case management, defect management, test planning, test runs, reportage and webhooks. Qase easily integrates with popular tools such as Jira, Redmine, Trello, Slack, and many others.
QACoverage is a collaborative platform that integrates with your deployment solution throughout the software development life cycle. QACoverage boosts test productivity, provides visibility to handle and control QA processes, offers requirements management, test case design, test case execution, defect management, and reportage modules.
Apache JMeter is a well-known testing tool that is used to analyze and measure software performance. Often used to execute performance testing, load testing, and functional testing, JMeter performance testing is considered to be the standard for many automation testing regimens.
Encompassing risk in the quality assurance process
Risk is an important aspect of quality assurance for software development that helps us test your product better. In today’s fast-changing environment, Risk-Based Testing is important for Agile and DevOps to ensure that your product is not only developed and tested well but is also deployed in an environment that is conducive for its scalability and reliability in the long term.
We use the following steps in our risk-based testing process:
Identifying the types of risks is the most important step in effective risk-based testing. This step helps us to make a list of everything that may cause problems in our app and disrupt the normal flow of events.
Risk impact analysis
This step helps us prioritize risk in categories so that we can handle it effectively. These categories include assigning values to items in your “risk list”. These values are high, medium, and low; and denote the probability and the impact of the risk. As an example, defects discovered later due to unclear specifications are a risk that is high impact, but of medium probability due to our world-class documentation and communication processes. Similarly, a tight testing schedule due to deadlines is a high-impact and high-probability risk that must be addressed at the outset.
Risk mitigation involves addressing the risks identified in the risk management QA process. As an example, for the high-impact and high-probability risk discussed above, we can enhance communication and documentation to reduce risk probability and add some buffer to reduce risk impact.
As a fully agile mobile app development company, we build products of the highest possible quality for you to ensure a world-class user experience for your end-users. Our scientific and zero-tolerance approach to quality issues and our highly experienced quality assurance team delivers a high-quality, reliable, and captivating product at the outset. This has made quality the major reason for our exceptionally high rates of customer satisfaction at all times while delivering captivating, high-performance apps that will help you to enhance your customer happiness ratio every day.
If you want your app to hit the app store in a trouble-free way, schedule an appointment with our experts here and let us help you get more done, fast.