Regression Testing for Mobile Applications: A Comprehensive Guide

Arnab Roy Chowdhury

Posted On: August 8, 2018

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The current technical trend is dominated by digital transformation. People are using mobile devices mostly to achieve their regular goals. Hence, organizations are developing websites or applications keeping the mobile first approach as their primary objective. Regression testing of mobile web pages or mobile web apps is very important to avoid sudden crash or breakage of some important functionalities when the live application is used by an end user, especially when can be accessed by different mobile devices.

Regression testing is carried out after an application is developed. It has 2 phases –

  • Developing an application and testing to check whether the functionalities are working perfectly.
  • Making some changes in the application and testing to check whether the existing functionalities are still working perfectly in addition to the new changes.

Let’s discuss some important strategies needed to be undertaken while developing a mobile page regression testing plan.

Developing Defect Entry and Exit Criteria

Entry and exit criteria followed in traditional testing can also be applied during the regression testing of a mobile page. Entry criteria are a set of conditions that the application should pass before regression testing is started. The testing team should ensure that

  • A defect which may get repeated is properly documented
  • A record for tracking the bugs should be created to identify the bugs and track the regression testing progress
  • Test case scenarios should be created that are highly specific to the defects and before executing, they should be reviewed and approved by testing lead or manager
  • Test case scenarios should be created that are highly specific to the defects and before executing, they should be reviewed and approved by testing lead or manager

Just like entry criteria, exit criteria also consists a series of conditions that should be met before the testing phase is concluded. The following conditions are agreed during the test planning period and checked before the product is released.

  • All the tests should be executed.
  • The required code coverage level should be met.
  • Severe bugs that may hamper any critical functionality or user experience should be fixed and tested.
  • All areas marked as “high risk” should be properly tested.

Testing the Application Manually

No matter whether Waterfall or Agile methodology is used for developing the application, regression testing process should also include manual test processes. The testing team must ensure that

  • Test case scenarios are developed focusing on the recent changes made in the application.
  • The testing team should be familiar with the specifications and functionalities of the application and also the business requirements in order to avoid writing unnecessary test case scenarios that are not needed.

Although the industry is moving more towards automated regression testing, we cannot underestimate the power of human experience. Manual exploratory testing often finds hard to catch issues that are impossible to catch via automated means.

Improve Automated Regression Testing

Often, in a project where Agile methodology is used and a sprint lasts for a short time, testers have less time to perform manual testing. Automated regression testing comes into play. Let’s discuss the best practices to ensure flawless automated regression testing of an application

  • The testing suite mostly consists test case scenarios that deal with the core functionalities of the application. With time, some of those functionalities may change and the old test cases may not be needed anymore. The regression testing pack should be updated regularly to ensure that newly added functionality is being tested and unnecessary testing of obsolete functionalities are avoided.
  • Tests that are important for the core domain should be included. For example, in a mobile banking or money transfer application, test case scenarios should be included that checks how robust the app is when it comes to security. While test case scenarios for a web-based application that may face high traffic, like a shopping app must contain test cases related to performance.

An important advantage of automated regression testing is that, it can be executed parallelly with manual regression testing. This increases productivity of the resource.

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Randomly Testing for Better User Experience

Randomly executing test cases scenarios is a good practice to ensure that the application is bug free. Apart from regular test cases, real world test case scenarios should be performed to check how the application works from the perspective of an end user.

  • For example, in an E-commerce or banking applications, run test cases to ensure whether the functionalities related to login and registration are working as expected.
  • In case of a web application, use analytic tools to find out the most used browsers and devices and test whether any critical functionality is being hampered.

Random execution of real world-based test cases should be performed at the end of the testing cycle.

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Proper Analysis of Bug Reports

Latest regression testing tools are integrated with bug tracking tools. They provide the testing team with the feature of creating a properly documented bug report where it’s easier to capture and integrate screenshots of the defect as well. While creating a bug report, the tester should.

  • Be specific about the exact functionality that is hampered in the exact page or scenario where it is happening.
  • A detailed information should be provided so that it becomes easy for the developer to replicate the defect and fix it.
  • Instead of making subjective statements, the tester should stick to the fact related to the defect.
  • Once the defect is found, instead of noting it down at the report, it should be replicated using the same or a different scenario to ensure that it is really a defect.

Regression testing consumes a lot of time and it may get boring. When not executed in a proper manner, chances are there that some critical defect may get missed. Therefore, it is always essential to prepare effective strategies for performing regression testing of an application at both Android or iOS in order to achieve the maximum output of testing.

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Arnab Roy Chowdhury

Arnab Roy Chowdhury is a UI developer by profession and a blogging enthusiast. He has been writing content for about 5 years and has strong expertise in technical blogs, travelogues, and content in the latest programming languages.

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