AQuA's top 10 app fails: How many do you test for?
Following the launch of the Quality App Directory in October, the App Quality Alliance (AQuA) has released a list of the top ten failures they’ve encountered in apps.
AQuA, a not-for-profit trade association, is run and funded by its members, including AT&T, Orange, Oracle, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, Sony Mobile and LG.
It has drawn on the experience of these members, building up a set of best practice guidelines for producing quality apps, and provides sets of platform-specific testing criteria to back them up.
Inclusion in the Quality App Directory is free, but is dependent on app meeting minimum standards; the app must have gone through and passed a good QA process.
AQuA best practice guidelines and the test criteria give developers a pre-defined set of tests that complement the functional testing every good developer performs as they go along.
In essence it defines the non-functional tests that many developers might not think to carry out, but things that real users do…like taking the memory card out of a phone whilst using the app, or receiving a phone call in the middle of watching a video…
AQuA has been involved in helping to improve the quality of apps for years, and has uncovered ten most common glaring errors that developers often fail to test for.
- User interface inconsistency; make sure menu options, button labels, ‘soft keys’, menus etc are consistent and clear
- Lack of clarity of graphics and text; make sure that all the text is readable, clear and not cut off by the edged of the screen or overlapping other screen items
- App browsing confusion; although the navigation through the app is obvious if you’ve been working on it for weeks or months, not everyone else may find it so clear
- Language inconsistency and spelling errors; if you support multiple languages, make sure that it is consistent and you don’t have the odd label in English hidden away… And use a spell checker
- Hidden features; doing stuff behind the scenes without letting the user know will never win you any favours, even if your intentions are good
- App crashing; you would be surprised how may apps can be made to crash when even some simple things happen on the device, memory cards, attachments, keyboards are common causes.
- Help is not there; whilst it is obvious to some, other people like to read help information and so providing help is a must
- Network connection: lack of notification; again, so many people don’t test the phone dropping out of coverage. If you miss it and the app dies when the connection drops, the user ends up re-booting their device. With new networks and more handovers between technologies this is going to be a new hot topic
- Screen orientation distortion; surely everyone check this one? No sadly not. Distorted images when changing from portrait to landscape and vice-versa still manages to hit our top ten simple errors that let apps down.
To find out more about getting your app included in the App Quality Directory, visit: http://www.qualityappdirectory.org/