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Advanced Performance Testing: Perfecting Your App Flow

app performance testing
19Sep, 2018

Application performance testing has come a long way as consumers of today became savvier about their own devices. With so many new apps entering the marketplace every day, the competition is on to create new and exciting platforms users will want to continue to use. According to The Manifest, 51% of users open mobile apps 1 to 10 times a day.

If these apps aren’t performing properly, users won’t stick around. That’s why performance testing, particularly advanced performance testing, is so vital to any development company. Perfecting your app flow means knowing how your users will behave, and anticipating these behaviours through your own development efforts.

If you want your app to survive into the future, you need to create performance systems that measure key metrics today. These measurements are the best way to stay on top of your app’s functionality and also demonstrate areas where you can improve. Having a clear testing system will not only make it easier to produce new features and products in the future, but it will ensure your users are more satisfied with the overall experience. This guide will address key ways to perfect your app flow so you can focus on the things that matter most.

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1. Functional Design

There are two main components to app design: function and aesthetics. Of course, we all want our apps to look great, but we also need the design to play into the usability of the app. When it comes to UI/UX, both Apple and Android released clear guidelines about navigation, architecture, layout, and other elements that are vital to designing.

The entire design needs to be optimized. When users are stuck waiting for a screen to load, their patience grows thin quickly. While you can mitigate these damaged with progress indicators or skeleton pages, you’ll still need to focus on ways to reduce the overall size of the design to make load times fast.

Aside from load times, consider how the design will help the user reach their goals quicker. A general rule of thumb is to only have one goal per page. If the user is presented with too many options, they’re more likely to be confused or overwhelmed. Simple is always best, even when trying to commit to your branded elements. Don’t overlook the power of a functional design.

2. Coding Clarity

While the importance of UI/UX shouldn’t be understated, the same goes for coding clarity. When a group of developers is working on the same app, there are often clarity issues that lead to untidy code. A clean code will make sure the rest of the app flow is smooth from start to finish. Think of this as the foundation for the rest of the platform.

First, you need to make sure developers are avoiding any excessive resource consumption by caching and reducing the memory footprint. The same goes for managing battery consumption by managing any disk related features, CPU, and wifi networks. Finally, use asynchronous calls for network and database access to ensure the app launch time is fast.

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3. Testing

There should never be any cutting corners when it comes to testing. One of the biggest mistakes developers make is testing once or twice and never again. These tests actually need to be completed constantly to ensure every new deployment and update is ready to function properly. Don’t rely on user feedback to know where improvements need to be made. By the time you receive this feedback, it’s already too late.

The first step in testing is to set user metrics. These are patterns you’re looking for that will help you understand how users interact with your app. You’ll need to make sure your app has been tested across a range of devices. You’ll also need to perform load testing to see how the app handles large operations and files.

Finally, test the security. It seems like every day a new app releases a statement about a breach of security. This is not only damaging to your reputation, but it also jeopardizes your entire application. Take your user security seriously from the start. If you’re utilizing any personal information of your users, protect it diligently. As you can see, testing should encompass all aspects of the app to ensure it’s ready for consumers.

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4. Error Monitoring and System Logs

Things will go wrong with your app. No matter how much you prepare, errors will happen, and that’s okay. What’s important is that you take steps to reduce the impact of these errors and system problems when they do happen. You can do this through application monitoring tools which will step in to record problems before they occur. These systems track problems with your memory, deployment, coding, and crashes.

They also provide a valuable roadmap for retracing steps when things go wrong. Finding a problem can sometimes feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. With APM tools, you’re able to quickly locate the source of errors so you can resolve them quickly. Most importantly, you can put new systems in place to prevent them from happening again.

Fixing large user issues quickly and diligently is one of your biggest challenges as a developer as seen in this source on application performance monitoring & alerting | AppOptics. Learning to create systems for preventing these problems before the begin will eliminate half the battle. Take performance monitoring seriously if you want your app workflow to be significantly less stressful.

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Final Thoughts

Your users deserve the best experience when they interact with your app. With so many new applications taking over the marketplace every day, you can’t afford to overlook performance testing. By evaluating the key indicators above, you’ll have a strong app you can rely on to survive into the future.

Nobody can fully anticipate how smartphone apps will continue to develop. However, we do know there will be a continued push for greater user experience and fewer errors. That’s the only way to future-proof your app in a rapidly moving digital age.

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