The Wearables market marched into the lives of the software development seemingly overnight. Now there are more uses, requirements and demands for applications than ever before.
Will your mobile app be able to withstand it? The strength of your QA testing foundation will provide insight. Consider the following five questions about your development and QA testing practices to determine if your app will survive.
Is the look and feel consistent across devices?
The main characteristic of the Wearable revolution is that devices aren’t limited to desktop and mobile – they now come in all shapes and sizes. While it is virtually impossible (not to mention impractical) to attempt to convey the same information across all of the devices that will be interacting with the software, a consistency in the look and feel is crucial for success.
While every effort can and should be made in the development phase to maintain this consistency, QA testing is the only way to ensure it’s preserved throughout. In a controlled development environment, the user experience may feel homogenous, but in an actual usage situation, it can fall apart quickly.
QA testing considers multiple scenarios that may account for a shift both in user perception and application functionality – not just for the actual Wearable device itself, but also for how the mobile device or even desktop computer will process and display corresponding information.
Have you expanded the testing environment?
The mobile revolution threw the software development industry a curveball because now, people weren’t just using software applications in a controlled, static environment at their desktop computers – they were using apps on the go.
In turn, the Wearable revolution has caused a similar disruption. Mobile devices are limited to something people hold in their hands. Wearable devices, on the other hand, are worn on the body. They are worn up to a full 24 hours a day, and required to withstand everything that a person goes through throughout the day – changes in weather, location, rapid movement, bumping against objects, and so on.
Make sure to test your software across as many desktop, mobile and Wearable devices as possible, and test in more testing environments than ever before. Wearables are made to be forgotten – to blend in with your attire, but then to be immediately functional for those few moments when the wearer wants to interact. Wearable devices are held to extremely high standards, and QA testing can ensure your application and device meet them.
Have you tested for seamless communication between devices?
The relationship between the Wearable device, the mobile device and the desktop computer is one of collaboration. Each plays a unique role in the overall user experience of the application, but they must work closely together to make the experience seamless and whole.
Like in any team environment, communication is the number one factor that will determine the success or failure of the software. QA testing will ensure that the Wearable and the device/s housing the application are in constant, uninterrupted communication regardless of environment, scenario or physical distance between them.
Because communication is happening all of the time, regardless of location, data security must be a top priority. QA testing will ensure communication can happen anywhere at any time without opening up the user’s information to hackers.
Is the user experience the focus of the application?
The strength of your user experience will make or break your software. Without an optimized user experience, your application will soon be lost in the competitive market.
Developing and testing for the Wearable market adds a whole new dimension to user experience. Since the device will actually be worn on the person’s body, it’s crucial to account for the way the app will integrate with every aspect of the user’s life. The amount of control they have over the software is key to whether the user adapts the application to their lifestyle, or abandons completely.
The great thing about QA testing is that it doesn’t just get into the nitty-gritty of how the application functions – it also looks at the bigger picture and tests the experience as a whole.
Did you test for the future?
The Wearables market is a new market, which we all know means that it will continue to change rapidly. The last thing you want is to spend time, money and resources developing software that will be obsolete in a few months.
While nothing can future-proof your application, QA testing can provide resiliency. Perform QA testing on as many devices in as many environments and on as many operating systems as possible. The more versatile your application is across these platforms, the more likely it is to maintain functionality when these elements transform down the line.
With a focus on user experience, resiliency in new environments and across devices, and a solid QA testing foundation, your software can survive the transition into the Wearables market.
Which aspects of preparing for a Wearable shift are you ready for, and which ones provide the biggest challenge for your business? Tell us in the comments below!