Nowadays, while designing web applications we should consider that a big amount of users will be using our page on the mobile devices. This is why application tests on different browsers and with different resolutions are so important. In this article I will show you a few examples of techniques and features that you should apply while testing web and mobile applications on mobile devices. I am going to show you also a couple of examples of how you can test accessibility (WCAG) of your apps.
One of the most essential aspects in testing applications on mobile devices is how they operate on different systems — both iOS and Android. On both of them the application should have the same features and present the same data. In addition, you should also pay attention to the intuitive functioning of an application, because there are some major differences between iOS and Android. For example, the Back button — on Android is placed on the bottom of the screen but on iOS it is placed in top-left corner and what is more, on iOS there is also an additional Back feature when you swipe your screen from left to right. So if you want to increase the comfort of using your application on mobile devices you should remember to suit it to the system of a device.
If your application is available in different languages, you should try changing it on a mobile device. It is not always an option in the application settings but the language should change along with switching the language of the device itself. Check if your application follows your device settings!
When your mobile application contains the lists of elements, for example an online shop with a list of products, you should avoid splitting them into pages. It is more convenient when the elements are being loaded when a user is scrolling the list. In this way the user doesn’t have to click the Back button a dozen times when he wants to return to some former page. It should be used not only in the mobile applications but also on web pages viewed on mobile devices.
Texts that include big amount of lines are harder to understand when they are displayed on mobile devices. So when you are designing an application which needs to have a lot of text try to apply:
While testing the application on the mobile devices it is important to test how the application behaves when something happens on device. Below I present some examples:
When your application needs network connection you should verify how it works in variable conditions such as:
Testing 1 and 4 cases seem simple but verifying 2 and 3 cases may be more problematic. There you need some tools such as:
Charles and Fiddler are tools that require some knowledge about network management. Network Link Conditioner is much simpler in use but it is only available in iOS system.
Adapting the application for people with disabilities is important not only in web applications viewed through a browser but also in web applications opened on a mobile device. If the web application fulfills the WCAG requirements on a computer, it is very likely that they will be fulfilled on mobile devices as well. Nevertheless, there are some cases that should be verified on mobile devices considering both web and mobile applications.
According to statistics, 40% of mobile devices users are using non-standard text size. That is why verifying adaptation of the text size in our application is important not only to fulfill WCAG requirements but also to meet expectations of every user. To verify this case you should go to Settings and then to Text size on mobile device. Than change the text size and check if it also changed in the application.
Authors of mobile platforms know the importance of accessibility support. Over the years they have started supporting more and more accessibility features as part of their devices settings. And now we should make sure that those features are working well on our apps.
In Settings in mobile devices there are Accessibility Settings. You can find there some features which make using the mobile device easier for people with disabilities. Among them you can find:
A big amount of mobile applications doesn’t really achieve all of the mentioned standards. However, we should pay attention to them if we want the application to be user friendly and accessible for people with disabilities. Thanks to this, the application will reach a bigger number of users.
Written by Agnieszka Michnik
Software tester and business analyst at Evertop.
Sports, boardgames, travel, baking and Riesling lover.