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Best Practices of Functional Testing for Mobile Apps

by Abdus Subhan
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Hey there, fellow app enthusiasts! We all know that mobile apps play a huge role in our daily lives, making everything from banking and shopping to fitness tracking and social networking a breeze. But for these apps to truly shine, they need to work flawlessly across various devices and platforms. That’s where functional testing comes in! It’s a vital process that ensures our favorite apps work just as they should, offering a seamless and enjoyable user experience. Functional testing can be performed in both ways: manual testing and automation testing.

In this blog post, we’ll dive into the best practices for functional testing of mobile apps, guiding you through every step from getting to know your app and its users to collaborating with cross-functional teams. By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to boost your app’s quality and performance, making your users happier and your app even more successful in the market. So, let’s get started on the journey to create an amazing mobile app experience together!

I. Understand the Mobile App and Its Users

A. Study the app’s specifications and requirements

Before diving into functional testing, it’s essential to have a thorough understanding of your mobile app’s specifications and requirements. This includes becoming familiar with the app’s features, navigation flow, and expected behaviors. By gaining a comprehensive knowledge of the app, you can ensure that your testing efforts are focused on validating that the app meets its intended goals and user expectations.

B. Identify the target audience and their preferences

Knowing your target audience is crucial when it comes to functional testing. Different user groups may have varying preferences and expectations when interacting with your app. Analyze demographic information and user feedback to understand your target audience’s needs and preferences, as this will help you tailor your testing efforts accordingly.

C. Research user scenarios and use cases

To ensure effective functional testing, it’s vital to develop user scenarios and use cases based on real-life situations. These scenarios and use cases will guide your testing process, ensuring that you cover all possible interactions users may have with your app. Consider user personas, typical workflows, and edge cases to create a comprehensive set of test scenarios.

D. Set clear testing objectives

Before starting the functional testing process, establish clear objectives to guide your efforts. These objectives should align with your app’s specifications, requirements, and user expectations. Having well-defined testing objectives will help you stay focused and ensure that your testing activities are directly contributing to the app’s overall quality and performance.

II. Define the Test Scope and Strategy

A. Prioritize the most critical functionalities

Not all app features are created equal. Some functionalities are more critical to your app’s overall success than others. Identify and prioritize these critical functionalities to ensure they receive the most attention during functional testing. This will help you allocate your testing resources more effectively, ensuring that the most important aspects of your app are thoroughly tested.

B. Plan for different platforms and device combinations

Mobile apps need to perform seamlessly on various platforms, devices, and operating systems. When planning your functional testing, consider the different combinations of platforms, devices, and OS versions your app should support. This will help you create a comprehensive test plan that accounts for different user environments, ensuring that your app functions as expected across all supported platforms and devices.

Digital experience testing platforms like LambdaTest allows you to perform manual and automated functional testing of mobile apps on real device cloud. It provides an online browser farm of 3000+ real browsers, devices and OS combinations.

C. Incorporate both manual and automated testing methods

Functional testing for mobile apps should include both manual and automated testing methods. Manual testing allows testers to interact with the app as a user would, identifying potential issues and inconsistencies in the user experience. Automated testing, on the other hand, can quickly execute repetitive test cases, improving testing efficiency and accuracy. Combining both methods provides a more comprehensive approach to functional testing, ensuring that your app meets its intended goals and user expectations.

D. Outline the testing stages and milestones

Develop a clear roadmap for your functional testing process by outlining the various testing stages and milestones. This roadmap should detail each stage’s objectives, tasks, and deliverables and provide a timeline for completion. By having a structured testing plan in place, you can better manage your resources, track progress, and ensure that your functional testing efforts remain on track and focused on the desired outcomes.

III. Optimize Test Cases

A. Design positive and negative test cases

To ensure robust functional testing, it’s important to design both positive and negative test cases. Positive test cases focus on verifying that the app functions correctly when provided with valid input and expected user actions. Negative test cases, on the other hand, focus on validating the app’s behavior when faced with invalid input or unexpected user actions. By incorporating both types of test cases, you can identify potential issues and ensure the app is resilient under various conditions.

B. Ensure comprehensive test coverage

Comprehensive test coverage is essential for the success of your functional testing efforts. Test coverage refers to the extent to which your test cases cover the app’s functionalities, user scenarios, and possible input combinations. To achieve comprehensive coverage, analyze your app’s requirements, specifications, and use cases, and design test cases that cover all possible user interactions. Consider using tools like code coverage analyzers and test coverage metrics to help identify gaps in your test coverage.

C. Keep test cases simple and concise

Effective test cases should be simple and concise, making them easy to understand, execute, and maintain. Focus on one specific functionality or scenario per test case, and ensure that the test steps and expected outcomes are clearly defined. By keeping test cases simple and focused, you can streamline the testing process and make it easier for testers to identify and address issues.

D. Regularly review and update test cases

As your mobile app evolves, it’s crucial to keep your test cases up to date. Regularly review and update your test cases to ensure they remain relevant and accurate. This may involve adding new test cases to cover updated features, modifying existing test cases to reflect changes in app behavior, or removing obsolete test cases. Keeping your test cases current helps maintain the effectiveness of your functional testing efforts.

IV. Embrace Continuous Integration and Testing

A. Integrate functional testing into the development process

For maximum effectiveness, integrate functional testing into the app development process. By incorporating testing activities early in the development cycle, you can identify and address issues more quickly, preventing them from becoming more significant problems later on. This approach, often referred to as “shift-left” testing, promotes collaboration between developers and testers, ultimately resulting in higher-quality apps.

B. Utilize continuous integration tools

Continuous integration (CI) tools help streamline the development and testing processes by automating code integration, building, and testing activities. These tools can automatically trigger functional testing whenever new code is committed or merged, ensuring that the app remains stable and functional throughout the development process. CI tools also provide detailed reports and notifications, allowing developers and testers to promptly address any issues that arise.

C. Automate regression testing

Regression testing is essential for ensuring that existing app features and functionalities continue to work correctly as new updates or changes are introduced. Automating regression testing can significantly improve testing efficiency, as it allows you to quickly and accurately execute a large number of test cases. Automated regression testing also helps minimize the risk of human error and ensures that your app remains stable and functional throughout its lifecycle.

D. Monitor test results and address issues promptly

Continuous monitoring of test results is critical for the success of your functional testing efforts. Regularly review test results to identify patterns, trends, and areas that may require additional attention. Address any issues that arise promptly to prevent them from escalating and impacting the overall quality of your app. By actively monitoring and addressing test results, you can ensure that your functional testing efforts contribute to the continuous improvement of your app’s quality and performance.

V. Test on Real Devices and Emulators

A. The importance of testing on real devices

Testing on real devices is crucial for ensuring that your mobile app functions correctly and provides a seamless user experience across different devices, operating systems, and network conditions. Real devices can better replicate actual user environments, allowing you to identify and address issues that may not be apparent when using emulators or simulators. By testing on real devices, you can validate your app’s performance, usability, and compatibility, ultimately improving user satisfaction and app adoption rates.

B. When to use emulators/simulators

Emulators and simulators can be valuable tools in the functional testing process, particularly during the early stages of development. They can quickly and cost-effectively simulate a variety of devices, platforms, and operating system versions, allowing you to identify and address issues before testing on real devices. Emulators and simulators are also useful for automating test cases, performing repetitive tasks, and testing specific scenarios that may be difficult or time-consuming to reproduce on real devices.

C. Balancing cost and coverage with real devices and emulators

To achieve a comprehensive and cost-effective functional testing strategy, it’s essential to strike a balance between testing on real devices and using emulators or simulators. Start by identifying the most critical devices, platforms, and operating system versions that your app needs to support. Test your app on these devices using a combination of real devices and emulators/simulators, focusing on the most critical functionalities and user scenarios. As your app progresses through the development and testing process, consider expanding your testing coverage to include additional devices and scenarios as needed.

VI. Collaborate with Cross-Functional Teams

A. Involve stakeholders throughout the testing process

Involving stakeholders throughout the functional testing process is essential for ensuring that your app meets its intended goals and user expectations. Engage with product managers, designers, developers, and other stakeholders to gain a comprehensive understanding of the app’s requirements, specifications, and use cases. By involving stakeholders in the testing process, you can gather valuable feedback, identify potential issues, and align your testing efforts with the app’s overall objectives.

B. Communicate test progress and results effectively

Effective communication is critical for the success of your functional testing efforts. Regularly share test progress, results, and findings with stakeholders, keeping them informed of any issues that arise and the steps being taken to address them. Use clear, concise language and visual aids, such as charts and graphs, to convey complex information and trends. By maintaining open lines of communication, you can foster a collaborative testing environment and ensure that all stakeholders are aligned and working towards a common goal.

C. Encourage collaboration between developers and testers

Fostering collaboration between developers and testers can significantly improve the quality and performance of your mobile app. Encourage developers and testers to work closely together, sharing their expertise, knowledge, and insights. This can help identify potential issues early in the development process, streamline the testing process, and ultimately result in a higher-quality app. Collaborative tools, such as version control systems, issue trackers, and chat applications, can help facilitate communication and collaboration between developers and testers, ensuring that everyone is working together effectively.

VII. Analyze and Learn from Test Results

A. Track and report defects and resolutions

Tracking and reporting defects and their resolutions are crucial for maintaining the effectiveness of your functional testing efforts. Use a defect tracking system to log and manage issues identified during testing, including their severity, priority, and status. Ensure that defects are properly documented, including steps to reproduce, expected and actual results, and any relevant screenshots or logs. By systematically tracking and reporting defects, you can facilitate collaboration between testers and developers, streamline the resolution process, and ultimately improve the overall quality of your mobile app.

B. Analyze test results to identify areas of improvement

Regular analysis of test results can help you identify patterns, trends, and areas that may require additional attention or improvement. Look for recurring issues, bottlenecks, or gaps in test coverage that may impact your app’s performance or user experience. By analyzing test results, you can gain valuable insights into your app’s strengths and weaknesses, allowing you to make informed decisions about where to focus your testing and development efforts.

C. Adjust test strategy based on feedback and lessons learned

Your functional testing strategy should be flexible and adaptable, allowing you to make adjustments based on feedback, lessons learned, and changing requirements. Continuously evaluate your testing approach, incorporating feedback from stakeholders, testers, and users to refine your strategy and ensure it remains relevant and effective. This may involve updating test cases, adjusting test coverage, or incorporating new testing tools and techniques. By regularly reviewing and adjusting your test strategy, you can ensure that your functional testing efforts continue to contribute to the ongoing improvement of your app’s quality and performance.


It is hard to overstate the value of functional testing for mobile applications. You can make sure that your app satisfies user expectations, works flawlessly across a variety of platforms and devices, and eventually succeeds in the market by extensively testing its functionality. You may improve the quality and functionality of your mobile app by putting into practise the best practises highlighted in this article, such as comprehending your app and its users, optimising test cases, and embracing continuous integration and testing. You can confidently create a user experience that delights your audience and distinguishes your app from the competition when you have a strong functional testing plan in place.

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