Luxe Quality logo
Quality Assurance

Andrii Kravchenko, Automation and Manual Quality Assurance Engineer

Apr 11, 2024 16 min read

Mobile UI Testing: Best Practices in 2024

This article examines the critical aspects of mobile UI testing, delving into its dеfinition, significance, benefits, strategies, and challenges.

MobileUITestingHowtoDo

The phrаse There's an app for that, coined by Apple, perfectly captures how smartphones have become an essential part of our lives. There are over 6.84 billion smartphone users worldwide, and millions of applications are available to cater to their needs. Android and iOS operating systems dominate the mobile phone market, and they must conduct continuous mobile testing еnsure that their apps are functional, easy to use, and consistent.  

As the number of mobile users grows, the demand for advanced apps is increasing. Developers and app testers for Android and iOS must adapt to these changes in mobile application testing to provide users with the best experience. This article examines the critical aspects of mobile UI testing, delving into its dеfinition, significance, benefits, strategies, and challenges.

 What is UI Testing? 

Peter Drucker once said, "The truе measure of quality in a product or service is not what you put into it, but rather what the customer gets out of it." This is especially true for mobile apps. If users encounter broken features or slow loаding times that hinder their ability to complete tasks quickly and easily, they are unlikely to continue using the app. This is why the testing phase is crucial for mobile app development. UI testing ensures that the app's interface's visual and functional aspects are working correctly. It tests what end users see and interact with rather than the technical workings behind the scenes. 

UI testing is broader than GUI (Graphical User Interface) testing. UI encompasses all of how a person interacts with a machine, including graphical and non-graphical methods, while GUI testing only covers interactions that involve graphics on displays. For instance, testing how well a keyboard interacts with a website would be considered UI testing but not GUI testing. 

Despite the technical difference between UI testing and GUI testing, the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably because GUI is the most common form of UI for computers today. 

If you've been testing your apps manually, you may be wasting significant time doing the same tasks repeatedly. You make changes to the code, build the app, run it on a device or emulator, and fiddle with the app to ensure it functions correctly. However, with automated UI testing, you can perform these manual steps automatically. This can save you a lot of time and help you avoid embarrassing bugs, particularly regression ones, in your app.  

What is Mobile UI Testing? 

Mobile UI testing evaluates a mobile application's user interface (UI) on various mobile platforms, screen sizes, and operating systems. What must be accomplished is a cross-platform user interface (UI) for the software that is beneficial and functional. A mobile user interface's aesthetic components, responsiveness, and overall user experience are tested during testing (you can also familiarize yourself with the article usability testing on mobile apps). 

To ensure that UI elements like buttons, menus, forms, photos, and text are appropriately displayed, aligned, and styled across various screen resolutions and orientations, UI testing mobile app is primarily concerned with these issues. In addition, it requires analyzing how the program reacts to user motions, taps, swipes, and device rotations.  

UI testing mobile app is usually done manually by human testers who utilize real devices or emulators/simulators to interact with the app, simulating various user scenarios and confirming the expected behavior. Automation tools and frameworks are, however, also frequently used to speed up testing cycles, boost productivity, and automate routine UI testing. 

exclamation mark icon

Follow us on LinkedIn to always stay up to date with the latest QA news.

Why is Mobile UI Testing Necessary?

Testing a mobile app's user interface identifies usability issues that might initially escape notice. Elements such as disorderly layouts or perplexing menus can discourage users and tarnish the reputation of an application. 

Business leaders must recognize that rigorous mobile app UI testing distinguishes their apps from those of the competition. In today's saturated app market, an inadequate user experience is a one-way ticket to negative reviews and zero user retention. Making UI testing a top priority helps detect issues early, avoids chaos after launching, and shows off the reliability of your top-notch app.

Benefits of Mobile UI Testing 

UI testing mobile app provides several significant advantages to improve a mobile application's overall success (you can also learn about the mobile app testing strategy that can elevate the quality of your app and drive its success). The following are a few of the key advantages: 

Consistent User Experience 

Helping to guarantee a consistent user experience by evaluating the UI across various devices, screen sizes, and orientations. Users should engage with the app quickly and comfortably regardless of their device. 

Increased User Satisfaction

A tested user interface improves user satisfaction by providing a visually appealing, logical, and user-friendly interface. A positive UI experience increases the user's likelihood of enjoying and interacting with an app. 

Bug and Defect Detection  

Aids in discovering problems and defects in the user interface, ensuring that they are fixed before the app's release. This results in a more reliable program. 

Brand Reputation 

A well-designed and eye-catching UI enhances the brand reputation. Users view a well-designed user interface (UI) as a symbol of professionalism and quality, which can improve how the public views the app as a whole and the company that created it. 

BenefitsofMobileUITesting

Strategies for Effective Mobile UI Testing 

You can efficiently test your mobile applications' user interfaces, find UI problems, and ensure a high-quality and user-friendly mobile app experience by putting the following ideas into practice: 

  • Test on Real Devices: To ensure a realistic depiction of the user experience across various hardware configurations, screen sizes, and operating systems, conduct mobile UI testing on real devices. 
  • Test Across Several Mobile Platforms: To ensure functionality, and user experience, check your mobile app's user interface (UI) across several platforms (such as iOS and Android). 
  • Perform Responsive Design Testing: Test your app's responsiveness by seeing how it responds to and displays appropriately across various screen sizes, resolutions, and orientations. 
  • Use Automation: Automated testing tools and frameworks can speed up time-consuming UI testing processes, increase effectiveness, and enable regular regression testing. 
  • Take Screenshots and Record Tests: Take screenshots of the user interface and record test runs to document any problems. This makes communicating and reproducing defects easier, which helps developers troubleshoot and fix problems. 

Checklist for Mobile UI Testing 

The checklist covers essential topics such as UI components, navigation, screen orientation, input validation, accessibility, and localization/internationalization. This checklist assists testers in doing rigorous mobile UI testing to offer an aesthetically pleasing and approachable interface for an improved user experience. 

UI Elements 

  • Check that UI elements work as expected, such as buttons performing the desired tasks, input fields receiving accurate data, and checkboxes or radio buttons appropriately responding to user selections. 
  • Verify the consistency of font styles, colors, and sizes throughout the UI to create a visually appealing and unified design. 

Screen Resolution 

  • Ensure the UI elements are correctly sized, aligned, and optimized for various screen sizes and resolutions. 
  • Verify that the UI keeps its beauty and usability no matter the screen's orientation or size. 

Input Validation and Error Handling 

  • Check input fields to ensure that user input is legitimate, paying attention to data formatting, character restrictions, and validation messages. 
  • Check that error messages are correctly shown and give consumers helpful information when they enter incorrect data. 

Accessibility 

  • Ensure compliance with accessibility requirements, which include high contrast for users with visual impairments, support for dynamic text sizes, and adequate labeling of UI elements for screen readers. 
  • Verify that the UI is usable and offers people with disabilities an inclusive experience. 

Navigation 

  • Verify that switching between screens and UI elements is fluid by testing screen transitions. Check that links, buttons, or user gestures correctly direct users to the desired locations. 
  • Verify using navigational tools like back buttons or gestures to ensure users consistently return to previous screens or states. 

Best Practices for Mobile UI Testing 

The following best practices can be followed to achieve successful mobile UI testing. Clear objectives must be established, functionality must be validated, usability and performance testing must be done, and compatibility must be ensured. You can enhance your mobile application's usability and quality by putting these practices into reality. 

  • Establish Clearly Defined Test Objectives: Clearly define the aims and objectives of your mobile UI testing activities. This will help direct your testing procedure and guarantee that focus is placed on essential regions. 
  • Perform usability testing: Use usability testing to assess the UI of your app for user-friendliness and intuitiveness. Observe actual users as they use the app and gather feedback to determine what needs to be improved. 
  • Verify functionality: Test the UI components in your app's functionality in great detail. Check that forms, menus, buttons, and other interactive elements behave as expected and function as intended. 
  • Conduct performance testing: Evaluate how well your app's user interface performs in various scenarios, such as those with fluctuating network speeds or a high user load. Consider responsiveness, load times, and resource usage to guarantee optimal performance. 
  • Maintain Compatibility: To ensure consistent behavior and look, test your app's user interface (UI) across various hardware, software, and operating systems. Observe the platform-specific design standards and modify your UI as necessary. 

Challenges in Mobile UI Testing 

Understanding and addressing the different issues that arise is crucial. Delivering top-notch, user-friendly mobile applications is possible if you overcome challenges and implement sensible plans (you can also learn about Luxe Quality's user interface testing services and how they can benefit your businesses).

  • Device Fragmentation: Mobile UI testing is made difficult by the extensive range of mobile devices, each with a different screen size, resolution, operating system, and hardware setup. Guaranteeing consistent UI behavior and compatibility across devices might take time and effort. Real device cloud. 
  • Operating Systems and Versions that Change Rapidly: Mobile operating systems and their versions change quickly. Testing UI functionality and compatibility across various OS versions, updates, and device-specific modifications can be difficult and time-consuming. 
  • Network and Connectivity Variability: Mobile apps rely on network connectivity, which can be unpredictable regarding speed, dependability, and availability. Testing UI behavior under various network circumstances, such as low bandwidth or sporadic connectivity, is essential but complex. 
  • Limited Resources: It can be challenging to do mobile UI testing due to limited access to physical devices, time restraints, and financial restrictions. Testers must prioritize the devices, operating systems, and testing scenarios depending on the available resources. 
  • Testing User Interactions and Gestures: Many mobile apps use different touch interactions and gestures. It is essential to consider and conduct extensive testing when determining how the user interface will react to various motions, including swiping, tapping, pinching, and device rotation. 
  • Rapid Release Cycles: Mobile app development frequently uses rapid release cycles to keep up with consumer demand. Due to the potential for shorter testing schedules, effective test planning, automation, and prioritization of crucial UI components are all required. 

Android and iOS UI Differences: UI Testing Challenges  

The UI of an app varies between Android and iOS devices due to platform-specific guidelines, programming languages, and backward compatibility. These differences pose challenges for mobile app testers, who must adapt their testing strategies for each platform.  

AndroidandiOSUIDifferencesUITestingChallenges

Best Mobile Ui Testing Tools  

Several testing frameworks facilitate comprehensive UI testing for Android and iOS apps. Choosing the proper testing framework depends on your app's technology stack, team expertise, and specific UI testing requirements.  

Here are some of the best testing frameworks, tools and cloud-based platforms for mobile app UI testing.  

  • Appium: An open-source automation framework supporting Android and iOS platforms. Appium allows tests written in multiple programming languages (Java, Python, Ruby, etc.) and supports native, hybrid, and mobile web apps.  
  • Appium Inspector: It is a graphical user interface tool that is a component of the Appium framework, an open-source mobile Ui test automation tool created especially to help with the testing and automation of mobile applications across many platforms, including Android and iOS. Appium Inspector gives testers and developers a visual depiction of the user interface (UI) elements existing in a mobile app, enabling them to interact with, examine, and test those parts’ composition and characteristics.  
  • Espresso (Android) and XCUITest (iOS): These native testing frameworks, developed and maintained by Google and Apple, offer deep integration with their respective platforms, making them ideal for testing native app behaviors and interactions.  
  • Detox: An end-to-end testing framework for React Native apps supports Android and iOS platforms. It enables testing of the entire app, including UI interactions and navigation, and provides built-in support for gestures, animations, and network requests.  
  • Calabash: An open-source framework for writing cross-platform tests for Android and iOS apps. Calabash offers a human-readable format for writing test scenarios, making it accessible to non-technical team members.  
  • Android Studio: Android Studio, the official IDE for Android development, provides comprehensive tools for writing, testing, and debugging applications. It includes an emulator to simulate various devices and Android versions, making it invaluable for developing and testing UIs across a wide range of Android devices. 
  • UI Automator (Android) and UI Automation (iOS): Native automation frameworks developed by Google (UI Automator) and Apple (UI Automation) that provide deep access to UI elements and interactions on their respective platforms are suitable for lower-level UI testing.  
  • UIAutomatorViewer and Accessibility Inspector: While not testing frameworks themselves, these bundled tools with Android Studio (UIAutomaterViewer) and Xcode (Accessibility Inspector) assist in inspecting UI elements and accessibility attributes, aiding in UI test creation for Android and iOS. 
  • Robot Framework: A versatile, keyword-driven automation framework supports mobile app UI testing for Android and iOS. It offers extensibility through libraries and plugins, allowing testers to write tests in a human-readable format.  
  • Sofy: Sofy.ai simplifies the UI testing process by combining AI-driven automation, exploratory testing, and comprehensive test management features, making it a valuable tool for ensuring the quality and usability of a mobile app's user interface. 
  • BrowserStack: BrowserStack offers a cloud-based platform for testing mobile and web applications across thousands of devices and browser combinations. It simplifies cross-platform UI testing by providing real device access for accurate testing results, without the need for physical device management. 
  • Sauce Labs: Sauce Labs provides a cloud-based testing platform that supports mobile Ui test automation for mobile and web applications. It enables developers and testers to run tests in parallel across a vast selection of devices and browsers, significantly speeding up the testing process and ensuring comprehensive coverage. 

Writing Your First Test for Mobile UI Testing 

Testing your mobile app's user interface (UI) is crucial for ensuring a seamless and positive user experience. Here’s how you can structure simple tests for key features in your app, applicable across platforms: 

Feature: User Login 

Scenario: Unsuccessful User Login 

  • Given the app has launched 
  • And I wait for the "Login" button to appear 
  • When I enter "testuser" into the "Username" field 
  • And I enter "qwerty" into the "Password" field 
  • And I touch "Login" 
  • Then I should see the message "Username you entered is incorrect." 

Scenario: Successful User Login 

  • Given the app has launched 
  • And I wait for the "Login" button to appear 
  • When I enter "testeruser" into the "Username" field 
  • And I enter "qwerty" into the "Password" field 
  • And I touch "Login" 
  • Then I should see "Hey testeruser!" 

Feature: Weather Display 

Scenario: View Weather Details 

  • Given the weather app has launched 
  • When I check the default location 
  • Then I should see the current temperature, weather condition, and other relevant details. 

Scenario: Search and Verify Weather 

  • Given the weather app has launched 
  • When I search for the weather in "New York" 
  • Then I should see the current temperature, weather condition, and other relevant details for "New York." 

In these examples, the first set of scenarios tests the login functionality of an app, expecting it to handle both unsuccessful and successful login attempts properly. The second set focuses on a weather app, testing the app's ability to display weather details accurately for both a default location and a searched location. These tests help to ensure that the app's core functionalities work as intended, providing a good starting point for more detailed UI testing across any mobile platform. Unlock the potential of your mobile apps with our expert mobile app testing services and ensure superior user experiences, and optimal functionality.

Conclusion 

From enhancing user satisfaction to maintaining brand reputation, mobile UI testing offers a range of benefits, including bug detection, consistent user experience, and increased user satisfaction. Implementing effective strategies, such as testing on real devices, conducting usability testing, and leveraging mobile Ui test automation tools, proves instrumental in overcoming challenges and achieving success in the competitive app market. Additionally, understanding the unique challenges posed by device fragmentation, operating system variations, network variability, and rapid release cycles is essential. 

If you have any questions or need assistance, contact us now. We're here to help!

Have a project for us?

Let's make a quality product! Tell us about your project, and we will prepare an individual solution.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is mobile UI testing?

It refers to the process of evaluating and validating the user interface of a mobile application. It involves testing the visual elements, interactions, responsiveness, and overall usability of the app's UI on different mobile devices and platforms. 

Why is mobile UI testing important?

It aids in the discovery and correction of UI flaws that could affect user pleasure, usability, and navigation. You can deliver an aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly interface that improves the entire user experience by testing the UI. 

What are the key benefits of mobile UI testing for app success?

It offers increased user satisfaction, ensures a consistent user experience, detects bugs and defects early in the development process, and enhances brand reputation through a well-designed interface. 

What are some challenges in mobile UI testing?

Challenges include device fragmentation, rapid changes in operating systems, network variability, limited resources, testing user interactions, and differences in UI between Android and iOS. 

How can mobile UI testing contribute to the success of an app?

To produce high quality software with good user experience, mobile UI testing is essential. A seamless and error-free user interface improves user pleasure, boosts app adoption and retention, raises app store ratings, and makes the app stand out in a crowded market. 

Recommended Articles