Why mobile app testing needs be taken seriously and done thoroughly.
In today’s digital age, mobile applications have become an integral part of our lives, offering convenience, entertainment, and productivity. However, the success of a mobile app hinges on its reliability, performance, and user experience. Unfortunately, releasing an app that hasn’t been adequately tested on mobile can have severe repercussions for both users and the company behind it. Let’s explore the impact of poorly tested or not tested at all mobile applications, backed by real-world examples.
Negative reviews and app ratings:
Poorly tested apps are often bombarded with negative reviews and low ratings. Users who encounter bugs or functionality issues express their frustration, warning others to steer clear. In 2022, the UK-based food delivery app, JustEat faced a barrage of negative reviews due to persistent bugs, outages and customers struggling at the check-out page. Users vented their disappointment and dissatisfaction, impacting the app’s overall rating and deterring potential customers from using the service.
Lost revenue opportunities:
When an app fails to meet users’ expectations due to lack of testing, it jeopardizes revenue potential. Users may abandon the app and seek alternatives, resulting in lost monetization opportunities. In 2022, users of the Argos website and mobile app encountered a major checkout issue with adding items to their basket, however when they went to complete their purchase, their basket returned to being empty. As a result, users abandoned their shopping carts and likely turned to competitor apps, leading to a substantial loss in revenue for the company.
Brand reputation at stake:
Releasing a poorly tested app can damage the reputation of the company behind it. Users associate app performance with the brand’s overall quality and reliability. For example, in 2021, the UK government launched the NHS COVID-19 contact tracing app with the aim of mitigating the spread of the virus. However, the app encountered significant usability issues and technical glitches. Users reported difficulties in registering their COVID-19 test results, incorrect exposure notifications, and poor overall performance. These problems resulted in a lack of trust and adoption, compromising the effectiveness of the app in its intended purpose.
Escalating development and support costs:
Skipping or insufficient testing may save time initially, but it ultimately results in increased development and support costs. Identifying and fixing issues after the release is a time-consuming and resource-intensive process. In 2023, RyanAir, experienced website and app outages, with users crucially not being able to check-in for their flights. The company had to allocate additional resources to address user complaints, provide bug fixes, and improve overall app performance, incurring unexpected costs.
User experience woes:
When an app is released without thorough mobile testing, users bear the brunt of a subpar experience. The app may be plagued with frequent crashes, sluggish performance, frustrating usability issues or conversion blockers.
Ryanair’s mobile app exemplifies this issue. Its booking interface employs “dark UX” design, intentionally confusing users and concealing charges. For instance, the option to decline insurance is hidden within an unrelated menu, causing users to unintentionally purchase unnecessary add-ons. Negative reviews flooded the app stores, further damaging the brand’s reputation.
Security risks and data breaches:
Neglecting security testing exposes users and the company to significant risks. Vulnerabilities in mobile apps can be exploited by attackers, potentially leading to unauthorized access, data breaches, and compromised user information. The well-known fitness app, MyFitnessPal, suffered a massive data breach in 2018, exposing the personal information of millions of users. The incident not only affected user trust but also resulted in substantial financial penalties and legal consequences.
The importance of mobile app testing
The impact of releasing a mobile app without proper testing cannot be understated. From user dissatisfaction and negative reviews to lost revenue opportunities and brand damage, the consequences are far-reaching. Companies must recognise the importance of rigorous testing to ensure a seamless user experience, maintain their brand’s reputation, and safeguard user data. Investing time, resources, and expertise in testing pays off in the long run, contributing to a successful app and a satisfied user base. For more information, check out our latest eBook, ‘The importance of mobile app testing, the benefits and how to do it’.