Questions to ask your app development company:
How should your developers be testing your app?
There are a number of ways your app development company can test your app, which aren’t limited to fully-functional prototypes or specific stages in the project.
A few things your developers should ALWAYS do:
- Challenge your idea during the research stage
- Test specific elements/features before actually building them
- Use design sprints to get feedback and make iterations
- Test the app with real users in the real world
- Look for alternative ways of achieving your goals
The most important thing to make sure of:
Your developers use a range of different methods and integrate these into their project plan or process. If you have an idea for an app feature, your developers should always make testing this feature a priority through basic versions, real users and more developed prototypes.
The research stage: Testing your initial ideas
Whether you’re developing an Android or iOS app, you’ll more than likely sit down with your developers during the research stage to map out the best ways of achieving your goals. This should involve a few things that tend to differ between companies and projects, but should always include:
Basic concepts should be tested in sketch and validated with real users, giving an idea of the first impressions, opinions and ideas that people have about your app.
If the sketching goes smoothly, you can build a prototype. But if the idea hasn’t panned out the way you want it to, then you go back to sketch and make changes based on the feedback.
Prototypes offer a more complete design for users, moving on from basic sketches and providing more usability and experience led insights.
Design sprints and rapid prototyping
Design sprints are a unique process for answering crucial questions through prototyping and testing ideas with customers. It’s a mix of business strategy, innovation, behavioural science, design and more – packaged into a step-by-step process that can take anywhere up to twelve weeks.
They’re always used to test different things, but should aim to do the following:
- Challenge concepts
- Define problems
- Identify solutions
- Test ideas
The way this is done is by building basic versions of your app to find designs and functionality that suit you, before testing with real users and adapting the designs based on their feedback.
Make sure your developers:
Challenge your concepts and ideas to define not what you or they think the problem is, but what your end users do. Once the problem is defined they should work collaboratively to come up with a solution, which can be tested by real users.