How to Write Test Cases for Mobile App Testing: 4 Valuable Practices

November 11, 2023

The key difference in test cases for mobile apps lies in their adaptability to diverse devices, user interfaces, screen sizes, and network conditions, as well as the specific considerations related to mobile features and app store policies. These characteristics require a customized approach to testing to ensure a seamless and satisfactory user experience on mobile devices. In this article, the Zebrunner test management team shares insights on creating test cases for mobile app testing.

The role of test cases in mobile app testing

Mobile app testing is not just about uncovering bugs; it’s about ensuring that the app functions seamlessly, provides an excellent user experience, and meets the expectations of its intended users. Effective test cases are the cornerstone of this endeavor.

To write good test cases for mobile app testing, you need the right tools. Fortunately, there are numerous test case management solutions. Pay attention to whether your tool provides the opportunity for creating, organizing, executing, and reporting on your test cases, how the test management software integrates with other testing tools, whether it provides an intuitive interface, and whether you can hope for help from the support team.

Practice #1. Create and apply a requirement traceability matrix (RTM)

An RTM is a structured document that serves as a bridge between software requirements and test cases. It establishes a traceable link between the requirements outlined in your software specifications and the corresponding test cases. The primary purpose of an RTM is to ensure that every requirement is addressed by one or more test cases. In other words, it provides complete visibility into the coverage of your testing process.

A short guide on creating and using an RTM for mobile app testing

Gather your requirements. Start by collecting all the software requirements from your documentation or project specifications. These requirements could include functional specifications, user stories, or any other relevant documentation.

Designate a unique identifier. Assign a unique identifier, often referred to as a Requirement ID, to each requirement. This identifier will be used to cross-reference requirements with test cases.

Create a table. Create a table with columns for Requirement ID, Requirement Description, and Test Cases. This table is the core of your RTM, allowing you to document the links between requirements and test cases.

Link test cases. For each requirement, specify the test cases that are associated with it. List the Test Case IDs in the corresponding column. This step helps establish traceability between requirements and test cases.

Update your RTM regularly. Ensure that your RTM is kept up to date throughout the testing process. As new requirements are added or modified, reflect these changes in the matrix.

#2. Prioritize test cases

As all we know, time and resources are limited. To make the most of what you have, you need to allocate them wisely. This is where prioritization comes into play. Prioritizing test cases allows you to identify and focus on the most critical aspects of your mobile app. It ensures that high-impact areas are thoroughly tested, reducing the risk of missing significant defects.

Moreover, prioritization helps you maintain testing efficiency, ensuring that your team’s efforts are channeled toward the elements that matter most to your end users.

A short guideline on categorizing test cases into priority levels

Understand your app’s critical features. Begin by having a clear understanding of your mobile app’s critical features. These are the functionalities that, if they fail, could have severe consequences for your users. Identify areas that are mission-critical, high-risk, or have a significant impact on the user experience.

Categorize test cases. Divide your test cases into categories based on the features or functionality they cover. Some test cases will be linked to critical features, while others may be related to non-essential components.

Assign priority levels. Once your test cases are categorized, assign priority levels to each. Critical test cases should be designated as the highest priority, followed by high-priority test cases, and so on. This step helps in creating a clear hierarchy.

Use risk assessment. Consider the risk factors associated with each test case. The potential impact of a defect in a particular feature, as well as its likelihood of occurring, can guide you in determining its priority. Test cases with high impact and likelihood should be given top priority.

Collaborate with stakeholders. Involve your team and stakeholders in the prioritization process. Their insights and perspectives can provide a more comprehensive view of what’s crucial to the app’s success.

#3. Write test scenarios

Test scenarios serve as a foundation for creating test cases and play a crucial role in ensuring comprehensive coverage of the application’s functionality. Also, test scenarios are often derived from real user expectations and typical user behavior. This guarantees that your testing efforts focus on the most critical and realistic usage scenarios.

The process of deriving test cases from test scenarios involves breaking down each scenario into detailed, executable test steps. These steps should cover the following aspects:

  1. Preconditions. Define the initial conditions necessary for the scenario to be executed successfully. This may include app settings, user authentication, or specific data inputs.
  2. Actions. Specify the sequence of user actions or system interactions needed to replicate the scenario. This can include tapping buttons, entering text, navigating menus, and more.
  3. Expected results. Clearly state what should happen when the scenario is executed correctly. This includes the app’s behavior, responses, and any changes in the app’s state.
  4. Alternate paths. Consider any alternative paths or deviations from the main scenario. This helps in testing edge cases and ensuring robustness.

Example of a test scenario

Let’s consider a simple mobile banking app as an example. Here is a test scenario that can be derived from common user expectations:

Scenario: Login and check account balance

    • Preconditions: User credentials, stable internet connection.
    • Actions: Open the app, log in with valid credentials, and navigate to the balance screen.
    • Expected Results: The app displays the user’s account balance accurately.

#4. Take into account the end user’s point of view

Testing from the end user’s perspective is a critical aspect of mobile app testing. It ensures that the application not only functions correctly but also provides a positive and user-friendly experience. A mobile app that offers a smooth and satisfying user experience is more likely to be well-received by customers. Satisfied users are more likely to continue using the app, leave positive reviews, and recommend it to others. On the other hand, poor user experience can lead to user churn, where users abandon the app due to frustration or dissatisfaction.

Examples of real-life scenarios where end-user experience testing is critical

E-commerce app: For an e-commerce app, end-user experience testing involves scenarios like product search, adding items to the cart, secure checkout, and tracking orders. Ensuring a smooth shopping experience is critical to retaining customers.

Social media app: In a social media app, testing user interactions, posting content, receiving notifications, and exploring user profiles are essential to create a positive user experience.

Healthcare app: In healthcare apps, scenarios could include booking appointments, accessing medical records, or receiving real-time health alerts. Ensuring ease of use and accurate information is crucial.

Navigation app: For navigation apps, end-user experience testing covers features like GPS accuracy, route planning, real-time traffic updates, and voice-guided directions. Ensuring users can rely on the app for navigation is paramount.


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