In many cases, you have no plan to take up any test automation tools in the beginning of your first mobile project. You put all of your efforts on developing a blueprint of your app or game, run it locally on your own device, and test it manually. This is a typical approach adopted by almost every developer in the world, in spite of the recommendation of testing early and testing often.
While you can handle the quality assurance of your project in a manual way at the early stage, test automation is a long-term strategy to scale up your business success. And you should take into account test automation when your team has following signs.
1) Many Repetitive Test Cases
Test automation enables you to avoid many repetitive tests that run for multiple builds, which are highly error prone with manual testing.
For instance, one of your daily testing task must be testing the success of account creation. To make sure the path of account creation is smooth enough every day or even every several hours, you must do repetitive tests. And you will have more burden when your app has integration with various social media. Under this circumstance, manual testing can’t guarantee any productivity and efficiency for repetitive tests.
Meanwhile, if your app/game has a tutorial for new users, that is something you can also take care of with the help of test automation every day.
2) Increasing Number of Devices to Test Against
Another timing for adopting test automation is when you need to test your apps and games on several tens or hundreds of devices.
When you start seeing more failures or negative reviews on more unique devices, you realize that it is time to test thoroughly on more real devices to find the bugs before your users do. Theoretically, you could acquire every device you need and hire lots of testers or even outsource the testing tasks. But the truth is that is unreasonably expensive and far from agile approach.
While manual testing does not bring in any scalability, relying on test automation significantly improves test effectiveness and efficiency.
3) Distributed Teams in Different Locations
Test automation benefits you to get agile project management and continuous integration that help distributed teams to complete user stories within a sprint.
When your business starts growing and expanding to different locations, distributed teams always have difficulties on clear and swift communication, due to factors such as time zones, language barriers, and cultural differences. With manual testing, one team cannot pull in changes from other teams frequently and rapidly before the final integration with master.
Nevertheless, teams can rely on test automation to automate builds once and reuse them as much as possible, regardless of where they are located. This frees up each team, especially development team to focus on new features.
4) Testing Plan Failing to Meet Release Time
When you notice your testing plan fails to meet release time, you should judge if manual testing drags the whole process and think about applying test automation for your daily testing tasks.
When your users submit bad reviews and experiences with your apps, they are already expecting the fixes in the next minute. After they finish debugging, development team will be counting on you to make sure the new version works perfectly as soon as possible. Henceforth, the longer your testing plan is, the later you can make your release. This could result in a gradual customer churn.
In case that you are actually looking for a test automation solution, you can download our free guide: 5 Things to Consider When Adopting Mobile App Test Automation