Category Archives: app development

Book Excerpt: The Seven Deadly Sins of Mobile Apps

This is an excerpt from my book: “Tap Into Mobile Application Testing“, from Chapter 10, pp. 431-432:

Here is a simple summary I created to help you think of different areas an app can fail. This is another mind hack you can use to quickly organize your thoughts, and analyze an application quickly.

  1. Lust: the app advertises that it can do a lot more than it actually can. It leaves you feeling unfulfilled and wanting more.
  2. Gluttony: it uses far too many resources. It uses up your device memory, downloads large image and other files, and slows down your device, eats up your data plan and kills your battery.
  3. Greed: the assumes you have a strong network connection, and would love to use as much of your network resources as possible. The app can’t handle poor or weak connections, or transitions between network types when you’re on the move.
  4. Sloth: the app performs very poorly. It is far too slow to respond to your interactions, and takes too long to do anything useful.
  5. Wrath: it doesn’t play well with other apps. It has special settings that override your defaults, and doesn’t allow other services to work well with it. It may even cause other apps to malfunction because of its behavior.
  6. Envy: The app is too close to other available apps out there that you would prefer to use instead. It’s a copycat. You just wasted precious time and resources to get an app that wishes it was something else, but it just can’t deliver on its features, and usefulness.
  7. Pride: The app is difficult to use, expecting users to adapt to its way instead of helping you be more effective.You are subordinate to it, and you have trouble using it, and end up feeling stupid. This is most likely due to designers and developers assuming they know better than the users, and ignoring valuable usability feedback and usability bugs.

Thanks to Shannon Hale and Jared Quinert for their help with this list.

This is now a talk!

Note: I have created a one hour talk on this topic if your company, user group or conference are interested. I provide tips for designers, developers and testers on how to create apps that are engaging and reliable for mobile users.


Test Mobile Apps with I SLICED UP FUN!

I unveiled a new testing mnemonic I use for testing mobile apps at Star West last week. I adapted it from James Bach’s SFDPOT, but with a special focus on some unique challenges mobile apps can provide. Several people who saw the talk asked me to publish it so they could use it with their teams, and here it is: Test Mobile Apps with I SLICED UP FUN!.

I’ve used this on mission critical medical apps all the way down to simple entertainment apps to help generate test ideas, and I hope you also find it useful.

Update, Sep. 29/2012:
This framework is elaborated on in much more detail in my book: Tap Into Mobile Application Testing, available on Leanpub.

This mnemonic has appeared in many publications, such as the book “The Everything Guide to Mobile Apps: A Practical Guide to Affordable Mobile App Development for Your Business“, magazine articles, conference talks, and most importantly, has helped thousands of people around the world find important bugs in the mobile apps they test.