Category Archives: books

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.

 

Tap Into Mobile Application Testing Book Now Available in Beta

Update: The book is no longer in beta. The final version was published in September 2013 and is available here: Tap Into Mobile Application Testing.

How did you spend your summer? I spent mine writing a book: Tap Into Mobile Application Testing. Now that smartphones and tablets are taking over the mobile space, there has been tremendous demand for ideas and training on how to test on these devices. I started out with my Testing Mobile Apps course, but that only scales so far. Many of you have asked me about writing a book on the topic, so I did. It’s not completely finished yet, but I managed to create most of the content I had hoped to share.

I have two audiences with this book:

  1. Mobilists without much testing experience
  2. Professional testers without much mobile experience

I wrote the book with both of these audiences in mind, and I was also pleased to learn that even deeply experienced mobile testers told me they learned a lot of new ideas and approaches for their own testing projects after reviewing the book.

It is only available in electronic formats right now: PDF, epub and mobi, which should work on most e-reader apps on most mobile devices. I chose mobile first because that’s the medium many of my readers will choose first. It’s also faster for me to get content out there, and many traditional publishers print dead tree copies first, then look at electronic versions. I am using Leanpub, which allows me to publish free updates to every reader who has purchased a copy, even the finalized version that I am targeting for a release later in the year. Once I have a finalized version, I will provide print copies using a print-on-demand service.

The Beta version is a bit rough around the edges. I still have the following on my to-do list:

  • Copy editing and attribution clean up
  • Creating figures and images
  • Section rewrites and new material where needed

If you notice something wrong, misattributed, or missing feel free to contact me and I can fix it before the final version is complete in December.

If you are curious about mobile apps testing on modern devices, I hope you find it useful.