As a beginner to Software Testing, I was asked to test a mobile app for practice. Being a novice to this field, out of my pride I thought I was smart to think “out of the box”. I reported bugs after reading and investigating the app reviews left in the marketplace.
I was unaware of the importance of fully leveraging the value of appstore/playstore reviews till I worked with my team on a real time project. App reviews are crucial to understand the end users’ major pain points and see where the product stands in the market.
I learnt that we should not just evaluate the product by running thousands of test cases and generating a test report out of it. We get the best results when we go above and beyond the generic routine. It is about understanding the product and its users. When it comes to the matter of business requirements, we get insights about it at a very early stage. But what about the end users requirements for whom it is developed?
One of the easiest way for testers to gauge the app users emotions are by reading the Play Store/ Appstore reviews. It helps us to decide what kind of tests are needed in that particular context. We can glean vital information and warning signs by going through the reviews.
Business requirement vs User requirement
In one of the projects that we worked on, it was found that the un-installation count was higher than the installation count per week. This raised a Red alert for us and led us to re-test it again. After scouring through the reviews, we noticed that most of the issues were related to Fake products, Product Delivery and Customer support.
After singling out the problem areas, the issues were raised to the development team and they were fixed gradually. If I as a tester did not have a good grasp of the users problems, I would have repeated the same test as I had approached before the delivery and would have failed to figure out the root cause of the problem. Because here the issue was not with the app behavior or code, it was something that was out of app control but had a direct impact on the business.
The Real Customer Support
Increasing app uninstallation count is one of the most threatening nightmares for the product owners and has the potential to result in a massive fiasco. But if we can understand the users needs and empathize with them, then we can suggest product owners about the difficulties faced by users. If you are of the opinion that “Customer Support” is there for this job, let me remind you from a Tester’s point of view that what if the users are facing problem with customer support itself or what if there is no proper customer support team at all?
What is an App Review trying to say to you?
There are many factors which can make the app a big hit among users. Being a tester I know that overall app stability does not lie with the technical aspect alone and it includes other factors (such as Customer Support, Delivery, Seller response, etc) that impact business.
While working on a project our team developed this pie chart which explains the key pointers in app reviews. We get an idea of the areas which need to be focused on more so as to improve the user experience. Here it is clear that the major areas of concern are performance (battery drain, network issues etc), the marketplace, payment, etc.
App reviews are a good source to know about the end users, their expectations and experiences.
“Products are built for the users to use. In the end it’s between the user and the product. Better the quality of communication between these two ends, better the growth of the Business.”
How important are App Store Reviews for your business?? Check out our article http://vintage.moolya.com/testing-stories/app-ratings-the-stars-you-need-to-shine/
Written By: Himansha Tyagi | Exploratory Tester