Specifics and Challenges of Augmented Reality Testing
Now that augmented reality is no longer a science fiction fantasy and has become an essential part of the business strategy for companies across industries, it is important to start developing AR technology to keep up with market conditions. This means that you will need an AR app to build stronger longer-lasting relationships with your customers and provide them with customized user experience. In order to make sure that your you AR satisfies your business requirements, you will need to test it rigorously and often. In this article, we will take a look at how to test AR application and what difficulties you may encounter.
The Specifics of AR App QA Testing
Testing an AR app will be more difficult than a regular app. You will need to set up the correct environment, test it with different objects, lighting conditions, and many other factors. Therefore, the process will be much more time-consuming since so many factors must be accounted for. In order to keep track of all the nuances, it is a good idea to come up with a checklist of all the functions the QA team will need to look at, and test augmented reality with different devices. This includes things like screen orientations, memory and battery consumptions, front and rear-facing cameras, and other components included within the device. It would not be a good idea to use emulators since they cannot replace the actual devices customers use, so be sure to test your app on actual smartphones and tablets.
How to Test Augmented Reality Apps
Testing AR apps will include the standard testing pyramid, which consists of:
- UI Testing – This is an exploratory test where QA engineers try to replicate actual user experiences. So, they will point the smartphone or tablet at various points and determine how easy it would be for the customer to use. A/B testing augmented reality here is important because as you make changes and updates, you will have to compare it with the original version to measure the progress made.
- Integration Testing – With regular mobile apps, integration testing is used for all the components within the app come together to function as one holistic unit, and the same is done for AR apps as well. However, there are additional factors that must be accounted for. For example, if you are creating an AR gaming app, you may be using ARKit with Unity engine. You must test how these two will work together.
- Unit Testing – This is where you will test the performance of individual components. So, to continue the example used above, if you are using ARKit, you will need to test all the components included in this SDK.
What complicates the entire process is the wide array of conditions that the customer might be using the app in. For example, they might use it in a poorly lighted room, or from a moving viewpoint. All of this makes testing and programming augmented reality apps very difficult.
Test Early and Often
If you are hiring a software development company to create your app, it is very important that they have previous experience with developing AR technology. They need to know the standard testing procedures and account for the nuances mentioned above. After you provide your requirements to the service provider, they need to integrate testing into the entire software development lifecycle (SDLC). If they are testing early and often, they will be able to notice bugs and other issues before they snowball into major defects. Even small bugs might be difficult and time-consuming to fix at the final stages of development.
For startups and medium-sized businesses, testing is especially important because a botched rollout could literally destroy the entire product. Nowadays, users have no tolerance for any usability issues, and if they encounter any problems while using your app, they will not hesitate to delete it and give a bad review. Such PR issues might be more expensive and difficult to overcome than even technological issues which makes testing even more important. While conducting repeated test might add to the cost of the project, it will save you a lot of money and headache when all is said and done.
Finally, think about the value that you would like to provide to your users. You are creating an app for a specific business purpose, and you need to be sure that you have achieved this when development is complete. If testing is conducted on a regular basis, you will be kept up to date by the project manager about the various stages of development, the features that have been added, and how testing is going. This is especially true if the service provider is using the Agile methodology, where builds are performed in sprints, usually 1-2 weeks, and at the end of each sprint, they will show you what has been achieved.
Therefore, be sure to take all of this into account if you are looking to test your product or create one from scratch. Testing is a vital process of software development even though it might be time-consuming, with advanced technology, it becomes more important than ever. Have a sit down meeting with the service provider and ask them how they approach the testing process and what factors they are taking into account.