Imagine you have a brilliant app idea with incredible features and functions that are non-existent in the market. You launch the app thinking that this unique approach will take you a long way, but the app may fail miserably if it experiences frequent crashes, security breach, poor responsiveness, or any other factor that doesn’t fall under the purview of functionality. Sometimes, we emphasize on the idea, market value, functionalities, and features and overlook the non-functional aspects. Non-functional testing is an important part of the whole testing process which has to be performed in order to keep the app prepared for real-world scenario.
Non-functional testing refers to testing of non-functional parameters of the app that includes performance, reliability, compatibility, usability, security etc. The non-functional parameters give a measure of app’s readiness to face the real world. To get the best results of non-functional testing and ensure it is tested thoroughly, organizations have shifted to non-functional test automation from manual testing. Automating non-functional testing improves efficiency and accuracy, while delivering faster results.
‘Non-functional testing’ is an umbrella term used to refer a diverse range of testing parameters. Let’s understand non-functional testing in-detail and its different subsets.
Everything you should know about non-functional testing
With apps gaining immense popularity, organizations are making sure they don’t leave even a single loophole that can take their competitors ahead. The growing emphasize on apps have increased the need to improve their quality, hence, app testing becomes an important part of the whole app development process. To ensure the app is of top-notch quality, testing should be done to non-functional parameters too, in addition to functional testing.
Automated non-functional testing is the trend, where testing of the non-functional parameters is introduced earlier in the development process so that any defect can be removed immediately without letting it reach the later stages where it can cause severe consequences. This approach of testing non-functional parameters earlier in the software development lifecycle can significantly reduce cost and speed up the process too.
Here are some of the benefits of performing non-functional testing:
- Non-functional testing improves app installation, execution, and management
- It improves performance, security, usability, scalability, portability, and maintainability of the app
- It reduces operational risks
- Offers greater user experience post release
- Increases app responsiveness
- Improves app performance
- Secures the app from malicious attack
- Great experience attracts more users, leading to improved ROI
Difference between functional and non-functional testing
It involves testing all the functional parameters of the app
, in short, testing the app’s operations
|It involves testing of app’s behavior in real-world environment
Testing is performed to check if the actual results
and expected results are the same
|It is performed to test the speed and response time under specific conditions
Functionalities are added and tested to surpass
the competitor and create good business
|Non-functional testing is incorporated to improve user experience
|Popular functional testing methods
* Regression testing
* Unit testing
* Integration testing
|Popular non-functional testing methods
* Performance testing
* Load testing
* Security testing
|It is implemented to improve the app behavior
|It is implemented to improve app performance
Non-functional testing techniques
The popular non-functional parameters that should be included while testing an app are:
Performance testing: Performance testing is the critical parameter that involves testing the response time of the app. It is basically performed to test how fast the app performs even under heavy load. A good performance is enough to attract more users and increase the download numbers.
Compatibility testing: There are thousands of mobile devices, web browsers, and platforms with varied configurations available, and we are not sure on which platform the customer is going to use the app. Hence, compatibility testing is performed to check the app’s compatibility across devices and platforms.
Usability testing: Usability testing is performed to check how user-friendly the app is, is the UI consistent, are users enjoying a seamless experience.
Load testing: Load testing involves testing the performance of the app when multiple users are accessing it all at once. This is performed to see how much load the app can withstand post-launch.
Stress testing: Stress testing is performed to check the app’s effectiveness under unfavourable conditions. It is important to prepare the app for unseen scenarios.
Volume testing: Volume testing is performed to test the app’s performance with an increased volume of data. Here, huge databases are created and tested to check the app’s effectiveness.
Security testing: The app deals with sensitive information like name, address, contact details, credit card details, etc, which when reaches the unauthorized hands can be misused. In addition to being a breach of privacy, these details can be used to cause reputational and financial loss too, hence, safeguarding the app is of utmost importance. Security testing is performed to prevent and safeguard the app from malicious parties and offer peace of mind to the users.
The above details support the argument that non-functional testing is a critical component of the app testing process. Without testing the non-functional parameters, the app will fail to establish itself in the market and attract more users. Hence, non-functional testing should be incorporated to achieve the business objectives.