Aircraft manufacturers spend millions building airplanes and ensuring that these 100-ton metal spheres can take flight. But what happens when they’re in the air? Are they aerodynamically sound enough to fly smoothly through high winds in the real world?
Testing this out in the actual sky would be expensive and dangerous, so plane manufacturers use a wind tunnel, a huge circular pipe with a fan in the middle that pushes wind blasts five times stronger than a hurricane at a mounted airplane.
Wind tunnels test and prepare airplanes for the real world (and certainly give pilots peace of mind). And so it should be with mobile apps. At Perfecto, we think your apps merit the same intense real-world simulation testing as airplanes. Before it ends up on a user’s screen, an app should be tested against the many types of real world user conditions and environments, including degraded network conditions, conflicting apps and call and text message interruptions, to name a few.
Our industry-first approach to include real user conditions in mobile test coverage is called, appropriately, Wind Tunnel™. It’s a new capability built on top of Perfecto’s existing cloud-based Continuous Quality Lab.
To start, Wind Tunnel™ offers a set of user profiles — for instance, The Corporate Road Warrior (see below), The Gamer, The Stay-at-Home Mom — that assist in defining what real user conditions need to be emulated during testing. Our objective with Wind Tunnel™ is to align your testing methods to the actual user for whom you’ve created the application.
As part of Wind Tunnel™, Perfecto will offer a number of preset user-profiles to choose from, and will also offer the ability to customize user profiles to your needs.
Profiles contain test conditions that, unaccounted for, can affect apps dramatically, including various device issues such as low battery, changes to location or network quality, response during peak transaction times and resource conflicts with background apps.
Wind Tunnel™ also offers developers, Dev/Test teams and executives the following benefits:
- Efficient and early analysis – Easily assess mobile events, device vitals, and various conditions that impact the user experience.
- No change to existing test scripts or build processes – Apply real user conditions onto existing automated tests using popular orchestration tools such as Jenkins or TestNG.
We believe strongly that testing the responsiveness of an app from the end-user perspective is essential. The always-on, always-connected user holds the cards, and brands that succeed in the era of digital engagement need to constantly think about — and test for — the entire user experience.
Just as airplanes rely on wind tunnels to test for the unpredictable skies, mobile apps deserve the same level of testing for unpredictable user environments. After all, your app may work in ideal conditions, but today’s digitally-engaged user also needs it to fly in a hurricane.
For a deeper dive into how Wind Tunnel™ works, including instructions and code samples, see our Complete Wind Tunnel Guide.