More Ways to Test – Using Tea/Coffee Breaks in your Mobile Testing

Testing is often thought of as dull and monotonous, yet something that has to be done. However, I’ve found some fun ways to add variety and incorporate extra testing into everyday routines.

The Cup of Tea Test

I used to perform this test on websites to test session timeouts, but now I have found a way to use it with mobile apps.

Often, when you are testing a mobile app, you’ll be using it intensively, going through the functionality, tapping the keys, rotating and shaking the phone, backgrounding and foregrounding the app…All good stuff, but there’s one aspect of mobile testing that can get left out in this frenzy of testing.

Go off and make a cup of tea. Allow time for the tea to brew. Have a quick chat with your colleagues. By the time you go back to your desk, the lock screen should have kicked in. What happens when you unlock and start using the app again?

The Pocket Test

I used to have a “book test” where I’d knock a book onto the keyboard, giving the app a sudden deluge of keyboard events to process. I’ve been able to adapt this test for mobile apps.

Leave the app open, and put the phone into your pocket. You will have some random input going into your app. Combine this with walking down to make a cup of tea, and see how your app behaves.

The Coffee Shop Test

If you’re sitting at your desk running tests, your app probably has a good stable WiFi connection. To give it more of a challenge, head over to the coffee shop. As you go, you’ll start to get a weaker WiFi signal, then none, and then you’ll have to connect to a new source. How did your app behave?

Getting away from your desk can add more variables to your testing and help mimic user behavior. If you have any extra tricks like these in your testing repertoire, let me know in the comments.


Looking for more ways to test? Read some of the other posts in this series:

  1. Lights, Camera, Action, Bugs!
  2. Follow the Data
  3. Quick Attacks on CRUD Apps
  4. Is it a Good Story?
  5. Testing for App Consistency
  6. Quick Tests for Your Web App
  7. “Alarming” Problems You Should be Preventing
  8. A Tester’s Consistency Checklist
  9. Peripherals? I’d Forgotten about Those…
  10. Alternating Phone Models Per Test Cycle
  11. Using Tea/Coffee Breaks in your Mobile Testing
  12. Testing Error Conditions