Thanks to the rise of mobile phones that are powerful computers, many businesses that never worked with technology in the past are starting to use it to provide their customers with better service. Delivery and transportation services are two of the newer industries which are able to provide much better service than in the past simply because their apps know where you are due to the magic that is GPS.
This also means that new industries are being introduced to having software bugs in their apps. These bugs can hurt their reputation and cause potential customers to distrust them. Let’s take an example of a flower delivery service that has a slick mobile app that lets you put in a destination address and gives you an estimated cost. You are going big for your significant other’s birthday and want to send them 144 roses. The app estimates that the delivery fee will be $5 and that as an added convenience you won’t be charged until they are delivered. Then you’re charged $29 in delivery fees because apparently the app had a bug where it didn’t add the $2 surcharge for every additional dozen roses. You’re angry and, whether the company was trying to be deceptive or not, you think they lied to you.
Unfortunately these types of bugs are the last things on a company’s mind when they are launching a new mobile-based service or building a company around it in the first place. The company is probably using a third party vendor for the app and they trust that that vendor did their job right.
Two takeaways from this:
1) The most important interactions in your app, in this example increasing the number of roses to deliver, need to be tested thoroughly. You need to test them yourself.
2) You need to ask what your vendors do to test the software they give you. Research any jargon they throw at you so you have a good understanding of what is being done. I’d recommend a dedicated quality assurance person for your software.