Feature Testing – Applications and Best Practices

Did you ever notice a new update of your favorite software released in the market? Did you pay attention to the additional features it offers? No matter whether you’re using a mobile application of software on your desktop, installing software updates is not an uncommon concept.

The current tech market has turned highly competitive and occupying a permanent place in the market has become a matter of great challenge. There are various parameters that can affect the performance of a software. Various testing methodologies like unit testing, automation testing and feature testing have been put forward to combat the related issues.

Software testing methodologies have continued to exist in the market ever since the concept of ‘software updates’ came forward. New versions of the same software can be seen with additional features and uses. In some cases, bug-free versions of the software are also released without any new features to ensure good performance.

What is Feature Testing?

Feature testing is the process of making changes in the system, to add one or more new features or make modifications on the previous one. It is also ensured that each feature has unique characteristics that are useful, effective and intuitive.

Certain measures are taken in the process of feature testing responsible for the evolvement of feature testing. For example, the user uses the functionality in many unexpected ways. So the generally used features should be tested minutely in every new version with relevant regression testing in the particular areas.

Latest Feature Testing Examples

One of the most popular social networks, Facebook recently released some new features such as group voice calling, go live and pop-up videos. Go-live and group voice calling features are currently released only in smartphones. However, the group video testing is still under testing phase.

Go-live, a radio-like feature pushes the user to watch a video in a small pop-up window. It was launched in February 2016. When a user goes online, Facebook sends a notification to everyone in their friend-list and they can view the broadcast right then or later.

Although the user gets a command on the toll this feature takes in sucking the amount of data, the pop-up property tends to annoy some users. Facebook has reportedly launched the same property for other videos as well.

After launching a one-to-one video chat feature in messenger, it is now planning to launch a group video chat option for up to 50 users at a time. This feature is said to be in close competition with Microsoft’s Skype. Currently, it is under testing phase on iOS and Android, soon it is expected to release on desktops.

Although it is accepted as a very convenient feature that can be used while online conferences, interactive meetings, etc. its pop-up property tends to be annoying to many users.

Besides, the toll this feature takes on mobile data cannot be ignored.

Let us understand the importance of feature testing through another example.

Another popular messenger app, WhatsApp also rolled out Video Chat feature on iOS and Android apps in November 2016. It is under testing phase for launch on desktops. The only concern most of the users reported was the bandwidth it depends on.

How to test a feature effectively?

The task of feature testing could be a daunting one if proper measures are not taken before initiating the process. There is a chance that you might end up with faulty or less accurate results, ultimately going through the cycle once again.

Let us go through the different precautions one should follow during the early stages of the development cycle.

  1. Understand the feature properly

It is very important that the user should understand the importance of feature testing. They should go through the important specifications and requirements pertaining to a particular feature, before performing the operations. An in-depth analysis of the current functioning is very crucial.

2. Build different test scenarios

The second task is to make a list of possible test cases to test a particular feature. This would help in maintaining coverage and traceability.

3. Prepare the list of positive and negative data sets

The testers should maintain a proper documentation of all positive, negative and boundary cases before beginning the test.

4. Steps of implementation

The testers should know the features in a close detail about the feature(s) or importance of test features implemented in an application. This helps in making a clear track to achieve the goal.

5. Deploy the build early

Feature testing should be started in the early phase of the development cycle. This enables the testers to report the defects and repeat the same process in every release.

Feature testing is a very important task to grab the market with the same software tool. With every release and user satisfaction, the demand for a particular software gains stability and increases with time.

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