According to the research, it takes about 50 milliseconds for users to form an opinion about web or mobile applications. That is only 0.05 second. What’s more, almost 50% of web or mobile app users expect a maximum of 2 seconds of average app loading time. Any delays in the time of loading applications have a direct impact on the credibility of your business. 

That is why you should make double and triple sure that there are no major hurdles in the usability of your product before you launch it and whenever you update it. How? Let’s take a closer look at performance testing. 

What is Performance Testing?

Performance testing is a type of test that helps to determine the speed and efficiency of your application. It measures the quality attributes of the system. Performance tests reveal the overall state, reactivity, scalability, and speed of the product compared to the standards set for your business.

What kind of applications should be subjected to performance testing?

To be honest… All web and mobile applications should undergo performance tests. No matter what the type of platform we’re talking about, they all require performance tests in their test plans:

    1. E-Commerce Applications

    2. SaaS based Applications

    3. Instant Messaging Apps

    4. Social Media Platforms

    5. Market-based Applications

    6. On-demand Mobile Apps

This will allow you to verify their performance under demanding circumstances while ensuring a flawless User Experience (UX).

The key elements of performance testing

Performance tests are designed to help nip in the bud any possible friction in User Experience and prevent major screw-ups on production. An application or system failure could cost you not only customers and their money but also reputation and enterprise resources.

Performance testing glossary

What are the basic terms you should know when it comes to performance testing?

  •     Bottlenecks
  •     Load Time
  •     Response Time
  •     Scalability

Bottlenecks

Bottlenecks are faulty codes or hardware errors. They bring the application’s functionality down. A minor file, if corrupted, can reduce the performance of the whole application.

Load time

Initially, it may take some time for the application to become fully functional after opening the app itself or a chosen feature. This is the precious time that determines the user’s impression of the application.

Response Time

The communication between the application and the user should be fast and smooth. Users expect a constant response from the application. A delay in the delivery of resources may affect the user experience.

Scalability

The ability to test the support of multiple users simultaneously in an application is usually not tested. The scalability of an application may be affected if it is not tested before releasing it in the market.

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Why is performance testing necessary?

It is necessary to include performance tests in the test plan. It is always helpful to keep the stability, speed, and performance of your application in check. Including performance tests in the test plan allows you to detect software problems at an early stage of development. They are affordable compared to detecting problems at later stages of software development. 

You need performance tests, if you want to make sure that your software is:

  • Stable
  • Fast
  • Scalable

If you skip the performance testing stage, it may happen that your application hangs and slows down. When you are testing the performance of your software, you are confident about its capabilities. 

No matter how good the features of your application may be, users tend to lose interest if it doesn’t work well or constantly crashes. Therefore, it is recommended not to skip this stage of performance testing. Let me show you the importance of the performance tests by understanding their benefits. Performance testing ensures that:

  • your system meets the performance criteria
  • your system performs well compared to others
  • the cost of remediation when a defect is detected is as low as possible.

Business Benefits Of Performance Testing:

1. Satisfied users

The first impression that potential customer forms about your company is crucial to product adoption, retention, and preventing churn for your business. Most users expect their web and mobile applications to load in 2 seconds without any buffering.

Testing the performance of systems helps to properly maintain systems and fix any kind of defects, before any customer can identify them.

2. High performance

Measuring system performance can contribute to improving the financial performance of the business as a whole.

Performance tests help improve load capacity and optimization, which allows a balance between infrastructure cost efficiency and UX.

Performance measurement can help you gauge the scalability, performance, and speed of software, which in turn helps to improve business performance. It also helps you identify any bugs and problems and get rid of them before you make them visible to end-users.

3. Reliable results

Performance testing helps your business by increasing confidence in delivering stable and good systems for production. 

Performance measurement can reduce the risk of failure and also provides more time in your hands.  It helps maintain the high standards of your organization, giving reliable results. It also prevents poor performance by conducting accurate test simulations.

4. Capacity management

The performance test indicates whether any hardware or production configuration needs to be improved before the new software is released to end-users. With such an impact on business decisions, measuring system performance can be really helpful in managing enterprise performance.

5. MEASURE THE SPEED, ACCURACY, AND STABILITY

Performance tests will help you answer the following questions related to speed, scalability, and stability.

  •     Speed: Does the application react fast enough for the potential user?
  •     Stability: Is the application stable under different loads?
  •     Accuracy: Does the application provide accurate results?

6. Eliminating bottlenecks and improving quality

Application performance has a major impact on the overall quality and popularity of applications. Every user is looking for a reliable and fast app. Performance testing has become a necessity in this competitive business world. It ensures that all bottlenecks are identified and removed on time.

7. IDENTIFYING THE PROBLEMS AND TAKING ACTIONS

Performance testing helps your business by identifying software problems, then analyzing the problem, and finally taking action to resolve the issues. This helps to provide users with the most effective and great experience with your business.

Successful testing means that when the software is released, more time can be spent improving the technology rather than extinguishing pre-existing business problems.

Case Study

The Client

Client is a company providing innovative, highly individualised experience in the fitness industry. They are serving VIP standard fitness training experience for athletes stationary in the US and, via online video platform, outside the US.

Challenge 1

One of the biggest challenges the client faces is achieving and maintaining top performance, accessibility and response time during peak traffic time that lasts… about 20 minutes per week. During that short window of time, when classes for upcoming week are released, the most popular sessions are sold out. Because of that high popularity it is required to keep high computing power to prevent single endpoint responsible for booking requests, becoming a bottleneck. The database and backend have to handle hundreds of bookings and cancelations per minute.

Maintaining high computing power at all times generates unnecessary costs, especially when in fact, it is consumed only during a small promile of time of its accessibility.

Solution

To resolve the problem we implemented a scalable solution. System set up additional machines to handle intensified traffic in a just-in-time approach. Just before currently used machines reach their peak performance, new ones are ready to take over excess of the traffic. 

Performance testing team created tests that perfectly reflected the behaviour of a single user during the booking window, and performed it simulating thousands of users at the same time. Based on QA results analysis, our devops were able to adjust and pinpoint the number of machines and build time required for maintaining highest standards of user experience, with average time of booking not exceeding 1.7 seconds. Thanks to smart resources management profits from classes raiser and costs of additional infrastructure are unnoticeable.

Challenge 2

Due to COVID-19 affecting most sectors, the client decided to develop the VoD section and Live Training section to keep delivering quality training experience to their current clients at their homes and also expand their reach outside of the US.  

Solution

As video traffic is literally unlimited we had to make sure that library and video detail features worked flawlessly and performed well. One of the difficulties was that we are storing last timecode and times watched for each video, that means we were not able to cache library responses for everyone. We had to test our system against many calls with different statistics. To accomplish that, we created a test scenario simulating five times higher traffic to our DB than anticipated and ran these for over 1 hour to be sure that service is stable and won’t be interrupted unexpectedly. 

Thanks to test runs like that DevOps were able to tweak DB performance to an adequate level, and the client could calmly wait for the grand opening of a new service.

Read more about this project
Learn how we moved a fitness studio online to boost customer experience for the existing clients and reach over 20,000 new users

When is the right time for performance testing?

To save time and money, performance tests should be conducted at an early stage of the application lifecycle or system development. This helps to test basic technologies such as network performance, load balancing, application server performance, database server performance, and web server performance. However, this should be done at the expected load level.

Detecting and correcting a performance problem after starting a website can be an extremely expensive proposition for you. As soon as all websites are built, the workload testing should start. Then, every time a module or part of the software or application is implemented, it should be tested for performance.

Performance testing if often ignored because organizations pay less attention to user experience than to how the app looks like. But the importance of testing is usually invoked when a product failure is on the brim.

Instead of testing the performance of an application when users start complaining, do it as part of your application testing plan. It may seem that testing can increase project costs, but it is always worth the investment.

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