What Is Feature Testing And Why Is It Important

This comprehensive Feature Testing tutorial explains what is it, why it is important, and how to do Feature Testing:

Change in software that adds new functionality or modifies the existing functionality is called “feature”. Adding a feature plays a vital role in the Software Development Life Cycle. Features are the ones that determine the functionality of the software.

An effective and attractive developed feature requires testing to be done to maintain the quality of the product. Feature testing ensures that the newly developed feature has no bugs and works as expected. The focus is to make sure that the product delivered to the client and end-user has no issues.

Feature Testing

What Is Feature Testing And Why Is It Important

Feature testing is done when any new feature is added to the software or any modification in the existing feature is done. The features added or modified are designed in a way that is useful, interesting, and effective.

Testing of the developed or modified feature is very important as any issue found in the existing functionality because of the new features can create a lot of problems. It is expected to have this testing done properly, along with the regression testing as and when required.

Example: Apple and Samsung keep on adding new features to their products to enhance the quality and to make customer keen to know the new add on. Customers keep an eye on the new features to be launched, and the attractive and effective features let them buy the same as well.

How To Perform Feature Testing

It can be performed by following the below pointers:

  • The foremost important point is to understand the feature, i.e. to know the actual requirement. QA can get the information through the release notes of the developer and if still, they are not clear about the requirement, QA needs to check and get the same to proceed further.
  • The developer has a fair idea about the weak point or potential issues that QA needs to focus on, and on which point the software or feature can break. So, QA should discuss the same points with the developer before starting the testing.
  • By the time build is released to the QA for feature testing, QA should get the test scenarios/cases in place for testing. Once the build comes for testing it gets easy for QA to track the coverage of test cases and mapping of requirement only if the test cases are ready. Before the testing starts QA should have all the data for testing along with the positive/negative test cases to validate the boundary cases.
  • To get more clarity on the impacted functionalities of the software, QA should know what all backend changes have been done and how the feature has been implemented.
  •  Tester should play around with the new feature, should try all the positive, negative, expected, unexpected scenarios which a user can perform.
  • Testing for the build should start in the early phase itself so that bugs can be found and reported on time. Throughout the release build, testing should be performed, and bugs should be raised in the early stage to get the bugs fixed and to deliver a quality feature to the users.

Feature Testing Of Mobile Applications

The process included are as follows:

  1. Field testing
  2. Leverage your community
  3. Incorporating your application
  4. Crowd-Sourced testing
  5. A/B testing

#1) Field Testing

Field testing can be used to test real-time scenarios with many devices and testers. This is expensive testing as it costs tester, devices, and maintenance of device which are required in a large number. Testers use the integrated feature as required for real-time testing.

#2) Leverage your community

Another way is to get the alpha and beta testing done for the new feature in the application. Alpha and beta testers will be able to give an actual review of how the application behaves in real-time. Their feedback can help to improve the feature in the app.

#3) Incorporating your application

Incorporating the application i.e. integrating the feature in day to day activity of users/friends/colleagues/team members can provide a real-time review for issues faced or any bugs found in the feature. It can also help to know the battery usage with the incorporated application, and compatibility of the application with devices.

Since users are different and have their own mobile sets, results for different devices are easily available using this technique.

#4) Crowd Sourced Testing

Crowdsourced testing is performed by different testers from different locations. This technique is usually used when the software is more user-centric. It helps to know how effective and efficient the application is and what all are advantages/benefits of the same.

#5) A/B testing

A/B testing is done to know which version of the mobile application is better in terms of performance, i.e. comparison between version A of the application and version B of the application.

There are few points that need to be taken care of while performing A/B testing such as users who use the application, what is the engagement rate of the user with the application, and how many users retained or left the platform.

Initially, the feature should be released to limited traffic keeping the kind of users in mind i.e. right users for the feature should be targeted. Once the data is collated and the feature is refined based on the data and feedback of the users – the feature can be released to more traffic.

Once testing is performed, a bug fix is done. Retesting, regression (to check impacted functionalities because of new change) has been performed, and the application is ready to be launched to the users. An announcement can be made for the same and once the application is launched, feedbacks should be taken, and the developer should work on the same to improve the application and if any bugs found by the user should be fixed and released in the new release.

Feature Testing In Agile

In Agile methodology testers and developers work together. Every iteration in agile has the testing phase, i.e. with every iteration testing is performed. Testing of the feature to be launched starts at the time of implementation only. At the end of the iteration feature ready to be shipped, can be released to the customer.

In Agile not only the tester tests the feature but Developer and Business Analysts also test.

Agile Testing Methods

#1) Behavior Driven Development

In this method, continuous discussions are done between all the stakeholders i.e. developer, tester, and business analyst, and various aspects/scenarios of the feature are taken into consideration before the development starts.

#2) Acceptance Test-Driven Development

In this method – customer, developer, tester, business analyst all get involved. Customer focus is to get the issue resolved, Developer focuses on how it can be done, and testers are the ones who find the issue in the feature which need to be fixed.

Feature Tests vs Integration Tests vs Unit Tests

Unit TestIntegration TestFeature Test
The unit test ensures that individual code i.e. small piece of code works fine. An integration test is done to ensure that - when one or more units are integrated, it works fine.The feature test is the testing of features just like an actual user. Like how the actual user will use the feature.
If code is written properly and is isolated from the rest i.e. objects etc. it gives the instant results. The application will be able to handle severe cases.The focus is on the interaction of a small number of modules only.Users will never find a broken application in case of a feature test as the user can test what they can see and not beyond that.
Unit Test is done whenever a new class is written, any bug is fixed, or any functionality is changed.The integration test is done when any new unit is integrated with the system or if the already existing unit case is updated.Feature test is an end to end testing and is done when a new feature is added to the software or any existing feature is modified. 
Unit testing is done by the developer itselfIntegration testing is done by the tester.Feature testing is done by the tester.

Advantages Of Feature Testing

There are several advantages of this testing. These are enlisted below:

  • This testing helps to have the metrics of the feature to validate it.
  • Different configurations of the software can be checked.
  • Bugs/issues can be found at an early stage.
  • All the elements of the software can be tested.
  • Various integrations done can be checked while doing this testing.
  • Continuous testing and release allow the software to be of good quality.

What is the difference between Feature Testing and Functional Testing?

Feature Testing is testing the new feature, or the modification done in the existing feature of the software, whereas functional testing is testing the functionality of complete software against the requirement provided by the client.

Frequently Asked Question

Q #1) How do you test new features?

Answer: New features can be tested in several ways, like field testing/alpha/beta testing, A/B testing. The feature is not exposed to all the users in one go. First, the required audience is targeted, and if it’s a success, it can be targeted to more audiences.

Q #2) How do you launch a new feature?

Answer: To launch a new feature, follow these steps:

  • Target the appropriate audience for your feature to be launched.
  • Launch the feature in portions to the traffic.
  • Collect the data and refine the feature accordingly.
  • Launch the feature to another portion of the traffic.
  • Collate the feedback provided by the users and share it with all the stakeholders.

Q #3) What is feature level testing?

Answer: Feature level testing is the testing of various versions of the software and to validate the new feature is best of the others or not.

Conclusion

Feature testing is one of the important aspects of testing and is helpful to release the new features for the applications/software which are already available in the market.

It helps the stakeholders to improve the quality of the product either by modifying the existing feature or by introducing a new feature that is useful and is accepted by the users easily. The organization can face monetary loss as well in case the software does not work as it was intended to. Hence, feature testing is very necessary before the release.