As 2015 is coming to close, are you testing for the whole new dynamic digital experience or I must say on all The Very Right Platforms? The complete process of reaching Continuous Quality in your mobile app development and testing doesn’t happen overnight. Like life, it’s a journey. A journey with trivial experiences, some roadblocks and finally a gleaming smooth path. Having brainstormed on Testing Quality Labs at Algoworks, I have decided to put down some testing digital experiences perfecting your custom brand, therefore throwing light on some major reasons why your application may fail to scale or perform.
The problem area (the darkest part of diagram – which coincides from Device, Environment and Programming) is the trivial part of problem, which requires lot of technical measures to be taken to find permanent resolution to performance issues occurring in the applications.
Concern 1 : Programming and Architecture
(a) Information Architecture and UI/UX Related Issues:
Having niche in development and testing of several mobile and web applications, I have realized that application performance is a great factor to be considered while designing and development of applications. Poor performance of websites and mobile applications not only affect the SEO, but it also impacts traffic, usability and ultimately, conversions. Here are a few reasons listed for poor performance of application:
- Webpage weight – the size in kilobytes which includes assets (styles, scripts, images, videos, etc.)
- Number of HTTP requests (request made by the user’s browser to retrieve files needed for the site)
- Webpage load speed
- Webpage load time.
- Under-optimized images
- Bloated and untidy code
- Lack of GZIP compression
- Poorly constructed responsive design
- Poor server setup
- Reduce the number of HTTP requests
- Avoid empty image SRC elements
- Maintain optimum number of photos on a website
- Select the appropriate image format
- Image compression
- Reduce image colors
- GZIP compression
- Remove HTML comments from the code
- Provide high-quality servers
And many more.
(b) API and Business Calls and Database Layer Related Issues:
I have also observed that performance degradation also occurs if the database is not being properly maintained. Hence, database access layer must meet all requirements of your application. In order to let your data access layer perform efficiently and securely, it is important to follow the desired design layer guidelines. I have listed few laundry items in regard of problems (like slower response time) which may rise related to API calls made and Database design patterns followed:
- Improper Data Loading
- Unnecessary table locking
- Not so required API calls
- Badly formed queries
- Badly used indexing
- Inefficient table locking
- Missing indexes
- Poorly written SQL queries
- No caching
- Unmanaged and unprecedented growth of data
- By following the SQL best practices to ensure query optimization
- Right indexing
- Choosing suitable and logical database model
- Using load balancing techniques
- Proper planning, monitoring and management is required with your data which improves the web performance
Concern 2 : Network
Having grilled in detail the domain of performance and scalability of applications, I also found that network issues are also driving developers and users mad. Let’s list them down in brief:
- Issues based on network latency and bandwidth.
- Network problems have direct impact on application performance especially on mobile and cloud..
- Variant bandwidth, increased latency and packet loss degrades the application performance.
- DNS queries make up majority of web traffic which can cause so much trouble for visitors.
- Monitoring of network bandwidth and application performance from different locations helps in isolating problem to the network tier.
- Various troubleshooting types for preventing such performance issues are checking VLAN tags and distributing tasks between servers.
- Network latency help in identifying patterns and anomalies. Hence, with closer attention you can figure out what is causing the bottleneck.
Concern 3 : Infrastructure and Web Components
(a) Servers and Hosting-
- Virtualized servers, networks components and supporting applications are among the critical factors which impact the application Performance.
- Even the hardware of your hosting server also affects the performance of all of the virtual machines that reside upon it.
- When your web application is dependent on virtual machines, then also you can experience application performance related issues. This happens when a physical server is hosting hundreds of VMs.
(b) Third-party Components –
- Application Performance is also impacted by third-party components. Performance gets affected by componentry used to deliver service to the users, the interface between application and users and the connectivity between components.
- Some slowdowns are simply out of control. These include a stalled page or an ad page which loads from a different ad server.
(c) Incorrect configuration –
- Many times your systems are not properly tuned which impacts severely impacts the application performance.
- Any application includes volume, velocity and variety of configuration changes and have hundreds and thousands of different parameters which impacts application performance.
(d) Increased User-base –
- There are times when application works fine with say 10,000 users, but as the user bases increases with few counts the application starts showing poor performance drastically.
(e) Cloud Environment –
- Many complex applications which are in many layers in virtual environment and cloud world like Amazon AWS, Amazon S3 also face problems of application performance.
- Application using too much communication back and forth – will be a problem in the cloud where network latency is greater. This grows complexity from end user experience. This difficulty arises in application layer, its infrastructure and IT infrastructure.
- Complex applications with a large tier dependency are also likely to degrade and perform unwell.
- Closely monitor the system in order to get rid of VM related issues.
- Start making some changes in the design and ensure that your off-service provider guarantees performance.
- Perform cloud promptness checks ahead of time in order to identify the best options.
- Using third party services may require your attention whereby some design changes are required to protect your site from at least some effects of third-party service issue.