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App Performance

What is a bug bash?

Discover what a bug bash is, its benefits, and how to conduct one from start to finish.

A bug bash is a crucial procedure where teams, including engineers, designers, project managers, and other testers, collaborate to uncover bugs in a mobile app before it’s released. 

In this blog, we’ll dive into everything you should know about bug bashes including their significance, benefits, and how to perform one for a successful app release.

The benefits of a bug bash

There are various benefits to a bug bash, including the following:

Time and cost savings

Bug bashes help detect and fix bugs early in the app development cycle. As a result, you spend less time and money addressing bugs later in the process and after product release.

Increased bug visibility

Bug bashes often reveal obscure or hard-to-replicate bugs that went undetected during routine testing protocols. This eliminates blind spots and ensures user satisfaction post-launch.

Promotes proactive testing culture

Routine bug bashes promote a proactive culture of testing and quality assurance on a mobile team. Additionally, a proactive testing culture is conducive to testing in different environments — a crucial practice for shedding light on different issues you might not encounter otherwise.

Better collaboration

When teams come together to perform a bug bash, it creates a positive collaboration experience for all the members involved. This collaboration can foster a sense of camaraderie and boost morale across teams and departments.

When to do a bug bash

You should perform a bug bash before any major app release or update. The typically recommended timeframe for performing a bug bash is a week or more before your intended launch date, with your team lead facilitating the bash.

Preparing for a bug bash

To prepare for a bug bash, consider the following: 

  1. Set clear objectives and goals: Define what you’d like to accomplish during your bug bash in unambiguous terms. For example, your goal for an e-commerce app bug bash could be to identify and fix at least 10 bugs, closely test the “add to cart” feature, and test the “save for later” functionality.
  2. Inform participants: Ensure that all relevant team members are readily available and aware of the goals of your bug bash, as well as the duration of the testing.
  3. Set the time and place: Define the timeframe of your testing. For example, if your bug bash takes place during the work week prior to your launch, your team could test for 4 hours each day and sync virtually during the bashing.
  4. Provide the necessary tools: Set your team up for success by providing them with the right tools to achieve your goals. For example, you might want to leverage bug reporting tool that makes reporting issues as easy as shaking your device. Leveraging a tool like this makes it easy to review bugs, crashes, and user feedback in a single, centralized dashboard.

What to do during a bug bash

Your app launch is approaching and you know testing is critical, but what exactly do you need to do during the bug bash? These are the vital steps:

Gather together

Ideally, bug bashes should take place in a shared space with all the participants. If you work virtually with your team, creating a virtual meeting room to facilitate your bug bash is a great idea.

Create a plan

When you start your bug bash, make sure you remember to address all the crucial parts of your app. This involves creating a plan of action that includes:

  • Identifying the most important user flows: If you have a gaming app, there might be a microtransaction screen that you should pay close attention to. If you have an e-commerce app, you might want to pay special attention to your checkout process.
  • Test all onboarding flows: Onboarding is one of the most important parts of user engagement. Make sure that you pay close attention to the onboarding flow to ensure that your app is as user-friendly as possible. If users churn during the onboarding, it’s notoriously hard to get them back.
  • Test backgrounding: Make sure to assess how your app behaves when it moves into the background. Note any glitches or unexpected behaviors that could turn users away during your bug bash.

Start bashing

Before bashing, make sure all your participants understand the crucial parts of your app. Allow them to explore and give them time to ask questions. After they’re informed, begin bashing away!

What to do after a bug bash

The process isn’t done after you report the last bug. After your bug bash, all the information you acquired should be gathered and formulated into actionable next steps. During the process, you should do the following:

  • Analyze the collected data. Go through all the data that you’ve collected and analyze it for any potential patterns or common issues.
  • Generate a bug bash report. Create a report with all of your bug bash findings including bugs and any other potential issues and feedback.
  • Conduct a retro. The purpose of a retrospective meeting, or “retro,” is to understand what worked and what didn’t work during this bug bash to improve the process in the future. 
  • Implement fixes and testing. If you encounter any substantial issues during the bash, make sure your team goes through the necessary follow-up fixes and testing. For example, if your team had trouble solving bugs due to a lack of visibility, you can instrument mobile breadcrumbs to more effectively track the user journey for the future.

Go beyond bug bashing with Embrace

Bug bashes are integral to releasing a quality app that your users love. But shipping an app you’re proud of is just half the battle.

True success comes from building and retaining a robust user base. To do that, you need to constantly work on improving and optimizing app performance.

Learn how Embrace can help you go beyond the basics of a bug bash and build better user experiences, here.

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