How can Mobile Apps Be Made More Accessible for Rural Users?

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During the early years of the Internet, the end-users could access the apps and use the Internet only through the desktop platform. However, with the advancement of technology, portability has become one of the most important factors in the lives of people. In modern times, people want to use all the desktop features on a device that can fit in their pockets. Therefore, mobile apps are rapidly gaining popularity. While testing the performance of mobile apps, the app developers have to implement a mobile device testing lab to ensure that the test results are accurate depending on the physical features of a device.

With this article, we will explain how application developers can ensure that their mobile apps are more accessible to rural users. We will also understand some of the best practices that can help app developers improve the efficiency and dependability of test cases and the overall testing environment.

Transformation of the App Infrastructure and Testing

As we already mentioned earlier, portable devices are becoming one of the most important segments of the market as they can provide all desktop-like features while being able to maintain their compactness. Surveys of the market from dependable sources show that 55% of the total Internet traffic comes from mobile devices. Therefore app developing companies must extend the compatibility of their applications to all mobile devices to ensure that they can maintain their position in this competitive segment of the industry. It is also important to ensure that the basic features of the application are available to the customer in all instances.

The use of real device testing and automation testing can help developers ensure that mobile apps are completely functional. Real mobile device labs help the developers check the influence of physical parameters on the functioning of the app. Some of the most vital physical parameters include unstable bandwidth, low battery, or user interaction errors. On the other hand, Automation Testing automatically helps to initiate and execute the test cases. For this process, the system will use the automation test script. This script will provide user data, statistics, and other testing parameters. The proper implementation of test automation will provide the following features in the test bench:

  • Automated testing supports auto-test execution that runs without human test initiation. This testing infrastructure also helps to boost the accuracy of the testing infrastructure as it does not involve human error.
  • When paired with certain test instances like unit testing, it helps to remove the regression from the test environment. This part in turn helps the developers to focus on other creative areas of the project. So, we can that automation testing also helps to improve the quality of the app that is currently being developed. 
  • Although test automation has so many advantages with certain manual test cases to create the perfect balance in the test environment. This is because certain test instances like visual testing massively rely on the expertise and knowledge of the human developers. 

Making Mobile Apps More Accessible for Rural Users

The developers have to consider various factors like limited connectivity, device capabilities, and user familiarity with technology while making mobile apps more accessible for rural users. So, based on the requirements of the app development project, we have mentioned some of the most important accessibility strategies that the developers can implement during this process:

  • Optimizing for Low Connectivity

While focussing on the rural demographics, the app developers must focus on the unstable connectivity issues. So, it is very important to customize the app infrastructure so that it can function even on low connectivity. The app developers can also consider implementing offline capabilities in these apps. This will allow the basic functions of the app to work even without a network connection. The app developers can also consider compressing the app data and other media so that it will require less data while functioning.

  • Use of Simple and Intuitive Design

While working on mobile applications for rural areas, we would advise the app developers to create a simple and intuitive design that is easy to navigate for rural people. This is because people in rural areas might lack the required technical knowledge to navigate through complex application infrastructures. Some of the most important practices the developers can implement include understandable icons, minimalistic design, and simple languages. These practices will also help the app developers to increase the overall appeal of their app.

  • Reducing the App Size

While working on rural applications, app developers should target creating lightweight apps that won’t consume much storage space. This is because most people in rural areas are using older mobile devices that are restricted in terms of storage. So, it is crucial to optimize the apps even on dated mobile devices so that they can at least access the basic functions and complete the goal. Moreover, surveys show that people in rural areas do not update their devices for years.

  • Localized Content

While working on rural mobile applications. we would advise the app developers to perform a comprehensive market survey to understand the local languages and cultural orientations. This is because by collecting this information, the app developers can customize the app infrastructure and incorporate the local languages and the habits of the people. This incorporation will create a positive image for the company help spread the name and expand the possible audience.

  • Availability of Offline Resources

To spread proper awareness about the functioning of the application, the app developers can create downloadable resources which can include articles, videos, and guides. It is also important to ensure that all these issues are available offline so that rural customers can access them in all instances.

  • Implementation of Battery Efficiency

As we already mentioned earlier, rural people do not have the latest devices, so, it is very important to ensure that the applications are efficient in terms of battery consumption. This is because in case the device dies due to battery, electrical resources may not be readily available in rural areas.  

  • Involvement of Community

It is one of the most effective practices to involve the local community in the app development and testing process. This is because the community will have a better understanding of the needs and challenges that are being implemented in that particular local area. This involvement can also provide invaluable insights creating a more user-friendly application based on the requirements of the people.

The application testers need to understand that the nature of their mobile app will also have a critical role in making it accessible to rural areas. By considering all the strategies that we discussed in this part, the developers can create mobile apps that are more accessible and user-friendly based on the rural population, address each unique challenge, and create a positive user experience. It is also important for the app developers to incorporate a feedback mechanism that will help them collect adequate information about the challenges that are currently being faced with the app. Based on this feedback, the developers can make the necessary changes.

Using Cloud Platforms as a Replacement to Mobile Device Testing Lab

As we already mentioned earlier, mobile device testing labs are an important part of the modern application development and testing infrastructure. However, it is a very expensive and hectic process to set up and maintain such a lab. As a replacement, the app developers can integrate cloud platforms which allows them to perform similar test cases using remote servers. These remote servers provide access to thousands of real devices through the Internet. Some other advantages of these labs include the execution of test cases from anywhere in the world and access to legacy devices.

Let us now use LambdaTest, an AI-powered test orchestration and test execution platform to understand the role of cloud platforms in improving the accuracy of the modern mobile app testing infrastructure:

  • The LambdaTest real device testing cloud has hundreds of legacy devices and older browser versions along with thousands of modern devices. So, by implementing this configuration, the app developers can massively boost the compatibility of the app project.
  • LambdaTest also integrates artificial intelligence to organize and execute automation test cases for further improving the efficiency of the test execution process.
  • While using LambdaTest for mobile app testing, the developers can use Appium to import the automation test cases. LambdaTest allows the execution of Appium test cases on more than 50 different browsers and devices at the same time.
  • While using this platform, the app developers can also negatively execute automated regression testing and automated cross-browser testing with the integration of Selenium Grid and the Selenium WebDriver.
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  • Since modern mobile applications consist of thousands of different elements that require thorough testing, LambdaTest uses parallel testing to improve test efficiency. Using this feature, it is possible to initiate and execute thousands of different test instances on different machines and configurations at the same time.
  • After executing the mobile test cases, LambdaTest will automatically generate a comprehensive test report. This report will consist of multiple vital information like screenshots and videos. The core infrastructure of this platform will automatically capture this information in the execution process. This will help the app developers quickly find the faulty elements and navigate to them to perform the required debugging process.
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  • LambdaTest also has an efficiency support system to assist the new automation testers and developers. For instance, it has rich documentation on the official website that explains all the important methods and features using sample test cases. While using this platform, the app developers can also avail of one-on-one support using live chat, over-the-phone support, and even the mailing feature. LambdaTest also has a dedicated open-source community to enable the discussion between the developers and testers on multiple issues.

The Conclusive Views

With this article, we discussed some of the most important parameters that will enable boosting the accessibility of mobile apps to rural users. Since the mobile app industry is one of the most rapidly growing industries, app developers need to adopt all the required trends and innovations to ensure that they can maintain their company’s position in this competitive segment. It is also important to understand the importance of complete automation testing for helping a company constantly grow and expand its possible audience. Finally, we would also advise the application developers to constantly monitor the target audience and understand their changing requirements. 

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