The Best Quality App Award, no spin, just good testing and proven quality


By Martin Wrigely, Executive Director of AQuA

At an industry conference AQuA attended last year where lots of awards were being given out, an attendee expressed the opinion that most awards failed to represent real achievement and frequently tended to be given to event sponsors. It could have simply been a case of “sour grapes”, but after that conversation we felt we had to create a new and different awards scheme.

AQuA is all about app quality, but prior to 2016 we hadn’t thought about the benefits an award scheme might bring. However it now feels like the right time to launch an award to be presented on clear technical merit: the AQuA award for the Best Quality App.  No sponsorship, no entry fees, no cash prize – simply merit recognised.

This isn’t about raising money (it is free to enter), it isn’t about fancy marketing, it isn’t about who is best friends with whom (there’s no pricy awards gala dinner).  This new award is purely about recognising the best quality app.

But you may ask – “How do you define ‘Best Quality’?”
There is a strict judging process.  Points are awarded for passing the AQuA Baseline Testing Criteria, the AQuA Accessibility Testing Criteria and the AQuA Network Performance Testing Criteria (which uses the AT&T ARO tool).

AQuA has built up a set of Testing Criteria and best practice guidelines that have their foundation in the best experience in the industry. Over a number of years AQuA members have contributed tests to find and eliminate the common errors that developers always make.  We even have a top ten list of errors. All of AQuA’s resources are open-sourced and freely available.

But why are we doing this? Why do so many apps not make the grade? A recent example we saw was an app that streamed live sports video. Sound was great, video was great, user interface fabulous.  Sadly though when the phone received an incoming call and the app went into the background, the sound carried on playing and was audible to the caller.  Not a great experience when your boss calls you at work…

Using the AQuA testing Criteria as a basis and the developer’s functional tests provide a baseline for the AQuA Awards.  After these tests, the app is then judged on the quality process used in its development and maintenance, the overall quality of the user experience in the view of the judges.

Having formulated the criteria for the Best Quality App award, it was clear that there was scope for a companion award recognising the Best Contribution to Quality in the Mobile World.  This is going to be judged by the AQuA global community - AQuA staff will receive the nominations and make a shortlist that will then be voted on by the community.  The contribution may be anything related to quality, from books and articles, through tools through excellent testing services or trailblazing development of great apps showing the way for others.

Overall, we aim to make these awards on merit, seeking out the best in the world!

Find out more and enter the AQuA Quality Awards by 16 September 2016