The Complete Mobile Usability Testing Guide

Thanks to mobile usability testing, every business can now improve its usability, and sales as well as success by offering its users a more satisfactory experience. The good news is that this kind of testing is not difficult to perform. Here is what you need to know about it.

Why Perform User Testing on Your Mobile Device?

This is a question that is often raised by developers who believe that it is far simpler to build a mobile app and then let it work for better or worse. This is all very well but to make the app a success you must do some amount of user testing. In fact, this testing is mandatory and not an option.

How Does Mobile Usability Testing Help You?

The first thing that you will find is that mobile usability testing helps you find out and locate bugs quickly. When you let your user test the app for you before releasing it you can identify and fix bugs much faster. By fixing bugs before the app is released you will satisfy your customers and users and in this way ensure the success of your app.

Secondly, testing helps to improve the usability of your app by ensuring that your app becomes intuitive as well as simple to use. These two factors will get your users to use your app over and over again. They should not be forced into determining how to perform a task; the entire thing should come across naturally to the user.

Testing also helps to improve your sales and conversions. When you improve the usability of your app you will find that your happy customers will convert and buy from you and that of course is the main goal of your app. It also helps you to provide your users with options that allow them to look for and filter according to their predefined criterion so that they can locate what they want easily.

By testing your app, you will succeed in pinpointing the need for fresh features. When your users test your app they can pinpoint new features that they would like to see in your app and you can then incorporate these and improve your app in this simple but effective manner.

What Do You Need for Testing?

Before you actually get your users to test your mobile app, you should be clear about why it pays to do the testing. There are a number of things that you need to do to ensure that the testing works out well for you. You will need a camera. Though you can use a standard camera that can be fixed above your mobile it makes more sense to use a webcam or document camera. The document camera makes it easy for you to shoot the user as he tests your app. These cameras are easy to find and they are also quite affordable.

You may also want to use a webcam or some other mobile device camera. These cameras are perfect for recording and can also be installed on a cradle that also holds your phone. That way the user will be holding both items together when doing the testing and this makes things more comfortable for him or her. It is also best to go with a camera that has manual focus as well as zoom features, as these are essential for better recording.

A microphone is also required to record the user as he or she speaks. Some cameras have a microphone in them but if your phone does not have it then you may think about using the normal microphone for computer. Ideally, go with a hands-free device wireless lavalier.

It is also necessary to have the right kind of software. A majority of cameras have video –recording software, which means that you won’t, need separate software.

Finally, you need to ensure that the testing environment is conducive to the testing. There are a number of things that you have to do like controlling the amount of light in your room. Try to do the testing in a room that does not have windows and to makes sure that the testing is not spoiled by glare try and switch off all lights above your testing device.

You also need to choose the right person to do the mobile usability testing for you. Ideally, you should go with a person who is familiar with the device that is to be used for the testing. If the user only knows how to handle an Android device, then don’t make the mistake of handing him or her an iOS device. When choosing the user you need to make sure that you ask them what kind of device they are familiar with and then decide if they are suitable for the task or not. Also, when selecting a user you should pick a person who fits in with the intended persona of the user you are looking for.

How to Perform Mobile Testing

There are a few things that you need to do to ensure that your mobile usability testing works out right. Be sure to test the proper things with the proper people. To help you pick the right person you need to know things like why you want to run the test. You also need to be sure of where the testing is to take place. Thirdly, you must be sure about the time when the testing is to be done. Also, identify the right test participants and know what system is to be tested. Finally, be sure that you know how to collate as well as analyze testing data and information.

If you answered these questions properly you will be sure in your mind about what the mobile usability testing is intended to achieve. So, be sure to recruit the right people to do the testing. Get the testers to perform tasks that are realistic and look for those who struggle with the testing. Be sure to give the user a prototype to test in an environment that he or she is familiar with. Also, set up the testing rig and be sure to keep tabs on the testing. Observe how the testing is going and analyze the information provided by the tester. Based on these inputs, you can then think about improving the design of the app so that it solves usability issues.

The bottom line is that mobile usability testing will enable you to solve problems quickly and for less cost. You can also identify issues and fix them prior to launch.

Jessica Miller
Jessica is the Lead Author & Editor of UsabilityLab Blog. Jessica writes for the UsabilityLab blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to usability.
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