Testers not only find bugs, but they actually add to the credibility of a typical technology project. It is not a child’s play, one has to make painstaking efforts to ensure the quality of a project. Even a minor flaw if left can ruin the performance of a project can lead to its failure in the market. For this reason, it is more than imperative to test a product, seek bugs and fix them before releasing it publicly.
There are different types of testing approaches followed by testers that help ensure a prolific performance of a product (be it an application or website). In this article, we will focus over the usability testing for mobile users. Since, the mobile audience is incessantly increasing and can’t be ignored to attain a sustainable success, it is worth delving deep into the principles for mobile usability testing.
Usability Testing – A Foreword
Usability Testing is a type of testing technique that is primarily based on user testing interactions with the design, and thus, a product is tested from the users’ perspective. It involves fetching inputs from real users and observing their behavior while interacting with the product. In this way, it analyzes whether the product is catering to the intended needs or not. With this test, the ultimate objective is to determine if there is any usability issues, and identify if users are satisfied with the product or not.
In this process, certain users are selected and allowed to use the product, and while users are accessing it to accomplish a task, observers keep an eye on users’ behavior throughout the test; they listen, watch, and jot down what they observe while users are performing so that all the usability bottlenecks can be proficiently identified. A few of the common techniques used for this purpose include eye tracking, co-discovery learning, etc.
In order to effectively execute a usability test, a well-planned approach is imperative. There are several methods by which you can perform usability testing. A few of the popular testing methods that are followed to test the usability of a product are listed below.
- Hallway Testing
- A/B Testing
- Expert Review
- Remote usability testing
If you are interested in testing your website or application for mobile devices, here are some incredibly useful guidelines to help you streamline the process.
Tips for effectively conducting the Mobile Usability Test
A light testing environment is needed.
Being a mobile app or website, it must be intended to be accessed while on the go or from anywhere (including home, office, and so forth). Therefore, while setting up the environment for testing the mobile usability of a product, it is essential to consider aspects of using an app at various locations (be it a bar or home).
Record sessions with cutting edge tools.
This is the second most essential requirement that must not be compromised if you want to ensure your product’s success. No one like to have an observer on his head, it may distract users.
Since, you need to track each and every interaction, including finger movements and other gestures that users use while operating the product, it is vital to mirror the screen of the testing device on another screen so that interactions can be reviewed (and recorded if needed) by professionals.
- An extended camera offers a standard solution – You can install a craned camera over the testing device to record every move of a user. However, one must ensure that the cam is configured in a way that it doesn’t impact users, thus, they can perform conveniently.
- Airplay For testing a product on iPhone – Apple offers Airplay technology that links a device to a bigger screen. It, thus, facilitates you to track your user’s actions and behavior while he is interacting with the interface.
Note: It is advisable to get ready with all the necessary tools and set up beforehand.
Ask users to use their personal device to test a product.
Nowadays, mobile users often prefer to tailor the look and feel of their device in a desired way. Thus, it would be wise to let them use their own devices to test a product. This will allow your users to stay in their comfort zone while testing a product, which will certainly help you test the mobile usability of your product in a proficient manner.
To run your app or site on the personalized mobile devices for users, you can use a prototype of your product in a PDF format that can be exported on any device with ease. There are several resourceful tool kits accompanied with app-simulating widgets available out there. The POP (Prototyping on Paper), Proto.io, and a lot more amazing tools are there that can make mobile usability test more useful. Streamline your choice by taking your product needs into account.
While performing any test, it is essential to keep the objectives behind performing the test in mind. Because if you don’t know that why you are conducting a test, then you won’t be able to achieve the absolute goal.
The usability tests are crucial to ensure a product’s success in the market. Therefore, when you are developing something (app or website) for mobile audiences, mobile usability test becomes paramount. Consider the aforementioned tips and have an insight into the testing process before getting started. I hope this post will help you plan and accomplish the mobile usability test with a flair.