Usability Testing for Mobile Applications

Mar 18, 2020 11:38:19 PM | by Kajal Jain

 

Usability Of Mobile application is the single most important factor in deciding the future of application.

Increased mobile phone penetration in life has led us to thousands of applications currently available for download on app stores. Thus, businesses must conduct mobile application usability testing for new apps that aim to stand out among the rest.

Due to widespread usage, mobile phone users expect to navigate through app features in a streamlined fashion. Consequently, shortened timelines make it difficult for app testers to follow a person's user experience journey. Since with testing businesses aim to record data that resembles their natural behaviour, video recording the user interactions can be challenging. 

Why is Usability Testing an Integral Part of Every Mobile Application Development Process?

Given the way, modern times function, excellent analysis tools like surveys are never enough to gather in-depth usability insights. Conversion rate optimization for apps is easily achievable through insights achieved with contemporary technologies, such as eye-tracking, emotions measurement, mouse tracking, etc. today. Businesses count on mobile application usability testing for understanding if their end product is user-friendly for the target audience or not. The outcome of usability testing serves as guidelines for the UX designers who attempt to improve the usability of their applications. Successful usability testing allows for increasing the conversion rates of the app substantially.

In the recent past, testing mobile apps required usability labs which came with several disadvantages. The usability labs were not only bulky and expensive but also required a lot of time for setting up. With the launch of user-friendly comprehensive testing solutions such as Apperian, Loop11, App experience, Swrve, Appsee, Leanplum, etc.businesses could save time, decrease the investments required for conducting tests and also improve the quality of insights. Mobile application usability testing measures the user-friendliness of an app. Also, it helps businesses understand how the app can better support your brand's key marketing objectives. Ensuring good usability for your mobile app will not only improve customer satisfaction, significantly decrease time on customer support but also increase your sales and revenue.

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Mobile Application Usability Testing Best Practices that ASTAQC Team Abides By

  • Start Early

It's best to get users involved as early on as possible in the process of usability testing. Testers can begin with prototypes that demonstrate only the app's basic functionalities. Demonstrate to your audience the mock-ups or screenshots and ask for user feedback as soon as possible. In fact, starting early can save you from frustration later on. Since it may be expensive and resource-intensive to implement any desired changes after you are through with the development phase. Starting usability testing early on for mobile applications makes it easier and cheaper to modify the design. Further, resorting to mobile application usability testing early on during the product development life cycle also helps ascertain that usability remains at the forefront in the team's thinking.

  • Prepare Ahead

Mobile application Usability testing is more than just sticking a bunch of people in a room and letting them check the app out. Mobile app testing teams must layout concrete objectives that detail out what outcome they desire out of the usability testing for mobile apps. Laying out specific goals for the usability test is essential. Specify core objectives that may be questions you ask every time you run a usability test. Additionally, they also need to define the tasks that users will need to perform during the testing phase. It is recommended, however, that the teams must focus only on the essential tasks, for starters keeping them short and simple. It is equally essential to take logistical issues into account. For example, teams need to decide where they will conduct the testing and which resources they will use. The list of resources may include moderators, note-takers, cameras or credit cards (for testing financial transactions) etc. Testers can edit the list of resources to include stuff they need to clearly observe and record the users' reactions throughout mobile application usability testing.

 

  • Get Realistic

Mobile application usability testing is best performed with real people working on real devices in real-world like environments. While its okay to count on automated tools and emulation software for usability testing for mobile apps to an extent, there persists a need for authentic conditions and human interaction. Never let emulation and automation completely take over your testing process. The fact remains that no piece of emulation software can perfectly replicate a user's interaction with a touch screen on an actual device. Instead, reach out to users that fit the target demographic. Moreover, include as many devices and platform types as possible in mobile application usability testing. Also, make it a point to use realistic data for the testing rather than placeholder text.

  • Iterate

All successful mobile app development projects hinge on the concept of iteration. App developers must revise the app product until it approaches perfection, instead of sticking to a rigid project management process that has no scope for changes up or downstream. In the end, mobile application usability testing should make the end product as polished as possible.

 

  • Choose the Right Tools

Investing in new tools for mobile application testing can be tricky for any business. Sometimes, project managers remain hesitant to spend time or capital expense in a new tool, even when it offers potential to streamline workflow and improve output.  At other times, managers may want to try every shiny new tool regardless if it really enhances their process. Conducting mobile application usability testing for an app using outdated tools not only wastes time, but also brings forth a miserable experience for users. The project managers must check and evaluate any pain points in the usability testing process. They must remedy pain points by changing the process or considering a tool that can automate a particular task.

  • Refrain from Unnecessary Interference

For ongoing mobile application usability testing, it's best to provide only the amount of structure that is necessary to keep users on task. In other words. There is absolutely no need to micromanage them, give too many instructions or explain how features work. Let usability testing be a process of discovery for both the observers and the users. After the testing phase, the team must study how the users react by studying their minor gestures and reactions. If you have a question for the user hold it until the end of the session. Additionally, keep the items specific enough to solicit only useful feedback.

Why ASTAQC for Mobile Applications Usability Testing

Due to intense competition in the app market, no business can afford mistakes. Even a tiny bug, problem or delay can cost enterprises a user or a customer. Since the users are the source of actual profit, it would be a big mistake to leave them on their own with an app to grapple with shortcomings. Usability testing focuses on the details of how the user interacts with the solution. Usability Testing is the best way to understand how a real-time user experiences the application. We configure wheather it is flexible in handling controls and checking its ability to meet its goals. Because each user contributes to your revenue; ask them to share their positive experience on social media, on your web page serving testimonials that helps the business grow.

Although mobile application usability testing follows the same pattern as other types of application testing, we at ASTAQC have refined our techniques to cater excellent user experience in our apps. For this, we follow limited steps in a task flow. The team at ASTAQC design the testing session so that each action can be analyzed in detail. According to our mobile testing protocol, we help our users to be more deliberate in their approach. In a quest to derive naturalistic data from the testing, we leverage mobile device recording setups that allows users to hold their smartphones naturally. Moreover, we record detailed interactions of participants using mobile apps as well as capturing their on-screen events and movements.

Tags: Testing, Usability Testing

Kajal Jain

Written by Kajal Jain

Kajal is a software testing enthusiast and an avid writer, She enjoys talking about latest trends in testing world.

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