Mobile usability testing - A complete know - how !

16 December 2016

With the invention of mobile operating systems, developers have been busy creating apps that can work in sync with its latest versions. It is necessary to ensure that the apps are easy to use and navigate even after all the changes in the existing interface have been made. Carrying out mobile usability testing is the most convenient way to check the intuitiveness offered by the designed app. 

What is usability? 

When users interact with an app, system, software or website, the quality of their experience is known as usability. The usability of any designed product will be defined by the subjective satisfaction of the users. When the usability is effective, it will eventually generate great ROI, reduce redesigning expenditures and grant immense customer satisfaction. Usability testing is a viable way to find the hidden flaws in any design and by doing so; one can conveniently come up with strategies for resolving them. From styling to layout, colours to typography and other flaws, everything can be resolved with usability testing. 

Factors to take care prior to mobile usability testing 

Be selective: It is better to choose prominent mobile devices that are used by your targeted audience. 

Familiarize with operating systems: Always be familiar with the operating systems in the respective mobile phones. The major perk of doing this is that you will be able to determine the usability of your app on all the devices and their respective operating systems. 

Customer analysis: Understanding the demographics will help in determining the preferences of your customers and attain flexibility in deciding the features that have to be added into your designed app. 

Methods for carrying out mobile usability testing 

1. Paper prototyping 

In this type of testing, paper mock-ups of the designed app are created. This will help in getting an idea on how the users use your entire app. If the app has numerous pages, different mock-ups will have to be created just to understand the usability. 

2. Use of interactive features 

As the technology is advancing, people are relying more on features that are interactive. This may include feedback forms that can be filled online, live chat or any other options for conveying the user’s thoughts. 

3. Suitable software 

Another way of gathering user opinions and registering their needs while using a designed app is by using in-app software. Some software's like Morae, record all the movements happening on the app page, which will help in digging deeper with regards to user behaviour. 

4. Use of emulators or appropriate hardware 

Emulators can be used for determining the user behaviour in the initial stages of app development. This will help you in estimating how well your app is appreciated in the developmental stage. 

In conclusion 

Testing the design on users will help one in figuring out about the improvements that are needed. Carrying out mobile usability testing will help in cutting down the redesigning costs in the end and help in reaching out to the targeted audience without any flaws.

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