The majority of business activities are occurring on mobile devices. 90% of the time people give on their phones is in mobile apps. Hence, it’s reasonable to say that building an app for your business is a strategic method to assure people discover you simply on the internet and have more pleasant user experiences. However, before you dive right into mobile application development and app management, it’s important to recognize the importance of an app’s usability.
And the best method to estimate the usability of mobile apps is through mobile usability testing. As a QA tester, this process will allow you valuable insights before your app development method as well as actionable optimizations later.
What is Mobile Usability Testing?
Mobile usability testing is easily the method of simulating how an actual user would use an app.
Mobile usability testing includes testing several factors, including interface experience, functionality, performance quality, navigation, and more. An intuitive and enjoyable user experience is at the core of every app.
Therefore, the app development team and QA testers should always assure an app performs its predefined functions to manage higher customer engagement and satisfaction.
Why Run Mobile Usability Testing?
The primary goal of running mobile usability testing is to recognize possible glitches to assure it truly presents the expected value and probability from users. Usability testing helps to assure that your app is appending value to your business, as well as meeting the expectations of the ultimate users. Assuring you have good usability for your mobile app will help your business enhance customer satisfaction, reduce time on customer support, and improve your sales and revenue.
Apart from improving user experiences, here’s a list of reasons why it’s important to run a mobile app usability test before publishing it officially for public download.
- Recognize challenges in design
- Identify opportunities to improve the design
- Know your user behavior and preferences
- Cut down overall troubleshooting expenses and time
- Give delightful user experience
Here are the 10 most popular mobile usability testing methods every QA tester should apprehend.
1. Moderated Usability Testing
A moderated testing session comprises a moderator guiding participants through the test. This normally gives more in-depth results since the moderator can request more information and follow-up questions. Moderators can also ask participants to elaborate more on a critical response to discovering out how users feel about an app during various usage processes. You can have much control of the test flow and get more qualitative feedback.
However, there are downsides to managing moderated usability testing. It is regularly very time-consuming and expensive for a company to run moderated usability testing as a number of resources have to be assigned to a little group of people. Therefore, it is advised to run closely monitored testing like moderated ones when you need to find the reasoning behind user behavior. If you prepare to identify user behavior patterns, you can consider selecting unmoderated usability testing.
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2. Unmoderated Usability Testing
Unlike moderated testing, unmoderated usability testing needs members to accomplish all the tasks by themselves, without further instructions or interference from the moderator. Unmoderated testing is more time-effective and less expensive. It is perfect for testing users’ normal context when navigating an app. And it’s most fit if you want to work on large sample studies for more quantitative testing.
Since unmoderated testing needs little, almost no supervision, you’ll require to ensure all the instructions are certainly given prior to the test. The majority of unmoderated testing is performed remotely, creating a stable internet connection a top preference for the test participants’ environment.
3. Lab Usability Testing
Lab usability test asks participants to perform particular tasks instructed by a trained moderator within a purposely-designed laboratory. There are two rooms separated by a one-way mirrored window to provide note-takers to see the test without being seen by participants and influence the results. The moderator will ask questions, provide instructions, and answer feedback in real-time, similar to moderated testing discussed earlier. You may also record the session for additional review and analysis afterward.
The main benefit of lab usability testing is that it gives standardized quality control for each administered test. This is especially crucial if you plan to run comparison usability testing. In addition, lab usability testing allows extensive user information about how users are experiencing your product. You’ll be capable to get more valuable insights like users’ attitudes, emotions, and reactions.
4. Guerilla usability testing
For guerilla usability testing, participants are regularly picked randomly from a public place, like a coffee shop, mall, airport, or supermarket, and asked to conduct a short usability test in exchange for small prizes such as gift cards or coupons.
Guerrilla testing is often managed among a broad range of people that don’t have a history with a product previously. It seldom serves as an ad-hoc test for the UI/UX team to learn the functionality and design. If you intend to collate massive qualitative data fast, guerrilla testing is one of the methods. It provides your app with more brand exposure before it really hits the market. You can also collect more real user feedback in a less formal setting.
5. Contextual Inquiry
The contextual inquiry method applies to recognizing how participants interact with the product in their original environments such as offices or homes. The researchers will then observe how participants perform a task and invite their reasons behind their actions to gain a broader understanding of the user behavior.
This method is an outstanding way to recover reliable information about users, including work preferences, personal behavior, and the situations required for the product. These insights are required at the initial stage of production as you’ll require as much data on personas, content, features requests, and architecture as possible. Once you release a product, you can also utilize contextual inquiry to test whether your design really matches users’ requirements.
When managing contextual inquiry testing, you require to assure these four following principles:
- Ensure the test is managed under the user’s natural environment
- Researchers should operate with the test participant to respond to any questions they have throughout the process, recognize their behavior, and discuss the reasons behind their actions.
- Ensure your research goal and questions are apparent to reach more unbiased results.
- During the interview, researchers should give their opinions and interpretations to the user to receive a more holistic view of the complete user testing process.
Mobile usability testing is an essential part of your application development and administration. According to Nielsen Norman Group, testing five people in one cycle shows 85% of all usability problems. After a round, prioritize the difficulties and act on them, iterate, and test again. With continuous testing and optimizations, you’ll be able to give a highly-functional, user-friendly, and profitable app for your company.
In addition, usability testing helps you withdraw repetitive troubleshooting and reduce technical support costs once your app is officially published into the App stores. It will also get ongoing maintenance such as app updates more simple and reduce your IT team’s workload.
Need to implement Usability testing in your project? Think no more! TestUnity provides the testing services on-demand, serves with projects of any scale, and is ready to start with a few days’ advance notice. Choose to team up with a QA services provider like TestUnity. Our team of testing experts specializes in QA and has years of experience implementing tests with different testing software. Get in touch with a TestUnity expert today.
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