Ever since the mobile operating systems came into existence, app developers have been busy creating apps that can keep up with the changes introduced along with every latest version of these operating systems.
It is actually essential to ensure that your app remains intuitive to use and easy-to-navigate, even after additional interface changes have been made to the operating systems under focus. Mobile app usability testing is what helps you with this in the most convenient way. Stay on this post as we’ll be exploring everything about mobile app usability testing.
Usability – In simple words
Each time a user interacts with a system or a product like an application, website or software, the actual quality of his/her experience is termed as ‘usability‘. For instance, if you’re inclined to provide a mobile app to your targeted users, their subjective satisfaction would be treated as the app’s usability.
This would include user’s feedback on the mobile application’s intuitive design, ease of learning, frequency and criticality of bugs, memorability (i.e. whether the user can use the app efficiently even at a later point of time) and the overall app efficiency.
Who benefits from the flawless usability of a mobile app?
Well, flawless app usability benefits both the app provider and the potential customers/app users.
As the app provider, ensuring effective app usability will allow you to receive better returns on investment, to reduce training expenditure etc. On the other hand, as the app user/consumer, remarkable usability will grow your trust and confidence in the product or service delivered via the app.
Mobile App Usability Testing – A viable means of uncovering flaws in app design
By testing the usability of your mobile app, you can easily get hold of all the pain areas within the app’s design.
Once you’re able to detect the issues, it becomes convenient to follow appropriate strategies for resolving the same. Whether it’s about the right use of colors, layout or styling, mobile app usability testing will help your app in sky-rocketing from three or four stars to solid five stars.
Mobile App Usability Testing – Things for you to consider
Here’s a list of vital factors that need to be considered before delving into testing the usability of your mobile application:
- Mobile devices – Since it’s also impossible to test your app for every mobile phone available in the market, it is better to narrow down the varieties of mobile handsets, tablets etc. used by your targeted audience.
- Mobile operating system platforms – It is necessary for you to be familiar with the mobile operating systems that the majority of your targeted customers is using. This will help you in testing your app’s usability for all such mobile platforms.
- Demography of targeted customers – Make sure to gather details about the age, gender, location and other details of the targeted audience for your mobile application. Doing this will allow you to determine the unique preferences of customers, thereby attaining the flexibility of deciding the best features that can be included within the mobile app.
Some of the finest methods for testing the usability of mobile applications
1. Using emulators
You can start testing the usability of mobile apps using simulators, during the early stages of app development. For example, if you want to test the usability of an Android app, opt for the emulator available in Android Software Development Kit (SDK).
2. Opt for a suitable in-app software
As a yet another amazing means of gathering needs, opinions, and expectations of app users, you can opt for an in-app software. For instance, using a software that captures the screen-shots of app usage will enable you to dig deeper into the consumer’s behavior.
3. Paper test of the mobile application
As per this mobile app usability testing approach, you can simply create a paper mockup of your app. This will enable you to get a detailed ides of the entire application. Also, if your app includes scrolling, you’ll be required to create individual mock ups for all the pages to check their working.
4. Use interactive features for gathering first-hand feedback on your app
With the growing advancements in technology, people are heavily relying on interactive features like live chat, online feedback forms and such for conveying their thoughts and opinions on a particular product or service. As an app provider, you too can leverage these features and get to know about the grievances pertaining to your mobile application.
5. Testing the app in a crowded public place
After having invested a great deal of time, money and effort into creating an app, it’s advised to perform an “in the field” testing. Well, by this term I mean testing the app’s usability in an open public place where you can easily detect issues with the app’s sound, light etc. For instance, testing your mobile app at malls, busy pedestrian streets, food courts etc. will enable you to uncover un-attended/skipped usability problems associated with your mobile application.
Speaking from my experience it’s actually worthwhile spending time on testing the usability of your mobile application. The reason for it is very simple. Testing your design on real users will help you in hunting down the areas which require improvement. I’m quite sure after reading this post, you’ll definitely pay attention to affirming flawless usability of your app, the next time you’re about to launch one for your target audience.
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