With automated testing and other latest technologies coming up, one may start considering usability testing to be remote and old school. Well, this is a thought that needs to be changed.
Mobile applications are on the rise, and now e-commerce companies are all shifting their focus on increasing sales from mobile applications and websites. This is due to the fact that the purchasing and browsing behaviour of the users are constantly changing. It has become very important to have a mobile optimised, mobile friendly, or a responsive design website, or even better – a mobile application, to attract the prospective customers.
Thorough Mobile Testing is a Must
Your product needs to be tested with the intended users throughout the lifecycle of the product for effective usability. This is where the concept of Usability Testing originates.
The main agenda behind usability testing for Mobile Application Testing is to test the ease with which the different user interfaces in the application can be used. It lets you know if the product or software under test is user-friendly or not. This form of testing is a black box testing technique or specification based technique. It gives you an idea about how the users would feel about your app, if they would be comfortable with the flow, layout, navigation, content, and speed in your application or website. It tests how effective the features are in providing a good user experience.
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Usability testing for Mobile Testing basically tests the following features in your app:
- How easy your software is in terms of usage
- How easy it is to learn your mobile app
- How convenient the users will find your mobile app
The following five are the major components in usability testing:
It defines how easy it is for your users to perform the basic tasks the first time they open your app, and how easily they can grasp and learn it based on the current design.
This parameter lets you decide how many errors the users could make, how severe these errors could be, and how easy will it be for them to recover from these errors and get back on track.
Suppose the users do not use your app for a long period and come back to it after some time. In such a situation, will the user be able to use the design seamlessly and feel acquainted with it? Will he remember your app well enough to use it effectively no matter how long he stays away from it, or will he have to start all over again to settle down and learn your app?
This describes how fast an experienced user could accomplish the various tasks in your app. It rates their efficiency.
This factor describes the user satisfaction after using your app. You get to know how happy the users will be and how much they like your app and its design.
In short, Mobile Testing Services and usability testing could be said to have the following benefits for the end users or your customers:
- A software that is easier to use
- The learning curve is shortened considerably for new users
- The software becomes much easier to use
- The software quality is increased multifold
Mobile Testing Services always insist on usability testing for effective user experience. This is because of the following advantages it has over all other forms of testing:
- It is possible to modify usability test and incorporate all other forms of testing like smoke testing, unit testing, functional testing, system integration testing, and so on.
- If you plan properly, usability testing can turn out to be really economical, highly effective, and totally beneficial in all aspects.
- Usability testing proves out to be really effective in discovering potential bugs and loopholes in the complete software system. These may generally not be visible to the developers, and could even escape testing. But, usability testing can find them all.
- If one uses proper resources, which are experienced and creative testers, then all the problems that the user may face before the final release of the system could be easily fixed. As such, you never have to release a system with errors and issues. This helps in a far better performance and also maintains a standard system.
If you are still wondering why you need to incorporate usability testing for all kinds of Mobile Testing Services, Mobile Application Testing, and even for a Game Tester, then here are 5 reasons that will surely convince you as to why you should never ignore usability testing before releasing your mobile app or game:
- In the Wild Testing
Testing the mobile apps in the lab test them in the most unnatural conditions. The users are all sitting upright holding the devices stiffly in their hands and browsing the app with no distractions. Above all, the internet connectivity, acoustics, and ambience are all set up for the perfect experience. Well, does anyone actually use an app this way? No, right?
Researchers have proven that 73% of the users use their mobiles in the evening, curled up on a couch or their bed. While 69% use it during office hours, 51% use it on weekends, and 42% use them while travelling. Lab based experiments and testing cannot give you proper insights for all these conditions. Testing with actual people gives you feedback in the most effective context of use.
Participants are invited to take a usability test in their own context of use for remote task based usability testing. This way, one can get feedback for real world situations and see the outcome of using a specific application or website.
- User Feedback is Distributed and Representative
Feedback from the intended audience is the most effective and most important part of all kinds of testing. If the participants represent the target users, then you could ensure that the usability findings are absolutely valid without any bias whatsoever. Remote unmoderated usability testing you can get representation for user segments from all across the world.
It is not tough to get responses from a sample of 10 to a few hundred representative users that could fit in to a wide range of different socio-economic and demographic segments from across the world. This would prove to be really effective for the success of your mobile app.
- Agile Methodology
Mobile Application Testing in line with Agile Methodology is the best way to make our app way more effective than you expect. Development organizations have started to finally migrate to lightweight or agile software development to develop and ship apps and mobile websites.
Before and after every sprint, you can ensure to execute remote usability studies. It can even be done during the prototype stage, until your mobile app is all set to be released out to the intended users.
The story does not end there. Even after release, it is important for you to maintain the user expectations and user needs. Remote task-based usability tests give you accurate metrics for these purposes. Being lightweight, it is easy to execute. This makes it the perfect part of Agile Methodology. With accurate statistics, you could keep improving and deliver the users what they require. Maintenance is also an important part of every app.
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- Quantitative and Qualitative Metrics
You get to obtain feedback all throughout the development cycle of your mobile app or website through remote unmoderated research methodology. Testing various versions gives you qualitative feedback on the early prototypes. It also tells you if the information architecture and content layout are able to convey the value proposition effectively and as desired.
Usability testing provides you easy test findability, effective and efficient metrics with all your prototypes or live apps and websites. Benchmarking performance gives you quantitative and qualitative feedback all through the development cycle and even after that. It also gives you an edge against your competitors.
- Resource Effective and Cost Effective
Usability tests on your mobile apps and websites do not consume much time or money. They are effective in terms of cost, resources, and time. The time required is almost half, and the cost is almost a quarter of those required in a usual lab study.
Lab studies could take around 2 weeks for planning and execution, and the cost is also high for incentives and set up.
As for an unmoderated remote usability test, one needs a week for planning, execution, and collecting data for about 30 to 300 responses. Besides being low in cost, designing and execution of usability tests is also effortless. Moreover, you also have the option to reuse already coded usability test plans.
One thing you need to keep in mind is that usability testing is a very wide area of testing. One needs to have a fairly high level of understanding to get in to this field, along with a mind that is creative and innovative. Patience, openness to welcome all kinds of suggestions and ideas, ability to listen to all suggestions, and excellent observation skills to be able to spot and fix issues are some of the most important skills that the people involved in usability testing need to possess.
Mobile applications have become an inevitable part of the human life. The world has become fast paced and consumer focused. As such, it is more important to offer the users a seamless and pleasurable usage experience. By using the unmoderated remote methodology and conducting user research researchers are able to get data right out of the real world for increased accuracy and efficiency. This helps you further in connecting with your users and growing your business.