Mobile Recorder Best Practices

Last Updated: Nov 30, 2016 11:36AM PST

Practical Tips for Using the Mobile Recorder

Just as mobile apps are different from desktop apps, the process of running a user test on a mobile device is different from recording one with a webcam. Here are some success tips created by our research team.

Tips for Testing Mobile Browsers and Apps

  • Keep in mind: Our iOS browser doesn’t yet support tabbed browsing. If you are running a comparison test or a competitor web test on iOS, you’ll need to specify the links for each site in the test plan when you want users to see them.

    For example, if you’d like users to look at site A and B in quick succession, you should write out both URLs in the task so that users can access them correctly.‚Äč

  • When testing apps on iOS devices an SDK will need to be incorporated into a testing version of your app. This does not apply to app tests taken on Android devices.

  • Because of the SDK requirement, if you want to test your competitors’ apps on iOS, they must be conducted with our camera tests, rather than with the Mobile Recorder. This limitation does not apply to Android tests.

Test Length and Tasks

  • On iOS tests, it is helpful to reiterate the site/app you are testing in the first task. This will help users understand what they are testing, and what they should be looking at before proceeding through tasks.

  • Android tests automatically display the start URL as the first task, so repeating it is not necessary.

  • Keep tests as close to 15 minutes as possible. Our users expect tests to take no longer than 15 minutes. Longer test sessions may cause user fatigue, which may result in a diminishing quality of the feedback after the 15 minute mark. Keep in mind, true life mobile sessions tend to be shorter than desktop sessions.

  • Keep task descriptions short. There is a limited amount of space to display the task description on screen, so concisely-written tasks are best. Also, push the most important details toward the front of the task.

  • If asking for feedback on a specific page, provide the URL. Providing the URL will help users quickly get to the page you’d like feedback on, and they’ll be able to return to that page if they navigate elsewhere.

  • Use shortened URLs. To conserve space, use shortened URLs (created through a service such as when including links in task descriptions. Long links can crowd up the screen!

  • 5-second test: Due to inconsistent loading speeds for mobile connections, avoid using the 5-second test when using the Mobile Recorder.

Questions and Ratings

  • Avoid too many written-response questions. Typing on a phone can be cumbersome, and it’s tedious for you to watch. Use written-response questions sparingly, and where possible use verbal responses instead.

  • Direct users to write their answers to written-response questions in “box below”. Some users start answering the written-response questions verbally, so the entire response may not be captured in writing. Reminding them to type their answers in the provided box will help you capture the full written response.

  • Multiple choice and rating scales are great for mobile tests. Try to incorporate these types of questions (if available) in your study, because they don’t require lots of typing. Don’t have metrics? Contact your Customer Success Manager for more details.
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