Just as mobile apps are different from desktop apps, the process of running a usability study on a mobile device is different from recording one on a desktop computer. Here are some success tips created by our research team.
- Tips for testing mobile browsers and apps
- Test length and tasks
- Questions and ratings
- Additional Resources
Tips for testing mobile browsers and apps
- Keep in mind: Our iOS browser doesn’t yet support tabbed browsing. If you're 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 participants to see them.
- For example, if you’d like participants to look at site A and B in quick succession, you should write out both URLs in the task so that participants can access them correctly.
- 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.
- Our iOS mobile recorder will not record videos that appear within your app or on your site. The test participant will see and hear the video during their test, however since our recorder can't capture it, you'll see a black screen in it's place when you get your feedback.
- Our iOS mobile recorder requires access to the tester's microphone. As a result, it may not work with your app if the app must also access the tester's microphone. If your site or app requires the use of the tester's microphone, please test with the webcam option in lieu of the recorder.
Test length and tasks
- With iOS tests, it is helpful to reiterate the site/app you are testing in the first task. This will help participants 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 participants expect tests to take no longer than 15 minutes. Longer test sessions may cause participant 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 participants 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 bit.ly) 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 mobile device can be cumbersome, and can lead to participant fatigue during the study. Use written-response questions sparingly, and where possible use verbal responses instead.
- Direct participants to write their answers to written-response questions in “box below”. Some participants begin 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.