Mobile testing: Best practices

Follow these guidelines for running a mobile test on the UserTesting platform.


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Mobile testing guidelines

  • When launching a comparison test, 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 Site B in quick succession, you should write out both URLs in the task so that they can access them correctly.
    • Note: Our iOS browser doesn't yet support tabbed browsing. 
  • If testing an unreleased app, please refer to our articles How to Launch an Unreleased iOS App Test and How to Launch an Unreleased Android App Test.
  • Use the Native Browser option when you require advanced browser functionality (e.g., multiple tabs), or you've noticed issues with your prototype loading on our browser.
    • Note that selecting this option will change the recording method in such a way that finger-taps will no longer be captured. 
    • Participants will use Safari or Chrome, depending on their operating system.
    • Note: If you're using the in-app browser and something doesn't look right in the videos you're receiving, we ask that you recreate the test using a native browser. 
    • Check the Native Browser option box when building your test plan, which requires participants to use the native browser when testing on their mobile devices



Test length and tasks

  • With iOS tests, reiterate the site/app you are testing in the first task.
    • Doing so 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.
    • Participants expect tests to take no longer than that.
    • Test sessions longer than 15 minutes may cause participant fatigue, which often diminishes the quality of the feedback.
    • Keep in mind that test sessions on mobile devices tend to be shorter than those on desktop.
  • Include time frames for some tasks.
    • For example: “Spend up to two minutes reviewing the site. What do you like or dislike about it?”
  • Keep task descriptions short.
    • Because there's a limited amount of space to display the task description on the screen, write your tasks as concisely as possible.
    • Also, push the most important details toward the front of the task.
  • Provide the URL to a specific page if you're asking participants for feedback on that page.
    • Providing the URL will help participants quickly access that page, and allow them to return to it should they navigate elsewhere.
  • Use shortened URLs.
    • To conserve space, use condensed URLs (created through a service such as when including links in task descriptions.
    • Long links can crowd up the screen.
  • Due to inconsistent loading speeds for mobile connections, avoid using the five-second test when using the mobile recorder.



Questions and ratings

  • Be careful not to use too many written-response questions.
    • Typing on a mobile device can be cumbersome and lead to participant fatigue during the study.
    • Use written-response questions sparingly, opting for verbal responses instead.
  • Direct participants to write their answers to written-response questions in the “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 capture the fully 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.



Mobile tests for gaming

  • Some gaming apps can be too load-intensive for the UserTesting mobile app.
    • We recommend that you request participants to play 10-15 minutes at most to reduce the strain on the UserTesting app.
    • Please launch the tests with only 1-2 pilot sessions first to ensure they can be successfully completed before you add any further sessions.
  • If your app file is over 100MB, please notify participants that they will need to connect to Wi-Fi if they haven't already.
    • It would be best to screen for any specific iOS or Android requirements that you may have for your mobile test.



Mobile templates

  • Utilize our customizable templates as a starting point.
  • We have various mobile templates to choose from in our Template gallery.



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