Testing Mobile Apps


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Presentation given by user experience Designer Jennifer Morrow in Warsaw, Poland September 9, 2012

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Testing Mobile Apps

  1. 1. HOW TO USER TEST YOUR APP September 9, 2012 Warsaw, Poland
  2. 2. cześć!
  3. 3. I was going to do all my slides in orange... ...but it’s day two...
  4. 4. Aah. Hangover friendly.
  5. 5. My Name is Boriss I’m on the Mozilla User Experience Team
  6. 6. Our focus is on how Mozilla’s products and services are perceived, learned, and used
  7. 7. tl;dr: User experience is a back and forth process between: 1. The needs of users 2. Innovation based on those needs
  8. 8. If only the users’ current needs are considered... ! “We ask users what they want and we’ll build that.”
  9. 9. Ask users what they want and then build it? Cool, let’s do that! except....
  10. 10. This only addresses current problems, so your solutions will be limited to current problems
  11. 11. Users are experts in what bothers them, but not why it bothers them nor what the solution is !
  12. 12. “If I’d asked my customers what they wanted, they’d have said a faster horse.” ! - attributed to Henry Ford, but who knows
  13. 13. Can lead to just “averaging” needs: building to fix individual problems rather than with an overall vision of the product !
  14. 14. “What’s your favorite color?”
  15. 15. Grey “What’s your favorite color?”
  16. 16. Ok, so how do we build apps around real user needs?
  17. 17. First, know your users. • What are they trying to accomplish? ! • What are their metrics of success? Productivity, creativity, accomplishment, better communication, fun? ! • Oh, and... who are they?
  18. 18. How can we discover the needs of app users? ! • User testing, with participants selected for matches with your demographic and enough people to be statistically significant ! • Focus groups, with participants recruited via agencies and pair for their time ! • Eye tracking studies ! • Journal studies ! • Contextual interviews ...unless you’re broke and in a hurry
  19. 19. Here’s some quick and dirty user experience tips for your app
  20. 20. A common problem app developers face is unknowingly designing for: • Their features and capabilities • Themselves • Everyone • Their mom
  21. 21. To avoid falling in this trap, create a persona! ! • Personas are fictional, archetypal users that represent the needs of larger groups of users ! • They act as ‘stand-ins’ for real users and help guide decisions about functionality and design ! • They have specific attributes as people and needs as users. They should be “real” enough to talk about and design for
  22. 22. Personas are useful for: ! • Giving the team a shared point of reference for design (much better than everyone’s mom) ! • Tying the usage and design of the product to real human needs, not just features ! • Focusing the scope of design on particular kinds of users, rather than “all users”
  23. 23. Let’s make one! • Name? • Age? • Occupation? • Familiarity with similar products?
  24. 24. Once you have a design or prototype, how can you get useful UX feedback on it?
  25. 25. “Think-aloud” tests: Easy, cheap, and super effective!
  26. 26. Think-aloud test tl;dr: ! 1. Find a user not familiar with your product who (hopefully) is similar to your target users ! 2. Give the user a task or two to do. Instruct the user to “think out loud,” remind them to do this when they stop (they will) ! 3. Don’t say anything: record or take notes ! 4. Rinse and repeat with different users !
  27. 27. Think-aloud tips: ! • Take some demographic information down at the beginning. How familiar is the user with the product, etc? ! • Assure the user at the beginning that you are “testing the software, not them.” ! • The rougher the prototype looks, the more honest feedback will be ! • At the end of the test, ask the user for any clarifications you need on what they did during the test !
  28. 28. Let’s try it!
  29. 29. What if I just need a question or two answered but don’t have the money for an agency? ! Turk it!
  30. 30. Amazon Mechanical Turk pros: ! • Cheap • Fast • No recruiting • Participants are actually thorough and take time on • studies • If you need a specific demographic you can target it • Anonymous, so less lab-watched effects
  31. 31. Amazon Mechanical Turk cons: ! • Some markets are harder to reach: India and the United States still the vast majority of workers, all have access to computer and internet ! • Limits on how interactive your test can be ! • Money is the motivation for your users - they want to finish your test and move into another, and are in this mindset.
  32. 32. Let’s turk something!
  33. 33. Questions?
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