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Mobile Usability Testing

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How to take your usability testing skills and expand into mobile usability testing.

Published in: Technology

Mobile Usability Testing

  1. 1. mobile usability testing variations on a theme Barbara Ballard http://www.littlespringsdesign.com
  2. 2. people are still people now they are mobile
  3. 3. • standard research techniques • context more important • software testing adds challenges • video capture rigs • beta tests more powerful
  4. 4. • Wizard of Oz (paper prototyping) particularly useful • voice input applications • location • events (incoming message, call, out of network) • front end research (e.g., personas) need to incorporate context
  5. 5. context
  6. 6. sources of context • device vs. computer emulation • laboratory vs. field • outdoors vs. indoors • task-focused vs. other-focused • environmental input (e.g., camera)
  7. 7. emulators & simulators • on-computer use of the application • emulators use actual code • simulators simulate - avoid! • neither match true interaction • computer testing good for information architecture • interaction, aesthetic, function need to be tested on device
  8. 8. laboratory vs. field • laboratory test - standard • field test • can’t capture all context • what background tasks/environment? • may capture more issues • hybrid (e.g., shopping mall, park) • aesthetic issues can be better captured (glare?)
  9. 9. laboratory vs. field • typical: laboratory test • hybrids great for design phase testing • use field test when • late in design cycle; most obvious issues addressed • environmental interaction critical • ex. mobile payments
  10. 10. software testing
  11. 11. device matching • device selection impacts • user interface paradigm • how Java, web content rendered • screen size, input mechanisms • how OS works
  12. 12. more device matching • carrier (operator) selection impacts • home screen arrangement & content • whether SMS links work • technologies (GPS, Java, Flash, ...) • connectivity at test site • expectation for certain device behaviors • available devices (e.g., Sprint != Nokia)
  13. 13. tips for device matching • use one carrier only • restricts device pool • avoids carrier problems • develop device clusters • each cluster has mostly same UX • Nokias largely the same (S40 varies from S60) • Asian manufacturers tend to match carrier UI
  14. 14. capture equipment • capture screen, face, body language • using actual device • as realistic an experience as possible • ease of use • price
  15. 15. lamp-cam
  16. 16. lamp-cam DIY fragile separate face capture must be clipped
  17. 17. lamp-cam
  18. 18. ELMO-cam
  19. 19. ELMO-cam DIY modifications fixed on surface
  20. 20. ELMO-cam
  21. 21. sled
  22. 22. sled DIY or purchase enables body language capture
  23. 23. sled
  24. 24. body language
  25. 25. beta testing
  26. 26. basic concept • deploy service with server-detected events • create surveys • VoiceXML, SMS, or web • customized for task • elicit user feedback when event occurs
  27. 27. trigger events • match user tasks as much as possible • acquire through server logs • send survey when • first time attempting task • nth time attempting task • every n weeks • send alerts via SMS
  28. 28. surveys • limited to 1-2 minutes • capture what task was being attempted • rate ease, enjoyment, etc. • VoiceXML also allows easy free-form input • expire survey in ~20 minutes
  29. 29. ability to track • task frequencies • usage drop-off • ease of use, affect as a function • frequency of use • time between uses • number of uses
  30. 30. research is still research • standard research techniques • plus context • plus device & carrier matching • video capture options • beta tests more powerful
  31. 31. references • www.gotomobile.com • www.littlespringsdesign.com • www.usableproducts.com • A. Kaikkonen et al (2005). Usability Testing of Mobile Applications: A Comparison between Laboratory and Field Testing, Journal of Usability Studies • C.M. Nielsen et al (2006). It’s Worth the Hassle! The Added Value of Evaluating the Usability of Mobile Systems in the Field, NordCHI 2006. Barbara Ballard http://www.littlespringsdesign.com

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