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Mobile Usability: Why Great UX Matters More Than Ever


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The world of mobile usability is quickly becoming a critical path for launching successful mobile apps. As the market matures and users become more sophisticated, apps must do more than function correctly, which is already an uphill battle in the ever-expanding mobile landscape. Apps must also be intuitive, efficient, easy-to-use and strategically designed to convert leads into revenue for m-commerce.

Yet, there's a lack of mobile usability standards and a complex matrix of form factors-- starting with the choice between mobile web versus native app-- that makes effective mobile interface development a daunting task. During this session, Peter Shih will frame the challenge of mobile usability and outline a range of technology solutions that can help marketing professionals and software developers launch mobile apps that delight end users and exceed expectations.

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Mobile Usability: Why Great UX Matters More Than Ever

  1. 1. Mobile UsabilityWhy Great UX Matters More Than EverPresented by Peter Shih | |#MoDevUX | April 2012 | @petershih_uTest
  2. 2. The Challenge The Mobile Market Boom | 2
  3. 3. Mobile Apps Boom Market• IDC: mobile app revenue will hit $35 billion by 2014• B2B mobility no longer just for email – Business apps: CRM, ERP, HR systems – Productivity apps: docs, spreadsheets, presentations – Collaboration apps: email, IM, publishing• B2C mobility growth even steeper – Retail: location-intelligent m-commerce – Media: magazines & newspapers going purely digital – Travel: mobile bookings, check-ins, maps, deals – Education: tablets in every classroom – Healthcare: patient records, physician notes – Social: no explanation required – Gaming: ditto | 3
  4. 4. Mobile’s Just Getting Started | 4
  5. 5. The Challenge Mobile Usability So What’s The Problem? | 5
  6. 6. Challenges for Mobile Usability• Mobile Web vs. Native App – Single vs. multiple platforms – Controlled user experience – Rich media functionality – App store (ratings + distribution) – Not either/or• Multiple I/O mechanisms – Touch screen vs. physical keyboard vs. voice control – Fixed screen vs. orientation-based layout• Functional issues hamper UX – Rendering and loading | 6
  7. 7. Additional Challenges• Back to the Future – Form factors matter again - Feature phones - Smart phones - Tablets – A return to the late 90’s web - Lack of usability standards - Lack of mobile browser standards - Lack of screen resolution standards - Lack of tools and dev kits – Extremely fluid landscape - OS and browser - Handset manufacturer/model - Wireless carrier - Location | 7
  8. 8. The Challenge Possible Future Paths For Mobile | 8
  9. 9. Place Your BetsA number of scenarios could play out 1. Number of major mobile OSes down: from 5 to 4 to 3 2. HTML5 for mobile web kills native apps 3. Native apps win the battle, but hybrid wrappers win the warYour Predictions? | 9
  10. 10. Psst… It’s Not Just Mobile • Smartphones & tablets make UX immeasurably tougher • Now imagine a whole world of platforms/apps: E-Readers Cars Household Appliances Smart Homes Gaming Consoles Connected TVs | 10
  11. 11. The Challenge Approaches To Mobile Usability | 11
  12. 12. Spectrum of Approaches• On-site vs. Remote• Moderated vs. Unmoderated Test• Survey vs. Recording – With or without eye-tracking and audio narration• Explicit vs. Implicit | 12
  13. 13. Considerations• Traditional methods still apply – Sitemaps  Wireframes  Paper prototypes  Digital prototypes – Pre-launch and post-launch testing• Native app beats mobile web in 2011, but tide may shift soon• Forget about making the mobile web; make the web mobile• Consider providing a link from Mobile to Web, and vice versa | 13
  14. 14. The Challenge Mobile UX Offerings Range of Services | 14
  15. 15. UX Testing LandscapeSelf-serve vs. White Glove services Usability Labs $$$ $ DIY Expert | 15
  16. 16. UX Testing LandscapeRemote vs. On-site Usability Labs $$$ + $ Remote On-Site | 16
  17. 17. UX Testing LandscapeModerated vs. Unmoderated Usability Labs $$$ $ Moderated Unmoderated | 17
  18. 18. UX Testing LandscapeExplicit vs. Implicit Usability Labs $$$ $ Explicit Implicit | 18
  19. 19. Mobile-specific Considerations • Always Begin with the End User in Mind • Utilize Respondents that Match Your End-User Base – Technologically: OS, browser, anti-virus, device, carrier – Geographically: Continent, country, city, language – Demographically: Age, gender, education, industry, hobby • Test with Teal, Live Devices “In The Wild” – Mobile manufacturer/model – Mobile OS and release version – Wireless carrier – Location, location, location | 19
  20. 20. The Challenge Bottom Line | 20
  21. 21. Recommendations1. Determine Your Mobile Testing Playbook – what matters to you? – On-site vs. Remote – Moderated vs. Unmoderated Test – Survey vs. Recording – Explicit vs. Implicit2. Determine Desired Deliverables – Recorded sessions: Audio, Video (screen and user interaction) – Survey-based data and analysis – Heuristic review – Report with recommendations3. Determine How to Best Execute – How much expertise and capacity you need in mobile Ux testing – Buy vs. build vs. partner | 21
  22. 22. Key Takeaways• Mobile Has Forever Changed Usability – Users expect your app to “just work” – Increasing need to test “in the wild” – complements testing in the lab• Test, Listen & Iterate Early and Often – Sitemaps – Wireframes – Pencil/paper prototypes – Digital, interactive prototypes – Pre-launch and post-launch• Use a UX Expert + select Respondents hat match your End Users – Need to mirror your users, and where they work, live, and play | 22
  23. 23. The Challenge Thank You! MoDevUX Peter Shih | Director of Community | @petershih_uTest | 23