10 Tips for Mobile Usability Testing

Trent Mankelow of Optimal Usability gives a handy set of tried-and-tested hints for mobile usability testing.

While the set of ten include some good common sense ones, I particularly liked tip #2 and #3 for their expert knowledge:

Tip 2: Test in a crowded public place. Once you have a handful of screen concepts, you need to get them in front of people. By testing “in the field” you’ll find issues with noise, light and social situations that you wouldn’t otherwise uncover, which can have a big impact on the final design. We’ve had the most success testing in places with good foot traffic such as food courts, malls, cinemas and busy pedestrian streets. Before you begin you may need to ring the venue to find out what their requirements are and to get the proper clearance. For example, Westfield required that we set up a table rather than wander around their mall.

Tip 3: Use chocolate as a lure. We’ve found that a simple, universally loved treat is a good way to encourage people to help out. We generally use large blocks of chocolate, but must admit that testing during Wellington’s first snowfall in 30 years made us think that a hot chocolate voucher would have been smarter.

For the rest of the tips check out the email article. (Note: as far as I know, the monthly newsletters — which usually contain gems like this — are never published on blogs. Sign up on their site.)

[Edit: article is now available on the Optimal Usability blog]

Featured image NC-BY-CC by djlein

Vicky Teinaki

An England-based Kiwi, Vicky is doing a PhD at Northumbria University into how designers can better talk about touch and products. When not researching or keeping Johnny Holland running, she does the odd bit of web development, pretends her TV licence money goes only to Steven Moffatt shows, and tweets prolifically about all of the above as @vickytnz.

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