Category Archives: usability

How to Conduct a Usability Test

Usability is key for the success of a mobile app. One of the best ways to determine if you app is usable to your customers is through usability testing. This will help you think about the app from the user’s perspective. Here are the steps to ensure a successful usability test.

1. User goals

Think about the activities users carry out on your mobile app that you would like to test. Which checkout method is more intuitive and user friendly? Which design features does your app need to boost sales and conversations? Setting viable usability objectives will help you to assess the performance of your application throughout development. And when establishing usability test objectives, be sure to discuss them with your team. Making it a team effort will help assure they are measurable, clarify the goals and all the goal questions are answered accurately.

2. Choose the right test

There are many usability test techniques. Choosing the right technique is important to a successful test project. Here are three of the most common types:


Choosing the right technique is important to a successful test project. | Photo: City University Interaction Lab (Flikr)

Scripted: A scripted test is one of the most common type of usability testing, and is recommended for analyzing the user’s interaction with the product based on set instructions. Scripted tests tend to target more specific goals and individual features.

De-contextualized: It analyzes in a more generalized way and discussing theoretical topics. It is ideal for targeting broad opinions and idea generation.

Natural: This test is recommended for examining the user’s behavior and identifying their feelings with accuracy – by analyzing him/her in their own environment.

After you identify the type of usability test to run, share this with your team and plan accordingly.

3. Create user tasks

Usability user tasks are meant to give you valuable insight. Regardless of whether you do everything right or wrong, usability testing will always work provided you get your user tasks right. Since users tasks are either open or closed, your test should include both.

Closed: This question is asked to confirm or verify, usually eliciting only simple answers.

Open: This is a question, which cannot be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”. For example, what factors you take into account when buying a car? These questions normally lead to accurate answers.

4. Write a research plan document

It is important to provide your team a small research plan document about a page and encourage them to actually read it. While keeping everything short and precise, be sure to cover the following key sections: background, goals, questions, tactics, participants, timeline, and test script. Consider advice and suggestions from your team members as well.

5. Carry out the test

Once you have gathered all the feedback from your team, you can now carry out the test. This entails writing the actual test documentation, scheduling times and recruiting the right participants.

6. Write a report

To ensure everyone is on the same page, draft up a quick usability report so as to share the results with your team. As you write the report, keep the following in mind: avoid vagueness, prioritize issues and include recommendations.


Mobile app testing is expensive and time consuming, yet critical to ensure users have a positive experience when they use your app. It is important you ensure that the experience is a great one for every user whenever they use your application. Hopefully, you now understand about the procedure associated with mobile app usability test.


Creating Superior User Experiences

User experience is of paramount importance to today’s consumers, so making it easy for them to get the information they need or want is a critical part of today’s mobile experience. If your mobile application‘s users can’t easily find what they are looking for, they will quickly abandon your mobile application. If you offer a positive user experience, making it easy and intuitive for users to navigate your application and find what they are looking for, your brand can engage and potentially convert a greater volume of shoppers or develop a solid user base. There are huge advantages to developing applications with a sound usability strategy and a big risk that if you do not you will be quickly turning away potential customers.

When it comes to retail or online brands, offering access to immediate customer support through tools like mobile chat, brands can quickly and effectively engage and potentially convert a high volume of consumers. There is a big advantage to offering real-time, personalized assistance at a customer’s fingertips. These advantages only just start with increased conversion ratios and go on to include items like reducing overall support costs.

Another key area is personalization. Mobile users generally don’t have the patience to sift through irrelevant information on a mobile application. Therefore it is best to make sure that content is based on the consumer’s location, preferences and history. Making your users dig for relevant info will just send consumers to your competition.

With the amount of time and money that consumers are spending on mobile growing, it is more important that ever to offer well thought out consumer experiences. Better user experiences are helping to fuel the growth of mobile and those that are not offering quality experiences will quickly find that users are flocking to those that are offering what consumers expect.

Mobile More Important to Retail Than the Internet

Mobile is having a massive effect on the retail industry and is expected to have a bigger impact on the industry than the Internet ever did according to a new analysis from Deloitte.

Deloitte’s new Consumer Review is showing a sound 14 percent rise in smartphone use in the UK to 72 percent. Based on the rise in the number of shoppers with mobile devices in hand, we see retailers are quickly installing WiFi into stores, developing mobile apps, and optimizing marketing campaigns and mobile web sites for tablets and smartphones. In fact in a survey of 1,000 UK consumers, it was found that one third had already used some form of online wallet.

“There is no doubt that mobile is rapidly redefining the way consumers and brands interact even more than the Internet did,” said Ben Perkins, head of consumer business research at Deloitte. “Consumers are expecting convenience, simplicity and security in exchange for their loyalty. It is only by embracing mobile’s full potential with the right strategy that a consumer facing business can compete in a mobile-centric world.”

Savvy businesses that fulfill customer expectations are reaping the rewards while others that do not are at risk of being left behind. “Right now we see smart companies embracing the new business paradigm”, according to Kimber Johnson, managing director of Pacific App Design.”Those that are giving consumers the mobile experience they are looking for are seeing great results but I wouldn’t want to be in the shoes of a business that isn’t keeping up right now.”

This brings to light the importance of usability. Consumers are no longer content to just see a business has a mobile presence, but rather as the industry has grown and matured they are expecting that presence to be easy to use or they will abandon it.