Usability Testing for Mobile & Web – 7 Lessons Learned

Usability Testing for Mobile & Web

In a world that has gone mobile – ok, a lot of people still use the Web – it is only obvious that the apps and features on these smart devices are user friendly and easy to use. The software or apps that are not easy to use, usually fade away soon into oblivion. It’s just a matter of seconds before prospects decide whether or not a website or an app is functioning according to their whims and fancies. If they are not usable per their requirements and needs, the user moves on to the next available option – and there are thousands of them.

Usability studies, therefore, become paramount in gaining a unique perspective into the most common issues faced by users. The reports then can be used to take the corrective actions so that users can be retained for a long time.

As per the usability testing experience across many organizations across the globe, here are a few observations and lessons learnt for making the user experience better and more comfortable.

  1. Make your site/app lively and intuitive: If you are able to keep your site nicely designed, intuitive even for a first time user, and clear enough so that users can do what they need to without seeking help – you have gained a customer for a long time.
  2. Keep the Navigation simple: Having a multi-level navigation panel is not only confusing, but it is also frustrating to find the required option in a complicated maze of options – and then in a blink, the navigation vanishes. Don’t make it hard for your users to use the product. Make it easy for them by, say, displaying all options at once.
  3. Have Simple Menu Names and Proper Categorization: Unless your categories are grouped properly under the most relevant group – you will continue to lose customers. The categorization must be such that users can identify what they are looking for in seconds – rather than spending minutes trying to sort out things. Agreed that not everyone will always agree with the way you categorize things – hence, just try to make it as agreeable to as many as possible.
  4. Provide a Strong Search Support: Having a strong Search option is definitely a critical tool to have in your kitty – in case your products are too complicated. However, most of the search options provided suffer from certain drawbacks such as restricted word limits, no support for special characters or hyphens, or result in out-of-the-blue or un-prioritized search results (- that have no link whatsoever with the product searched for). The last one specifically is the most irritating! To make this friendlier, run some random checks yourself of the top products of your site and see if there’s some relevance. If not, try to modify the searches and make it more intelligent.
  5. Have a User Friendly Design: There are certain sites where even if there was a link right in front of you, you would not notice it. Why? Because the text colour and format would look exactly like the remaining text on the page. Keep links underlined and preferably in a different colour.
  6. Visualize the product as a customer– not as yourself: If you are able to put yourself in the shows of your customers, try to see the challenges that they may face, and then try to do something to ease their lives – you might as well be sure to generate some pretty quick ROIs.
  7. Provide a Standard Testing Environment: Having a lab for performing specific usability and performance tests make it conducive for mobile testing. Testing whether the apps work seamlessly across multiple devices using varied OSs is a big headache – that may as well be left to be handled by experienced and skilled professionals. Having an uninterrupted WiFi connection adds on to the testers being able to focus on the normal interface issues.

Smaller screens require more vigorous testing is a known fact. A proper lab will help test simulated designs for specific mobile users.

Gallop’s state-of-the-art mobile test lab uses the latest and best in mobile testing to bring you better quality and quicker time-to-market. We offer fine-tuned mobile testing services supported by our proven testing approach, Proprietary Testing IP (ETAS), and mobile testing capabilities through our Mobile Centre of Excellence. Discover the Gallop advantage today.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.