Usability Testing in Mobile App Development

22 June 2016 ‐ 5 min read

So you have a great idea for a mobile application that’ll change the world. Fabulous! Here’s the truth though – even with your amazing photoshop skills and business acumen, it’s going to need usability testing.

So you have a great idea for a mobile application that’ll change the world. Fabulous! Here’s the truth though – even with your amazing photoshop skills and business acumen, it’s going to need usability testing.

Simply put, mobile applications are an investment, and that’s why it’s vital to consider all the possible ramifications, uses and situations it may be used in and, most of all, the people who will use it. That’s why our team focuses so keenly on Usability Testing, because it’s through this process that an app truly begins to take shape and become purpose-driven.

Usability testing is often seen as an ‘extra’ step in development phases but, at 4i, it’s one of the most important steps, integrated into every phase of development. Usability testing is a technique in user-centred design that evaluates a product by testing it on the intended users. It’s the cornerstone of user experience design and an irreplaceable usability practice as it gives direct input into how real users will interact with a product.

 

 

It’s the cornerstone of user experience design and an irreplaceable usability practice as it gives direct input into how real users will interact with a product.

Why perform Usability Testing?

Usability Testing identifies UX issues with mobile applications to ensure that user expectations are met and the prototype is easy to use. The demand to improve product usability is greater than ever before, yet usability testing is so often forgotten in the heat of development phases. Accurately measuring the effectiveness of UX enables our clients and team to measure, manage and improve on an application’s usability in a holistic manner.

How We Do It

At 4i, we start with the strategy first, to ensure that an application is developed in line with our client’s overarching business strategy and that it caters for their users’ needs. Before the first line of code is written, our team fully understand the application’s context, purpose and intended audience.

Using our agile methodology to development, our team works to create a first prototype, which is then tested through focus groups. We source users from the intended target market and test the prototype application with them, taking them through scenarios that are relevant to our client’s business goals and strategy. Our clients are able to observe users as they interact with their application, and reap the benefits of knowing how their application can be improved or transformed to better serve their users’ needs. Once the user testing process is complete, clients receive a full report on the usability testing, including results, findings as well as recommendations for improvements.

At 4i, we’re proud to be the home of Stellenbosch’s first ever user experience testing laboratory, with a studio that includes a comfortable interview room for testers, cameras and a viewing room for clients.

Can we help you improve your app, or assist with developing the very best app you desire? Our UX experts are always happy to hear about new ideas and projects, so drop us a line on hello@4imobile.co.za.