Best practices for effective usability testing of mobile apps

The mobile app market is huge, and here are a few statistics that bear that out:

  • On an average, 6,140 mobile apps are released from Google Play Store every day. (Source: Statista)
  • As of October 2018, Google Play store had 2.1 million available apps, with Apple’s App Store having 2.0 million apps for downloads. (Source: Statista)
  • The average smartphone user has 25 to 30 apps on his mobile, out of which, he spends 90% of the time on 5 to 7 of his favorite apps.(Source: Nielsen)
  • Global downloads across iOS and Google Play surpass 113 billion in 2018. (Source: App Annie)

So, every day, thousands of new apps are uploaded on Play Store and App Store. However, not all of them make it big. Even as companies spend millions of dollars on app development, app testing, performance and usability are the non-negotiables that make sure that the product or service reaching the end users is the best that is possible. At Vatsa Solutions, we see the huge potential, need and opportunity around mobile app development as well as functional and non-functional testing to provide with great usability. For example, here is an augmented reality-based mobile application that we built for a real-estate firm that saw great adoption amongst its user base.

How critical is the need for usability testing of apps?

With growing competition, one can find mobile apps of multiple companies providing the same services. So, any company that aims to reach a user base of thousands or millions with high engagement has to focus very deliberately on the end-to-end user experience that goes with the app.

The Process:

The usability testing process helps mobile developers understand the usage characteristics and user-experience of an app under controlled conditions. Analyzing the results helps them identify issues and gaps before making the app live. Companies which do not perform solid usability testing of their apps before launch are likely to end up with an app that leaves their users disinterested or frustrated.

Vatsa uses a six-step process for usability study of mobile apps:

  1. Write down the objectives of the study and discuss the same with business stakeholders.
  2. Define the specific tasks to be performed using the app.
  3. Conduct a thorough examination of the mobile app functionalities and record them, including the flow of user interactions, app responsiveness to user actions, app/screen loading time, and ease of accessing the functionality.
  4. Note down the user feedback in real time, identify problem areas and shortcomings in a comprehensive manner.
  5. Discuss, plan a roadmap, and prioritize tasks to solve the problem areas.
  6. Implement the changes and retest the experience.

The process of usability testing can either be carried out in a laboratory setting, with the test participants being constantly monitored while using the app or in a remote environment where test users are assigned the tasks to carry out in their own environments and send back feedback. The motive, in either case, is communicated beforehand, which is to enrich the experience of the end-user and to eliminate or minimize the pain-points.

Though the mobile app market is a highly competitive space, a great app has the potential to stand out from others and reach its full potential of downloads and usage.

Vatsa Solutions has unparalleled experience as a mobile app development company in building user-friendly apps and has helped many companies build on their ideas. To know more about how we can help you build a robust mobile app, contact us today.

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