The Mobile app development segment has achieved much growth this decade in the tech industry. Considering the fact that 204 billion mobile apps were downloaded in the year 2019, the future holds many businesses operating via app-only strategy. In 2020, almost every company has a mobile app or has considered plans to get one. But, developing a mobile app isn’t that simple. There are multiple steps within the mobile app development lifecycle, and each one of them includes user experience testing.

Before you dream about achieving millions of revenue via a mobile app, you need to make sure that your app has brilliant user experience and usability. User experience testing improves the conversion rate optimisation (CRO) by understanding and identifying the user intents and needs. Your development or designing team will then resolve the issues identified during the user experience testing. But, conducting the user experience testing of a mobile app often gets challenging. In this article, we’ll discuss how to do user experience testing?

Before diving into knowing the technologies that are used for user experience testing, it is crucial to understand the proper way to prepare for testing. The preparations include logic development for the test and user journey analysis. In the later part of the article, we’ll also talk about the effective ways to prepare for user experience and usability testing. But, before we get into that, let’s discuss the difference between user experience testing and usability testing.
Difference between User Experience Testing and Usability Testing
In the mobile app context, User experience (UX) is the user’s subjective attitudes and feelings about using the mobile app. External factors affecting the user experience includes branding, app’s functional scope, user’s psychological expectation and state of mind.

Usability is a component of UX and a very crucial quality indicator for interactive mobile apps. It is a measurement of the app’s effectiveness, ease of use, adaptability, efficiency, infallibility, and satisfactory level. Usability is mostly related to the functional improvements in an app.

In most of the cases, the issues we look for while testing Usability and UX are:

User Experience
Assessment of how users interact with the app and what challenges they’ve faced while reaching their desired goal.

Usability

Evaluation of overall effectiveness and efficiency of the app while keeping the user comfort and satisfaction in consideration.

Whilst User Experience Testing and Usability Testing are the two different testing modules and in order to achieve success in the cut-throat competition, you should pay attention to both of these methods of testing.
Know your user base before you start
Different user groups behave differently when using a mobile app. For example, millennials check their smartphone 150 times a day which is far higher than any other generation. Therefore, it is crucial for you to know your target audience. Generation, age, profession, education level, religious and cultural background, geography, tech familiarity, and many other such factors can be used while identifying the target user base.

The audience you test your app with should be relevant and a replica of your real users. For example, if you are testing a ride-sharing mobile app, you will not want to keep elderly car owners from a rural location in your target user base. Instead, working millennials residing in urban areas will be a great pick for you.

10 user experience testing methods

Testing the user experience and usability follows scientific methods. You identify the need or tasks for testers, generate a hypothesis, set up and run tests, and analyse the results. If it sounds complicated to you, don’t be scared. There are tools that will help you do the user experience testing. But, we’ll get to them later. First, let’s see how to do user experience testing and what are the different methodologies?

1. Card Sorting

Card sorting is a low tech and inexpensive method to determine an effective mobile app sitemap, menu structure, or information architecture. Initially, you will create a sitemap or menu based on your own understanding which is often influenced by rival apps. But, to ensure the success of your mobile app, you should test and improve it.

Image Credit: ExperienceUX

To test how good your sitemap is as compared to the one your users want, you will need to put together a card sorting survey. You can conduct card sorting in multiple ways including using actual cards, pieces of paper, or can use online tools such as Optimal Sort, which will ease out your research.

The results from the card sorting test will allow you to understand the optimal way to group your content within your mobile app. While it doesn’t provide you with the final sitemap or information architecture, it will guide you to the optimal ones.

2. Moderated UX Testing

Moderated user testing can be conducted by allowing a moderator in the discussion group or in a room with participants. In both cases, the moderator will help participants with the process of testing, answering their queries, and explaining to them about what the app wants to achieve.

The moderated user testing for UX becomes crucial when you want someone to explain to the users about how the app or interface will work. If some confusion remains, there is surely an issue with the mobile app user experience. Also, the moderator will report about what they’ve witnessed during the test.

3. Unmoderated UX Testing

While moderated user testing is effective in some cases, many experts believe that in other cases, unmoderated user testing is more effective. The reason is backed by the theory that people will feel more comfortable in sharing their real opinions and feelings when they aren’t physically surrounded by any real supervisor or moderator.

Undoubtedly, unmoderated user testing brings more natural results but you will also have to leave room for unfocused participant behaviour and user errors. Therefore, it is advised to run both moderated and unmoderated UX testing to get more accurate results.

4. User Feedback

The voice of users has a tremendous impact on how your app will perform in the market. When it comes to user feedback, studies have shown a very horrifying picture. Only 4 percent of dissatisfied customers give feedback to the company about their complaints, whilst 96 percent remain silent, and 90 percent abandon using the services altogether.

There are several ways of listening to your user’s voice. The sources of information can be:

  • User reviews on the mobile app stores
  • Feedback received via in-app feedback forms
  • Reviews on third-party websites
  • Emails from the users

Lastly, never ignore the feedback received from the users. You can list them down in your database for further study.

5. Survey

Feedbacks are triggered from the user’s side and as stated above, only 4 percent of the dissatisfied customers feedback. So, if you don’t want to wait for the users to contact you, you can put together a survey to know what your users feel about your app.

You can conduct the survey within the app or on your website. If your app has a presence on social media and has enough followers that have similar characteristics as your real users, you can ask the survey questions on this channel as well. The point is to ask questions and get responses from them so that you understand your target audience better. Analysing the responses, you can derive actionable insights.

6. Recordings and Heatmaps

While designing the app, you might have wondered how the actual user will use the app? Will they be able to find the most crucial elements of any mobile app screen? Whether or not there is ambiguity about the action items? Are CTAs placed at the right spot?

The screen recordings and heat maps allow you to see how your users interact with your mobile app. You’ll know the exact spots where they click, drag, or swipe. And accordingly, you can adjust your user interface or UX.

If you wonder how to record heatmaps and app analytics, there are mobile app heatmap analysis software such as VWO that are helping mobile app owners know the user behaviour to improve their user experience.

7. Accessibility Testing

When it comes to getting success in this cut-throat competition of the mobile app market, there is no room for broken pages or links that leads to nowhere. Broken or inaccessible pages are really very annoying for the users.

Let’s take you for an example, think when you’re visiting a website or using a mobile app and you click on an action button but it doesn’t take you anywhere or doesn’t respond. Or perhaps it takes you to a screen which isn’t what you’ve desired to go. In this case, you will possibly feel annoyed and may abandon the app. Therefore, it is essential that you audit for accessibility and usability for your mobile app.

8. Aesthetics Testing

Ethically, it is prohibited to judge a book by its cover, right? But, being honest, it’s human tendency to do so. For example, which one of these books are you more likely to buy?

Undoubtedly, the first one is more appealing and you might prefer to buy it over the other. Though, beauty and style is subjective, but your app design and user interface should contain the latest graphic designing trends.

However, when your app is ready, you can’t just rest on whatever your team has designed. You should test it to make sure that you’ve taken multiple opinions to make the app more user friendly. You can use user experience testing tools to test your UI.

9. Brand Consistency

The brand guidelines and theme should be consistent throughout all the screens of your mobile app. If your brand appears differently on different screens, you will possibly confuse your users. It is like you’re buying tickets for your favourite comedian’s latest show and when you attend it, you’re flabbergasted. You might not like it when he sounds so different from their usual self, because you are used to his specific brand of jokes. This may lead to you not buying tickets for his shows in future.

10. A/B Testing

A/B tests are the most popular testing methods across several industry verticals. Even, we at Nimble AppGenie run a lot of A/B tests for our own marketing campaigns. However, there is no straightforward way to conduct A/B testing. Still, I will try to explain it to you.

A/B testing in user experience testing means you compare two different designs of user experience by implementing them and analysing the results. However, it is hard to compare two different versions of a marketing asset (app screen) and find a winner. To help with this, there are tools like Storemaven and Splitmetrics which will help you test your app with ease. These tools will allow you to automate the A/B testing for your apps.
Best tools for mobile app user experience testing
Let me make it clear, there is no such tool that will let you test your mobile app via every method. Therefore I highly recommend you to use a combination of tools for testing your app. Here I have listed the tools, but if you want a recommendation for your particular app’s testing, do let me know in the comment box.

Wrapping Up

Testing the user experience is one of the most effective ways to improve your conversion rates and increase user satisfaction. In this article, we’ve discussed the methods of user experience testing for mobile apps and I’ve also listed some of the best user experience testing tools.

With UX testing, your goal is to identify flaws in the user experience of your mobile app. You can conduct the user experience testing both before and after the launch of your app. We at Nimble AppGenie always prefer to run user experience testing before launching every mobile app so that the users get astonishing first impressions. If you are worried about the bad performance of your mobile app and looking for an IT support service provider who can make your app loved by your users, feel free to reach out to us at contact@nimbleappgenie.com