A Brand’s Best Friend: Testing for Mobile Optimization

April 1, 2015In Usability4 Minutes

The growing importance of mobile optimization has made it the focus of brands in every industry. Since more and more users are relying on their smartphones and tablets to communicate with companies, the optimal user experience is entrenched in being the best in mobile. In order to stay relevant in the market, brands must adhere to the trends that surface. One of the best ways to ensure that your company is ready to compete would be to engage in mobile device testing.

Some prepping is necessary before you can move forward with the testing process. Start from the very beginning – consider your available time frame and budget, which will assist in determining the processes that will cater most optimally to your needs.

Consider Your Surroundings

Additionally, think about how the test will be set up and the physical environment in which it will take place. This may seem like a hassle, but engaging in collaborative brainstorming will save time and resources in the long run. Involve members of your team to lend different perspectives to the same scenario (with the added benefit of increasing communication and collaboration, resulting in a smoother overall process). Look at everything from different angles and complete the most detailed scenario possible. Remember, it’s all in the specifics!

Know Your Audience

Since each brand has a different type of audience (and often there are multiple segments and varieties within that group), conduct research to determine how many users use their mobile devices to use your website, what devices they use, and the accompanying operating systems.

Again, this research should be included to paint the clearest picture for how to move forward. When screening for the test participants, make sure to specify the type of phone he/she must have and what they usually use their phone for (this question is typically accompanied by a time frame, e.g. within the past month). Your mobile site may work well with iPhones, but may not run efficiently on Android operating systems. This step gives you the key information needed to make any necessary adjustments.

Tip: Don’t rely on your wireless being ready the day of the mobile test; make sure there is a good layout of wireless carriers ready in the testing area, and test it out beforehand to fix any glitches, and make the actual day as smooth as possible.

The Set Up

Comfort is key in providing the best experience for the test participants. When building these scenarios, be open to adjusting to your participants’ needs and even changing test details or splitting tasks into smaller segments.

When interacting with test participants, ask open-ended questions to obtain the most comprehensive overview to optimize your mobile presence. Here are a few that can get you started: Would you use the mobile site? Would you recommend it to others? Do they feel as though they received the full experience with the mobile site, or did they fell the need to go to the full site? Did it have a comprehensible amount of content?

Remaining focused on the end goal of market relevancy will assist in the mobile optimization goal, and propel you to impeccable web and mobile usability. Happy testing!

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