INSTRUCTIONS FOR UX TESTING YOUR APP26 of January 2017
User testing your app is a critical way to evaluate the design, content and usability of your application. Even if you don’t have a large budget for market research, you can still gain valuable suggestions and ideas while discovering errors and potential confusing sections of your app just based on a few user tests.
If you have been working on the development of an app for a long time, it’s very easy to ignore or miss small mistakes in the design. You may not realize that there is a flaw in the app’s navigation. For this reason, you should ideally have the user testing completed by someone who has never seen the app before. There are plenty of websites out there that offer free and paid user testing. You could also have friends test your app, however you should be aware that these people may be somewhat biased. Even if you have a small budget, try to have at least one person who doesn’t know you user test the app.
You may be able to watch while someone is user-testing your app. This can give you some amazing insights into your app’s user experience. In this case, it’s extremely important that you keep silent and simply watch. Your instinct may be to help them if they have questions or issues, but try your best not to interfere with the testers’ experience. Hold your tongue and don’t give out any hints- let them figure it out. After all, you won’t be able to help your real users when they download the app themselves.
You can gain so much insight if you watch as an impartial and silent observer as your user-tester navigates through the app. Even just watching the way that their fingers move on the screen, or how long it takes them to navigate from one screen to another is extremely helpful in streamlining your design.
User-testing isn’t a one time event. It should be done on a regular basis and it should be consistent from version to version. You should strive to ask similar questions to one batch of reviewers versus another so that you can compare how your app has improved or deteriorated over time.
For those of you who have never asked someone to user-test your app before, the SOP download above includes an explanation of the test and a set of suggested questions you can ask your user-tester to answer about your app.
You can give your tester the SOP directly and ask them to follow the step-by-step instructions. When they finish the SOP, they will follow the directions and give you back a short report including information ranging from issues about navigation to their opinion on the design and colors used in the app.
Before having someone take part in a user-test, you might want to set some specific goals for what you intend to gain from the test. For example, you may want to ask them to complete a specific task in your app, such as creating an account or editing a photo. Keep in mind what the main goal of your app is. Are you trying to generate revenue? Are you more interested in building your membership database? You can customize the SOP by adding a few of your own requirements.
The ideal test will also include a user who is part of your target market. If your app is a game for children ages 10 to 14 you should try to find some kids who will can test app. Try to find at least a few user-testers that fit your target market’s profile, as those are ultimately the people that will be using your app.
Ready to get started? Even if you have no experience with user-testing, it’s a super simple process to collect this data using the SOP provided at the top of this post.