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Fast & Cost Effective Ways To Conduct a Mobile Usability Test

You are building a great mobile app for iPhone or Android or you are about to launch. You are working hard to get millions of users on your app, however before millions of users come and use the app you need to know whether 5 users understand your app and would recommend it to others.

Why you only need 5 users – article by Jakob Nielsen

This article is not about conducting a large scientific study to do usability test but to give you few quick & effective ways to help you test your app with users.

1. The Coffee Shop Test
Cost: Around $25

One of the fastest & cost effective ways to conduct mobile testing is at coffee shops. Go to a Starbucks or your favorite coffee shop and identify your target users. Buy $5 coffee gift card for each of your users. Generally users are happy to offer their help for free but as a courtesy you should reward them for their time.

This method is great because you get data in natural environments and you can follow up on certain issues if needed right away. However, in this method you can share the notes back with the team but you don’t have any videos that you and your team can playback.

2. Getting Videos from Users using UserTesting.com
Cost: Around $195

You can conduct user testing by recruiting users, inviting them to your office, setting up a camera but you can eliminated all these steps by using UserTesting.com. For just $39 per user, the folks at UserTesting.com would provide you users and a video of the test. View their sample video

This method is generally fast, you can get the video in just a few days and you can further share the videos with your team. Great if you have a distributed team.

3. Asking questions in your app
Cost: Free

Let’s say you already launched the app to the store and wondering whether users understand the features, are able to find certain information or why not buying the product in your m-commerce mobile store. Some of these answers are hard to get in a planned user test, specially when it e-commerce – that is because your test user never intended to buy anything during the test so getting to know the real intention is hard. You can use single question surveys in your app for this tip.

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