Mobile & handheld use screening – why it matters

Mobile phone and PDA use testing is essential to your company. Actually, mobile and handheld usability screening could be even more important than computer-based usability screening. The major reasons for this are:

  • The number of individuals accessing the Web from mobile and also handheld gadgets is enhancing at a large rate – in 2008 alone there’ll be an estimated 58 million Personal organizers sold around the world (resource: eTForecast).
  • People generally have a lot much less experience of using their mobile to go on the internet than they do of utilizing their computer system. This indicates that computer-based users can be thought to have a higher degree of existing expertise than mobile and portable individuals.
  • The system whereby customers access your site is much less foreseeable when utilizing mobile phones. Computer-based website visitors usually only vary from one another in their web browser and also operating system (i.e. lots of people will use a display, mouse and also key-board), whereas the various types of cellphones and PDAs vary can drastically.

Which smart phones and PDAs do you need to think about?

Smart phone and also PDAs can vary from one another significantly, and also this will drastically alter exactly how individuals experience as well as use websites. Some of the ways in which portable devices can differ include:

  • Screen size (tiny vs. big).
  • Display layout (portrait vs. landscape).
  • Input tool (stylus, numeric keypad, dial-wheel, QWERTY keypad).

Because the mobile phone/ PERSONAL ORGANIZER that somebody is making use of will certainly have such a profound impact on their experience of your site, you must attempt to test with as lots of cellphones as well as PDAs as possible.

Of course, testing with every cellphone and also PERSONAL ORGANIZER is impossible. Here are some concepts to aid narrow down the variety of gadgets you’ll need to test with:.

  • Your mobile site visitors might belong to a particular target market. Specific audiences often tend to favor particular kinds of phones (e.g. phones with big screens that are developed to support on-line accessibility vs. small-screen versions that aren’t).
  • There are ‘phone family members’ that provide a really comparable customer experience (and will not require to be checked individually).
  • You may only want to evaluate with the most prominent mobile phones in Europe or one of the most popular models that are being made use of to access your site (you can examine your website data to figure out this info).

Who do you wish to check with?

The people you wish to perform your mobile phone usability screening sessions with will, certainly, depend on your certain business and its audience. Some things to bear in mind include:.

  • Just how much experience they need to have of utilizing their smart phones to gain access to solutions. This is especially vital as the marketplace for accessing online services with mobile phones is expanding as well as the percent of ‘complete amateurs’ (i.e. people utilizing the technology for the very first time) will certainly be far more than for computer system individuals of your web site.
  • Which cellphone or PDA they have. We would generally advise that individuals use their very own smart phone in a session, so the test can focus on your website and also out the way the handheld tool jobs.

Where should mobile functionality screening sessions be conducted?

Mobile phones as well as PDAs are utilized in the real life so usability screening of portable tools must as a result not only take place in an usability lab.

Where, when and also how a smart phone is used is important to an individual’s experience of the site they are accessing. Any one of the adhering to circumstances could affect this experience as well as for that reason considerations of the website’s use:.

  • Lights.
  • History noise.
  • Distractions.
  • Simultaneous tasks (i.e. anything the person is doing at the very same time).
  • Physical activity.

Therefore, we would certainly recommend, if possible, that any type of mobile phone and also PDA usability screening is conducted both in a research laboratory as well as also in the ‘outside world’.

How you intend and run smart phone use sessions will be based on your organisation and its target market, but the most preferred techniques of mobile usability screening consist of:.

  • Lab-based (utilizing a video camera to tape-record the session).
  • Diary-studies (asking individuals to maintain a journal of exactly how they have actually used their mobile phone and also any kind of issues they come across).
  • Paper prototypes (running use screening on a paper-based version of the site, using mobile phone screen-sized papers).