In mobile usability research

In mobile usability research, Low-fi prototypes need very cautious implementation. For initial feedback but it’s significant to note that they suffer a serious restriction as gesture controls can’t be realistically tested with this kind of prototype. Until you can test gestures with higher fidelity prototypes, you need to treat the results with a little caution if you’re going to use low-fi prototypes.

Heuristic Evaluations
Heuristics still apply to mobile usability research that is the most common usability and there are more heuristics in the mobile environment that can be applied to usability testing. For ensuring that your testing provides extreme value it’s vital to familiarize with these heuristics.

How Do We Capture Data in Mobile Usability Research?
There are dozens of tools for capturing data Since Lorraine wrote her article, things have come on in the mobile usability space.
Four tools which are free to get started with:

UXCAM
In both Android and iOS environments UXCAM works –before you must sign up for a paid plan, you could run up to 100 tests free of charge. What is going on the user’s screen it allows you to capture data. To capture the user’s facial emotions (using the phone’s camera) can also be done at the same time. This needs consent in advance, though we’d warn – after the testing, you shouldn’t spring anything on your users.

Watchsend
Watchsend like UXCAM offers before paying, 100 free recordings of what’s going on screen. It can be adopted at an earlier stage of the product development lifecycle as it’s easier to integrate with beta-releases than UXCAM. At the moment there’s no facial recording.

Userzoom
For mobile Userzoom is the big daddy of the usability challenging world but there’s no quick option to get started so you have to ask them for a free trial. For a testing, options and analytics, it has the best selection. It can go beyond just screen recording and into tree testing, card sorting, click-testing, etc.

Skala Preview
For iOS and Android, this is free to use an app and can be downloaded from the appropriate stores. However, to make it work you also need to have Skala Preview (for Mac). For testing ergonomic functions and a tap-point sizes its best used. If you use Photoshop CS5, it has the nifty feature of allowing live updates – so in real time you can change designs to test for mockups on the fly.
You could always use Lorraine’s method, if none of these options are right for you, a method of setting up a lamp and camera over the device to do the recording manually.

The Take-Away
Due to the ever-changing context of the way that we use mobile devices, Mobile usability testing is unlike from ordinary usability testing. We could emulate this contextual change in the lab with a little forethought and to inform our design process we can collect data simply from mobile devices.