This week we are evaluating different usability testing options for to be used on … dum dum dum…mobile devices. To say that this poses some unique challenges would be a colossal understatement. Usability test designing is tough enough between the options of in a usability lab (yes there are still such places), and or remote usability testing via software of some sort. Now we are throwing in devices that are by their nature (and name) mobile…the complications and various options are enough to make your head spin (or if your the nervous sort your stomach churn).
After about the fifth website / how to guide I looked at this week I discovered some vitally important facts…that are obvious in retrospect. Mobile devices are in a constant state of change (as with most tech toys). What this means to usability testers is that your testing design that you come up with this week may not work next week…or even later this week on a different device. So cross your fingers that no “critical updates” come out between your test design and your test date.
Also from every site, source, UX expert a similar trouble causing phrase was uttered (or written) … There is no existing usability testing platform for mobile devices that is equal to what exists for desktop / laptops…. Well as it turns out there are a few that exist, but they don’t quite do everything we need them to do yet, and they cost a lot ($$$$). So In designing this mobile usability test I feel like I’m choosing the least of many evils. Not a good starting place in my opinion.
Hopefully by next weeks post / completed test design assignment I’ll have better news and some new insights into how to go about doing this.