So you’ve created your mobile app and listed it using the App Store and Google Play guidelines. Oh, congratulations! You’re all set to rise big and bring some beauty to the target audience now that you’ve jumped through all the hoops, right? Ok, really, the path to app greatness is just beginning, and problems with usability will cause you a hard time.
When the mobile app enters the market, many challenges are faced by app owners and developers, from small bug fixing to full interface redesign.
Why do applications from rivals draw consumers and yours don’t? If your marketing division is pumped up and promoting the hell out of it, why does your target audience ignore your app? Why do people install, but never use, your app?
Enter problems. Customers just don’t find it effective, intuitive and satisfying to communicate with your app. So they’re abandoning it. When app usability leaves much to be desired, promotion isn’t enough.
Let’s find out how to test your mobile app for usability bugs and deal with them.
App accessibility problems can be detected using mobile analytics.
We need data to test and enhance the usability of mobile applications. As a result, you can begin by adding a mobile analytics tool to your app. A number of resources are available, including Google Mobile Usability, Google Analytics, Mixpanel, Yandex, Metrika, Flurry, and others. It would take about a month to collect statistically significant results.
Check that the tool you choose is available, compliant with major mobile platforms, and monitors the following information:
- number of new and repeat users;
- number of sessions and session duration;
- frequency of app usage;
- number of app glitches (bugs);
- target audience (gender, age, language, location);
- app version and compatible devices;
- in-app events;
- screen navigation.
The usability of your mobile application relies heavily on screen navigation info. It gives you a detailed picture of how the target user uses the product and aids in the detection of smartphone usability issues.
To deal with the data from your mobile analytics tool, open your app’s information architecture and examine all of the paths a typical user will take to navigate it.
Have you heard about micro UX before? Check it out – there are a lot of fun little tricks you can do to make the mobile app gui feel “wow, that’s so cool!”
The app’s knowledge architecture is a comprehensive collection of screens linked by roads. The app’s tree-and-branch design begins with a home screen and progresses through catalogs, utilities, news, and other displays. The ‘thank you’ screen is normally the last screen of an eCommerce app.
Using the data collected by the mobile analytics platform, you want to go through all of the screens and find the ones where people leave the program. Investigate why consumers quit – can the software alleviate their problems? Why can’t they use the app effectively? Is it possible that there are so many bugs? Is there a problem with the app? Are you using best practices for smartphone UI/UX?
Why users abandon carts in eCommerce apps?
They just can’t work out how to fill in the fields; they have no way of knowing if the payment was successfully processed;
The consumer added objects to the basket, but they aren’t visible in the list.
Why users leave the product description page?
There aren’t enough photographs or the product isn’t properly displayed;
There is insufficient information about the product to make a purchase;
The user is unsure how to place an order for the product;
The user is unsure how to add the product to their shopping cart;
Competitors offer the product at a lower price.
To figure out what it is, test usability in a variety of scenarios and get feedback. Create a target group for this reason, then portray it with personas and use cases.
Use Cases and Personas
When it comes to providing short overviews of the target customer and describing what they expect from the product, personas and use cases are fantastic. You will boost the app’s appeal to your target group with their assistance.
Personas are particularly useful during the usability testing period. When you’re mindful of the user behavior functions, it’s far easier to build instructions for a research group.
A persona is an archetypal (modeled) image of a community of customers focused on analysis. User behaviour is influenced by personas, which have ambitions, behaviors, and intentions. Let’s look at an example of a persona for an eCommerce program that sells horses and ponies.
Come up with the name for your persona
Let’s give our persona a name. Alex’s name is Alex. He’s 25 years old and works as a licensed horse breeder. (Isn’t that unusual?)
Describe our persona’s work experience
Alex has his own equestrian facility.
He breeds horses and ponies and teaches riding amateurs and experts about horses and horse breeding, among other things.
Set the Goals
What would Alex’s target be if he ever uses our eCommerce app? He’ll mostly need to research various pony breeds, learn about their benefits and drawbacks, compare costs, and so on. He’ll also like to know more about this or that pony, such as its medical history, as well as download a directory of available horses and ponies to present to employees.
Use cases are scenarios of how personas and users interact with the app. Use cases are mostly focused on the expectations of personas, their behavior to accomplish these goals, and the general meaning. Here’s a step-by-step example of a common use case:
- Fire up the app;
- Fill in a search field to find a desired item;
- Find the desired item or service in the list of search results;
- Read about the product or service;
- Check out other customers’ reviews;
- Order the desired product or service;
- Receive a confirmation letter with shipping date and time.
Use cases are easy, but they’re critical for architects, designers, and quality assurance engineers. It will be impractical to build UI and then validate the software without use cases.
To build use cases, you can first gather data over a long period of time, and hire someone to come up with product solutions and sell them. It’s time to brainstorm after the data has been compiled and certain ideas have been sketched out. Determine how the collected data represents the target audience, create a key persona and some others, and consider several use cases.
It’s likely that you’ve had some persona and use case ideas from the start, but make sure you flesh them out with the latest information. This move is critical for getting your bearings and ensuring that you’re on the right track.
Testing for Usability
It’s time for usability testing now that you’ve gathered all the evidence, built personas and use cases, and established the app’s bottlenecks.
To test your app’s usability, you’ll need:
- a group of people who portray your personas;
- To simulate various situations to see how users communicate with the software in a practical way, follow the testing guidelines.
Create a test account to make sure the order and distribution departments are aware that something odd could happen there (e.g. someone orders a hundred of horses).
Provide credit cards with the requisite amounts of money on them if the trial situations include buying goods or paying for utilities. Your test subjects should not be expected to pay for your goods and services out of pocket (or leave a part of the app untested).
There should be plenty of time for usability testing in your testing community. Even if it means taking time away from your regular operations, make sure your employees don’t bother and get in the way of your testing group. Record how the research community communicates with the app on the screen.
Create app usability checklists and distribute them to the research community ahead of time to keep track of the whole operation. The below is a basic usability checklist:
- Goal – Is it completed or not?
- Severity – Is it difficult to complete the goal?
- Time spent – Does it take much time to complete the goal?
The most critical thing to keep in mind is that you should not be afraid to write instructions for your examples and use cases. For example, if you need to order a product, simply write down what you require. Set an objective and wait to see what the research subject does. To be clear, if the use cases vary significantly from how actual users use the app, you don’t have a good understanding of your target audience. More data should be collected, and new usage cases should be created.
Often, keep in mind that the research guidelines must be specific (but not detailed). “Go to my app and buy something,” they shouldn’t say. It’s incorrect. Instead, write something like this: “Your friend’s birthday is approaching.
You’d like to get him a pony. Using the app, you can order and purchase a dappled pony.” That’s it!
To determine if your potential clients will grasp the rationale and usability concepts of your program, a community of three to five people would suffice. They’ll tell you if the buying process is simple, if account construction is simple, and if people find the app useful enough to use on a regular basis, among other things.
When the research is completed, gather all of the results, review it, and determine if you and your potential clients are on the same boat. Were any bottlenecks created by technological or design defects, or is it just natural for people to make mistakes this way?
Developers learn from usability tests why they miserably struggle to consider consumers. To your surprise, you may discover that your target audience has no idea what your app is about. Even the most brilliant theories are often overlooked by ordinary people, as the old adage goes.
When a user’s experience with an app is poor, the inference is obvious: the app does not fix the customer’s dilemma and will not be used in the long run. While the developers may believe that the app is flawless, the user feedback demonstrates differently.
You should do the following to identify usability problems in mobile apps:
Incorporate a mobile analytics platform into your application.
This way, you’ll be able to collect data on the success of your mobile app and keep track of all of its activities.
If you want to be effective, you must analyze data. It’s critical to stay in touch with your target demographic, market your product in your niche, and analyze customer behaviour to learn what they like and hate about your app.
You should have enough knowledge of your target demographic to develop an identity, which is a fictional character that represents a group of your clients. Personas help analyze the context overall, while data analysis helps identify troublesome interface screens.
Test your app on real people.
When the personas are full, look for a research community that suits the bill. Customers and developers think in very different ways, so don’t be surprised when you get their feedback.
Iterate Create new personas and use cases, recruit new testers, identify and resolve UX issues, read customer reviews, and so on. The harder you practice, the closer your app will be to usability perfection.
It’s almost impossible to reach the target on the first shot when it comes to app usability. As a result, compile data and review it, collect feedback, listen to your clients, and keep track of what your rivals are doing, and your app will become the best in its niche.