By: Tatyana K (Lead Software Testing Engineer)
During the testing process of mobile applications (native, hybrid, cross-platform or mobile web), we use different types of testing: Compatibility, Connectivity, Installation, Conformance, Security, Interrupt testing, etc. And usually, we forget about Usability testing. But this is crucial because the highly competitive usability of the mobile clients is the main parameter that affects the popularity of the mobile product.
Usability testing allows us to identify the parts of the mobile application that are not attractive or include some difficulties in navigation on the touch screen.
The Testing Process
First, we should ensure that the application is corresponding to the target audience. For example, the
application like Reminders shouldn’t consume excessive energy. Trading, medical applications are not required to create colorful UI elements and three-dimensional graphics. But internet-shops should provide pictures with high resolution for their goods. This approach will attract users' attention and motivate them to buy something.
If a user presses a button repeatedly and very quickly, the mobile application can potentially crash. We can reproduce the same result after multi-pressing a few buttons at the same time. So Development and QA team should investigate and verify this case more carefully to avoid such a problem in Production.
All elements must also have a comfortable size; so the user can press them or click without any tricks. Every screen should be displayed in Portrait and Landscape views, and all UI elements shouldn’t be broken. The pressed elements must be presented in “pressed” state (“feedback”- effect). Due to this, the user will see whether the depression has happened. For example, the elements of Android native applications have one more state – “focused”. Also, sound and vibration of the elements should be synchronized.
The main problem of the mobile applications is a blank screen. In some scenarios the user expects to see some screen of the application, but instead, it redirects to the blank page. This should be clear to everyone as far as what has happened and what should be done later.
Usually, the mobile product is not supported by all versions of the operation system. It depends on the statistics of the users. So the application should not be installed on unsupported OS-versions. And the corresponding message with a valid and clear text should appear for the user.
Finally, while this is not a full list of items for checking usability, considering these tips can help you to expand the users’ audience.