Remote Usability Testing of Mobile Applications

Remote usability testing of mobile apps is possible.

I am a  fan of remote usability testing because it lets you connect with your users where ever they are without any travel costs.

I’ve had great success using WebEx to share design mock-ups and applications with remote users, especially in niche markets where it is hard to find the right users to test with locally.

With the increase in importance of usability on mobile devices, I’ve been wondering how to do some low cost usability testing of mobile apps when you can’t see your user’s phone if they aren’t in the room with you.

Today I came across an article on Remote Usability Testing on Mobile Devices on MailChimp’s blog and their idea is so simple that I think it might work.

During a Skype video chat, MailChimp’s usability team had participants with laptops and webcams turn the laptop around in front of them) so that they were effectively hugging the laptop) and hold their phone in front of the laptop’s camera.

According to MailChimp’s blog post, the only other thing they had to do was ask people to turn down the brightness on their phones to be able to see what they were doing on the screen.

That seems straight forward.

So all you need for remote usability testing of your mobile apps is participants who have laptops with webcams, and a few minutes budgeted to talk participants through the setup and voila, remote usability testing of your mobile apps.

I love this idea, and can’t wait for an opportunity to try it.

What about you? Do you think this is a way you could leverage low cost remote usability testing for your mobile application or web site?

Photo by Stuhacking.


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