A Complete Mobile Usability Testing Solution

The Problem

Recently I wrote a blog post about how there are currently a couple of really great mobile usability testing tools out there, but I couldn’t find any that did everything I needed.

I tweeted my article, and one of the partners at Zurb shot me a message. We got chatting about SolidifyApp and UXRecorder and how I really wished there was a single tool that did what those two tools do best.

SolidifyApp lets you create clickable prototypes for usability testing, then does gesture tracking, allows you to create tasks that need to be completed by testers, gives them the opportunity to give feedback and then gives you some killer stats.

UXRecorder does screen & gesture capture, as well as audio & front facing camera video capture of tester faces.

The Solution

UXRecorder lets you enter URL’s for web apps and prototypes. I tested it this afternoon and you can also enter your SolidifyApp Usability Test URL in UXRecorder, and combine the best of both worlds into one killer Mobile Usability Testing solution!

To recap, by running your SolidifyApp test in UXRecorder you can obtain:

1. Gesture tracking data
2. Screen capture video
3. Gesture capture video
4. Front facing camera tester facial video
5. Tester audio
6. Task completion statistics
7. Written user feedback
8. Etc!

It does all the things! It’s Mobile Usability Testing magic, I’m telling you! And, it only takes minutes to set up! Goodbye Mobile Usability Testing market gap! I am majorly pumped about this solution!

Free Stuff

The best part? SolidifyApp has a 30 day free trial, and UXRecorder gives you a 30 second free session to test their app out before you commit to purchase to ensure that it’s the right solution for you! (I can tell you from experience that once you’ve tried SolidifyApp, you’ll want to subscribe. It’s currently one of my favorite usability testing tools!)

SolidifyApp http://www.solidifyapp.com

UX Recorder http://www.uxrecorder.com

I’ve been searching for weeks trying to find this Mobile Usability Testing combination! I hope it serves you all well!

Mobile Usability Testing Tools

So I recently started searching like a maniac trying to find some Mobile Usability Testing tools, and I had a heck of a time finding any resource lists! So I decided to put one together for anyone else who is searching in vain.

1. SolidifyApp

So it’s no secret that I am a giant fan of Zurb, specifically their SolidifyApp. It’s an absolutely awesome quick and dirty prototyping tool, that also lets you launch really simple remote usability tests with ease! It even has a template for launching MOBILE remote usability tests! Which, at the present moment is something kind of lacking in the industry! You create the test, add your pics, throw it in mobile chrome, pick your audience, and voila! You’ve got a remote mobile usability test ready to rock. You just copy the link and email it to folks. They can open it on their mobile devices and go to town. The nice thing is, it works on any device. You can even give them tasks to complete and ask for feedback. It records their screen gestures along the way, and automatically tracks stats. This is a great tool for testing prototype versions of mobile concepts remotely, to ensure that you’re on track without spending a zillion dollars developing a tool that is totally wrong for your client base/audience.

2. UXRecorder

UXRecorder is REALLY close to bordering the perfect Mobile Usability testing tool. You install the app, pull up your web property or prototype URL, and hand it to your tester. The app does screen capture, records user audio and video, and records gestures. So you can see the persons face while they do their thing and hear whether or not they are cursing out your web app, along with having a visual of where they are swiping. This is a moderated testing tool since you have to build your prototype in your account, and pass it around on your device, but it’s the closest I’ve seen to my ideal mobile usability testing tool. (I’ll outline my dream tool at the end of this article.)

3. POP (Prototyping on Paper)

This app is pretty sweet. You can create prototypes right on your mobile device. The premise is nice, you just pick up your phone, snap some pictures of sketches on post-its or napkins, or fancy high-res mockups, string them together into a prototype, and then share your concept with your usability testing community or whomever else you choose. They’re working on an android version as we speak, but the iPhone version is pretty solid. And it’s fun. And, it’s another way to create simple prototypes in seconds to make sure that your concepts on are point with what your clients need.

4. Lookback.io

Lookback.io is pretty awesome. You integrate it right into your app. It records screen capture, gestures, user video and audiobooks . Also, it’s free while it’s in public Beta.

Bonus

5. My Dream Mobile Usability Testing Tool

So what I really want in a tool, is the ability to send a link to a user that will launch a testing tool on the mobile device or tablet of their choice. I want it to record audio, video, screen capture and gestures, and I want to be able to set tasks for users to complete and have it automatically track stats. I want it to work with web apps, responsive sites and native apps. Basically what I’m looking for is a mashup of SolidifyApp and UXRecorder. This is my mobile usability testing tool holy grail. Oh, and since it’s already a thing on mobile now, we could toss in eye tracking as an added bonus. 🙂

I hope you find these mobile usability testing and prototyping tool descriptions helpful, and that this list will save you a few hours of Googling! 🙂

UX and Design Tools That Will Improve Your Productivity

This is a list of some of my favorite UX, design and accessibility testing tools at the moment! I hope you find them useful!

Tools for Collaboration

Tools for Usability Testing

Usability Testing Services That Provide Testers

Tools for Mobile Usability Testing & Prototyping

Tools for Usability Tester Recruiting

Mac Tools for Demoing Apps

Tools for Stat Tracking

Tools for Accessibility Testing

Miscellaneous Tools I Love

If any of your favorite tools aren’t listed, please feel free to leave them in the comments! I love testing out new tools! 🙂

Then Responsive Web Design said to Mobile Native Apps: “Let’s be friends.”

So recently I’ve seen some posts by some very upset people, going back and forth about why responsive design is or is not the future of the web. I’ve also seen folks slamming RWD saying that mobile native apps are the future, and that anyone who thinks RWD is the future is insane. Here’s what I have to say to both sides of the argument: take a step back and embrace both. Here’s why.

Responsive Web Design

If done correctly responsive web design can be incredibly powerful for your clients. They can have one place to add content, that displays cleanly across devices.  And, if you optimize their responsive site correctly, it’ll load beautifully and quickly regardless of the device being used to view it.

Native Apps

Now lets talk about native apps. In certain situations, native apps just make sense. They give you a sense of security. For example, I do almost all of my banking through mobile native apps. My banks also have responsive sites, but even though they aren’t necessarily more secure, the native apps FEEL more secure, so I have a fabulous user experience.

Some companies have native apps that I will never ever download. For example, there are tons of stores that offer native apps, and if they aren’t stores I frequent often, I’m not emotionally invested enough in the company to download their native app. Their responsive website is where I’ll be shopping. If they don’t have a responsive website, they just lost my business.

The Big Picture

So let’s look at the big picture. What it really comes down to is that people maintaining websites want to enter their content once, and have it display across devices. The key to the future of mobile web design is creating content management systems that allow you to add content once and have it display in your responsive website, AND in your mobile native apps! And it just so happens that my completely awesome company Schoolwires has already created a CMS (Centricity 2) that does EXACTLY that. We worked with the San Diego Unified School District to develop a native app that pulls content from our existing CMS. So they literally enter once, and can display their content on desktop, tablet and mobile devices through a responsive site template, AND they can display it in their mobile native iOS & Android apps.

That in my humble opinion is the future of mobile and web design. Enter content once, display it everywhere.