Mobile Usability Testing: Problems and Solutions

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November 15, 2007. “Usability is a winning competitive advantage of software products but it is still underestimated by vendors,” noted the report “Mobile usability testing: Problems and solutions” which was presented by the Ukrainian software testing company BugHuntress QA Lab at the international conference “Quality Assurance: Management & Technologies” (QAMT 2007) held in Kiev, Ukraine.

Ivan Lysenko, a project manager at BugHuntress QA Lab, stated in the report that 6-year BugHuntress experience in independent software testing showed that high-quality user interfaces occurred in about 70% of desktop applications. At the same time a similar figure for mobile applications is merely about 40%.

Meanwhile, the software market is quite saturated. Competing programs often provide almost identical functionality. That is why top notch usability can be a decisive argument for buying an application and for its success in the highly demanding and competitive market.

Why usability is still unappreciated by software developers especially in the mobile industry? Speaking about the reasons, the reporter emphasized the following:

  • No established mobile usability culture;
  • Lack of trained specialists;
  • Direct usage of PC-approaches;
  • Direct porting between different mobile and embedded platforms;
  • Fast-paced software market environment.

Most of these obstacles cannot be overcome immediately. As a result, a reasonable solution for software vendors can be cooperation with specialized testing companies. At their disposal such companies have scarce specialists in the field of software usability. These specialists can provide expert recommendations on how to improve user interface. Moreover, a fresh, comprehensive and unbiased view on the software is a proven way to mitigate go-to-market risks.

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