Originally at https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/04/07/why-user-testing-is-the-most-important-part-of-mobile-development/

This article explains the why, when, what, how, where, and who of user testing for mobile friendly websites or apps.

The sooner you find out your what is wrong with your *brilliant* concept, the easier, quicker, cheaper (and less embarrassing) it is to put it right or – if it is a total flop – go back to the drawing board.

That is why it is never too early to start testing and why testing should be ingrained into the design and development schedule.

Why do you need to user test?

Dr David Travis, chartered psychologist and managing director of UK-based user experience and training company, Userfocus:

What are the dangers of not testing? Designing the wrong product that doesn’t have a user need; designing a product that people can’t or won’t use; design teams failing to understand their users and designing for themselves; and/or developing a system for the wrong context.

However you judge the success of your mobile project – whether a mobile-friendly website or an app – the reception it receives from users will be critical.

This means it you have to test to see if it:

Meets an identified need for an identified audience (see this column on audience need)
Is fit for purpose (see this column on project viability)
Is easy to use (usability).
Is enjoyable to use (user experience or UX).

There are plenty of methods and tools that will help highlight issues (e.g. things that don’t work properly, or are unpopular with users), but if you really want to know what works with users, you need to test it on real people.

Doug Brams, Principal UX architect, mobile web, The Home Depot:

The Home Depot conducts both qualitative and quantitative research to reveal what users need from our website and app experience. We work hard to improve both the general usability based on known HCI principles [Human-Computer Interaction], but also to understand some of the often subtle platform differences in terms o…

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