When you’re planning to do usability testing for a mobile experience, there are a lot of things to think about when it comes to preparing materials and setting up the space. I’ve got a usability test set up here and ready to go. So let me walk you through how all of these items fit together and what you’ll need to conduct your study. If you’ve prepared tasks rather than verbally providing the tasks. It’s good to have these printed out for your users to refer to during the activity in case they’re unsure how to proceed. It’s also nice to have them read these out loud to you so you can be sure that they understand the activity. And also, if you’re filming the session, you’ll have a better idea of what activity they’re working on at any point of time in the recording. Have your payment and consent form ready to go. You’ll want to provide payment to your participants and you’ll want to have them read and sign this form before you get started if you’re filming the session. We suggest having printed the think out loud protocol, since you’ll be asking them to think out loud during the session. It’s nice to get them warmed up by having them read this think aloud protocol to you before getting started to record the mobile session and see what users are seeing on your screen.
You need to have a document camera like this. It should be set up on the table and connected to your computer with the corresponding software running in order to view the user’s device. You’ll also want to have your screen recording software running on your computer so that you have a recording of the user’s mobile screen. You’ll want to place a marked area on the table for the user to place their device within. We like to use tape to create a boundary, have the participant interact with their device here on the table so you can see what they’re doing on the screen. Give the user a demonstration about how they’ll use their device in this position and go ahead and let them give it a try before you get started. You might even ask them to practice this activity, ask them to find an article online that they might be interested in reading. If you’re recording, you can use the computer’s microphone or if you don’t have a microphone, you can use a separate microphone like this one. Also, don’t forget to have a comfortable chair for your participant. It’s best if the chair doesn’t have wheels so that they’re not compelled to spin around or rock or fidget during the session before your participant arrives, get whatever software up and running on your computer to record the session and always do a test ahead of time to make sure it’s functioning properly. You don’t want to end up without recordings after a long day of testing, once you have all those key elements in place, you’re ready to test.