Mobile usability is hard to perform well – dragging people into the lab and wiring them up with cameras detracts from the experience. This slide deck has some suggestions for how to quickly and cheaply get product feedback for mobile device apps.
Incremental research aggregates data from frequent small, fast studies to check you’re on track. Running large numbers of participants during any one study is a waste of time and money.
Check your product is following simple rules of interface design. It’s fast and finds potential UI issues before your users do.
Stepping through your UI and asking two deceptively simple questions at each stage can give you great insights into the problems your users will face.
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. He’s working frantically to find the next sketch to show to the study participant. He might even be drawing it as we wait.
The cheapest, fastest way to mock up your interfaces is with pen and paper. The creation process involves the whole team, and the unfinished feel means you’re less attached to any one idea.
It’s hard to create a good survey. Even if you can write non-biased questions, it is the ones that you don’t think of that will get you into trouble. Make survey results actionable by focusing on behavior, not speculation.
“The user” is a nebulous term. Everyone on the team has a different picture in their head when they say those words. Thumbnail personas use site visit data to focus the whole team on the same key individuals.
“Turn that frown upside-down” – Take the pain points that you discovered in your user research and re-write them as positive experiences for your customers. These scenarios provide you with new product ideas.
Get everyone on the team involved in interface design and be prepared to be surprised with the creativity you unleash. You are guaranteed to uncover better design ideas than if you did it all yourself.