Mobile device testing

16 Nov 2007 - 11:06am
6 years ago
4 replies
715 reads
bminihan
2007

I'm planning out our product strategy over the next several months (we
provide a social networking web app to connect high school athletes to
college coaches) and we anticipate providing usable access to our site &
features via handheld devices. This is future-planning, as we haven't
spec'd out the work or design yet, but I'm trying to look ahead.

My question is, if we anticipate at least SOME part of the mobile version
will deliver highlight videos, and others will likely be RSS-style text
alerts (who's new, who matches my saved alert, etc), which devices should we
target for testing, in order to capture a pretty significant user base. Our
primary personas fall in these categories: high school athletes & their
fans (generally teenagers - approx 14-19), what I call "advocate fans"
(parents & close friends helping the athlete get recruited), high school &
college coaches (we're researching now, but estimating their ages fall in
the 25-50 range).

We're doing all of our UCD, architecture & development in-house, so I'm just
assuming we'll need a few such devices for our user & compatibility testing.
I would also really like an iPhone, but that's beside the point - if we can
do this without purchasing one I'd be find with that =].

I checked the archives and did a brief Google search, but haven't found
anything on the subject.thoughts?

Bryan

http://www.bryanminihan.com

Comments

16 Nov 2007 - 12:48pm
Wendy Fischer
2004

I'd create target personas and then find target devices that the personas would use. Go interview students and find out what phones they are using.

Also, if you are forecasting out, look at what phones are coming out in the next year that also fit your personas.

I'd recommend creating a technology profile of the target phone capabilities. Because there is such a wide range of phones in the market with varying capabilities, you need to think ask:

1) What markets are we supporting (US, international, etc)
2) What carriers are we targeting?
3) What are carrier restrictions on our product? (will vary depending on carrier, region)
4) Are we supporting legacy phones in the market? If so, how far back? (also, same model phone capabilities will vary from carrier to carrier)
5) Is this an offportal or on portal application?
6) What phone OS's are we supporting?
7) What are we prototyping in to create the interaction design?
8) What technologies are we supporting (Flash Lite, J2ME Midp1.0, Midp 2.0, WAP 1.0, Ajax, Browser support versions, etc) and building the apps in?

I think that your marketing and technology groups could answer a lot of these questions.

I personally like having an unlocked Nokia series 60 on hand because a lot of technologies port easily to the series 60 and it's easy to provision different apps on the phone and do demos. Additionally, having something that can hook up directly to a computer and display on a screen is also a really great feature for demos and usability test. My personal opinion is that while having an Iphone to test on sounds great, it's an unnecessary expense because only a small number of your user base is going to own one (unless of course you are specifically targeting Iphone users) It's overly expensive.

I'd advocate minimizing your expenses on phones, getting just a couple phones, and working with whatever groups have the budget and the phones already (marketing, QA, sales), particularly if your core platform is not the mobile phone. Borrow those. Phone expenses can really get out of hand, so I'd recommend really trying to minimize them within the UX group.

-Wendy

----- Original Message ----
From: Bryan Minihan <bjminihan at nc.rr.com>
To: discuss at ixda.org
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2007 8:06:28 AM
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Mobile device testing

I'm planning out our product strategy over the next several months (we
provide a social networking web app to connect high school athletes to
college coaches) and we anticipate providing usable access to our site
&
features via handheld devices. This is future-planning, as we haven't
spec'd out the work or design yet, but I'm trying to look ahead.

My question is, if we anticipate at least SOME part of the mobile
version
will deliver highlight videos, and others will likely be RSS-style text
alerts (who's new, who matches my saved alert, etc), which devices
should we
target for testing, in order to capture a pretty significant user base.
Our
primary personas fall in these categories: high school athletes &
their
fans (generally teenagers - approx 14-19), what I call "advocate fans"
(parents & close friends helping the athlete get recruited), high
school &
college coaches (we're researching now, but estimating their ages fall
in
the 25-50 range).

We're doing all of our UCD, architecture & development in-house, so I'm
just
assuming we'll need a few such devices for our user & compatibility
testing.
I would also really like an iPhone, but that's beside the point - if we
can
do this without purchasing one I'd be find with that =].

I checked the archives and did a brief Google search, but haven't found
anything on the subject.thoughts?

Bryan

http://www.bryanminihan.com

________________________________________________________________
*Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/

________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

16 Nov 2007 - 1:08pm
bminihan
2007

Thanks Wendy, I knew I'd get a great response here, and really like the idea
of defining specific personas for the mobile base. Honestly, I haven't done
any mobile design work before, I just know I need to treat it much
differently than the regular web user-base. That will help tremendously, as
well as your recommendations for technologies, devices, carriers & vendors
to support.

I had the sense that the iPhone was where you said it was, but couldn't
remember which Nokia was more prevalent. I'm somewhat of a
fish-out-of-water in this project, as I fit neither the target user groups,
nor the technical profile (I no longer own a cell phone, nor do I want to
=]). I am also (for now) the entire tech team, designer team, usability
team, content editor and support team (in that order, pretty much). We're
not broke, just small, so I plan to let go of a lot of these roles in the
next few months. Leaning on our existing pool of phones will help keep
costs down tremendously.

Thanks =]

Bryan

http://www.bryanminihan.com

From: erpdesigner [mailto:erpdesigner at yahoo.com]
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2007 12:49 PM
To: Bryan Minihan; discuss at ixda.org
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Mobile device testing

I'd create target personas and then find target devices that the personas
would use. Go interview students and find out what phones they are using.

Also, if you are forecasting out, look at what phones are coming out in the
next year that also fit your personas.

I'd recommend creating a technology profile of the target phone
capabilities. Because there is such a wide range of phones in the market
with varying capabilities, you need to think ask:

1) What markets are we supporting (US, international, etc)
2) What carriers are we targeting?
3) What are carrier restrictions on our product? (will vary depending on
carrier, region)
4) Are we supporting legacy phones in the market? If so, how far back?
(also, same model phone capabilities will vary from carrier to carrier)
5) Is this an offportal or on portal application?
6) What phone OS's are we supporting?
7) What are we prototyping in to create the interaction design?
8) What technologies are we supporting (Flash Lite, J2ME Midp1.0, Midp 2.0,
WAP 1.0, Ajax, Browser support versions, etc) and building the apps in?

I think that your marketing and technology groups could answer a lot of
these questions.

I personally like having an unlocked Nokia series 60 on hand because a lot
of technologies port easily to the series 60 and it's easy to provision
different apps on the phone and do demos. Additionally, having something
that can hook up directly to a computer and display on a screen is also a
really great feature for demos and usability test. My personal opinion is
that while having an Iphone to test on sounds great, it's an unnecessary
expense because only a small number of your user base is going to own one
(unless of course you are specifically targeting Iphone users) It's overly
expensive.

I'd advocate minimizing your expenses on phones, getting just a couple
phones, and working with whatever groups have the budget and the phones
already (marketing, QA, sales), particularly if your core platform is not
the mobile phone. Borrow those. Phone expenses can really get out of hand,
so I'd recommend really trying to minimize them within the UX group.

-Wendy

----- Original Message ----
From: Bryan Minihan <bjminihan at nc.rr.com>
To: discuss at ixda.org
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2007 8:06:28 AM
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Mobile device testing

I'm planning out our product strategy over the next several months (we
provide a social networking web app to connect high school athletes to
college coaches) and we anticipate providing usable access to our site &
features via handheld devices. This is future-planning, as we haven't
spec'd out the work or design yet, but I'm trying to look ahead.

My question is, if we anticipate at least SOME part of the mobile version
will deliver highlight videos, and others will likely be RSS-style text
alerts (who's new, who matches my saved alert, etc), which devices should we
target for testing, in order to capture a pretty significant user base.
Our
primary personas fall in these categories: high school athletes & their
fans (generally teenagers - approx 14-19), what I call "advocate fans"
(parents & close friends helping the athlete get recruited), high school &
college coaches (we're researching now, but estimating their ages fall in
the 25-50 range).

We're doing all of our UCD, architecture & development in-house, so I'm just
assuming we'll need a few such devices for our user & compatibility testing.
I would also really like an iPhone, but that's beside the point - if we can
do this without purchasing one I'd be find with that =].

I checked the archives and did a brief Google search, but haven't found
anything on the subject.thoughts?

Bryan

http://www.bryanminihan.com

________________________________________________________________
*Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/

________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

16 Nov 2007 - 1:30pm
jayhilwig
2006

A simple starting point would be to look at your web app on some of
the more common device dimensions, regardless of the mobile OS or
technologies resident on the device.
-176x208/220
-240x320
-320x240

You might consider using a CSS profile for mobile:
http://www.w3.org/TR/css-mobile/

Testing for those without multiple handsets at their disposal:
http://www.deviceanywhere.com/
(*I have not used this service however)

Adobes Device Central is also a great tool for testing UI:
http://www.adobe.com/products/creativesuite/devicecentral/

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=22690

18 Nov 2007 - 1:16pm
Barbara Ballard
2005

On 11/16/07, Bryan Minihan <bjminihan at nc.rr.com> wrote:
> My question is, if we anticipate at least SOME part of the mobile version
> will deliver highlight videos, and others will likely be RSS-style text
> alerts (who's new, who matches my saved alert, etc), which devices should we
> target for testing, in order to capture a pretty significant user base. Our
> primary personas fall in these categories: high school athletes & their
> fans (generally teenagers - approx 14-19), what I call "advocate fans"
> (parents & close friends helping the athlete get recruited), high school &
> college coaches (we're researching now, but estimating their ages fall in
> the 25-50 range).

Some resources:

- a presentation on how to choose mobile technologies
http://www.slideshare.net/barbaraballard/going-mobile-choosing-target-devices-platforms

- mobile UI patterns
http://patterns.littlespringsdesign.com/

- recent mobile device & usage stats
http://www.admob.com/metrics/
http://chetansharma.com/

- testing your app (NOT usability testing) on multiple devices
http://deviceanywhere.com/

- useful mailing lists
http://www.mobiledesign.org/
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/wmlprogramming/

- design guidelines
http://dev.mobi/book/export/html/293

In general, you'll find that video clips are going to be your most
challenging technical objective. You may want to go web-only first;
your market probably isn't saturated with iPhones. Video clips will
require device detection and some sophisticated logic unless you
partner with a service provider who does it for you.

If you need to go cheap on the user research, you can consider that
Amp'd did quite a bit of high school boy user research for mobile.

--
Barbara Ballard
barbara at littlespringsdesign.com 1-785-838-3003

Syndicate content Get the feed