IAKM 60114: Mobile Designs and Usability Studies

This week we began researching the needs of mobile users and some ways usability experts have worked on designs for testing websites and interfaces on mobile devices. Because usability testing and gesture capturing on mobile devices is so different from capturing computer screens moderators have created some innovative ways to capture the movements of users on webcams and even resorted to household chip clips to cement their designs. The importance of usability testing for mobile designs has rapidly increased with the decline of personal computers. Gartner’s projects a 7.3% decrease in personal computer sales through 2017 (1.). Many access the internet through mobile means because it is convenient for them while others access the internet through a mobile device because they cannot afford a luxury item like a laptop or pc.

As I design my mobile usability lab set up and capture method I have to think of gesturing and how best to view a participants movements as they navigate a website. I found one of the provided resources interesting because UXD’ers act as if this is common knowledge, but the websites I go to on my tiny iPhone 4 screen in no way follow these design principles (2.). UXmag discusses the common gestures, the size of click ability and the thumb range that is appropriate for most websites. I find many websites do the exact opposite and have the navigation up top like a traditional desktop version of the website would have. Testing the mobile usability and following through with a design based on the recorded data is the first step in ensuring you have satisfied customers who are able to complete transactions via their phone or tablet.

  1. http://www.forbes.com/sites/chuckjones/2013/04/05/gartner-survey-showing-declining-pcs-increasing-mobile-devices-through-2017/
  2. http://uxmag.com/articles/excerpt-from-the-new-book-the-mobile-frontier
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