Your App Testing Revolution
With tens of thousands of news stories (from thousands of sources), finding items of personal interest has always been a tedious task – until now. With a variety of smartphone and tablet applications, Mobiles Republic has built one of the most powerful solutions for delivering personalized news to users across the globe. As they say, it’s the "cure for infobesity."
In 2011, the company realized its News Republic app needed to evolve to match the requirements of new users with new devices. With the impending launch of the Android version, they were not going to leave anything to chance. In order to succeed, it became evident they needed mobile app testing – specifically usability testing of their app across new mobile operating systems.
"It was important for us to get objective feedback and reassurance about these apps before we launched. uTest provided us with a great mix of usability experts and everyday smartphone users to help us achieve our goals."
-- Jérôme Le Feuvre, CMO, Mobiles Republic
This case study will show how uTest helped Mobiles Republic test the usability of their latest smartphone and tablet applications. Along the way, we’ll include details on the usability process, including the role of a dedicated UX expert; device coverage; survey analysis and much more.
Mobile Usability Testing: Scope and Set Up
For the first two phases of this project, Mobiles Republic would utilize uTest’s full-service usability testing. With this service, a dedicated user experience (UX) professional manages virtually every phase of the project, including the usability audit, survey creation, focus group selection and detailed analysis of the results.
"Having the UX expert there was extremely helpful, since we wanted to have an external view on the user interface, and validate our choices," said Jérôme.
After a brief kick-off call, the UX expert began conducting the usability test with participants from all over the world, including Austria, France, United States, United Kingdom, Russia and The Netherlands. Aside from the geographic location, Jérôme and his team would get a diverse team in terms of mobile application experience and device coverage.
"We received a really nice range of participants," said Jérôme.
"We had the smartphone early adopters, the everyday users, as well as people who just really understood usability in general. It gave us a nice variety of user feedback on a number of different devices."
-- Jérôme Le Feuvre, CMO, Mobiles Republic
Over the next several days, uTest would review the News Republic application for Android, with a specific focus on touch-screen functionality, screen size, keys & controls, personalization, set up and other aspects of the app.
Test Cycle Results
At the conclusion of their first test cycle, Jérôme and his team would spend a few weeks implementing much of the feedback they had received from their usability test cycle.
"It was certainly great timing for us," said Jérôme, who added that the application was set to debut a few weeks after the test cycle had been completed. "This application was new to a lot of people in Europe. In fact, Android itself was new to a lot of people outside the US, so being able to get it reviewed by savvy users was a tremendous help."
And how has the application done so far? How about No. 1 in the "News & Magazines" section of the Android Market in more than 50 countries.
"We’ve been extremely happy with the positive feedback we received from users," said Jérôme. "The testing we did with uTest was a great validation of our efforts."
After running three different test cycles (they later ran a quick test of the application on the Xoom tablet), Jérôme and his team were fully convinced of the need to get mobile applications reviewed by experts prior to launch.
"We’re trying to build a global product, so it makes perfect sense to have it reviewed by testers all over the world," said Jérôme. "uTest provides a terrific service. They have a nice mix of users and devices, and they deliver superior feedback. It was a great decision for us."
As the team at Mobiles Republic diversifies their applications (they said a Windows Phone 7 version was in the works), they plan to incorporate uTest for all of their usability testing needs.