This guest column is authored by Design Expert, Sunit Sharma
I know that testing mobile designs can be cumbersome, it is a lengthy process that we all dread. Quite a lot of user experience specialists test these designs through a video recorder and check how the user performs one specific action or task; these measures have proved to be just fine over these years, but it does overlook one context: what if the conditions that your user is in are not favourable? And because of that reason WAO (testing with regard to weather, ambiance, and the ability to make the app work with one hand) comes into the equation
It is quite understood that no two users are similar, their needs are different and their conditions are not same. WAO is a traditional and non-organic approach, which means the results of this method of testing are different too. And while we’re at it, this method of testing is quite fun too.
1. Weather Conditions
To figure out when and where our designs are being used is next to impossible without getting the analytics our hands. So designers, buckle up, because you will have to try different aspects of your design in morning, evening and night. This will give you good idea about colors, fonts and shapes. By performing this extensive test, you will know what works and what doesn’t, which aspects stay neutral throughout the day and which looks unappealing as the sun sets.
2. Ambiance testing
When I was working with a car classified company, we noticed a pattern of high traffic on our app during the night time i.e, 9 PM to 11:30 PM, and that is the reason we decided to design our app with soothing colors, so that the colors don’t pop out and cause any difficulty reading, a night mode feature was introduced for better reading. When you can ascertain the kind of ambiance your users are in, you can also determine the features that your users might prefer, and this is the reason this form of mobile design testing is crucial. Like in the case of car company, you have to find your way of testing.
3. One hand test – Tappable areas
It is always advisable to try and keep things in range. And to do that, you should also test your designs with single and both hands, respectively. It’s a win if you and your user can work the app with one hand, but you should test all possible screens in mobile with this test. Besides, you should also check your designs with the voice feature (Siri or Google Assistant). By checking the ambidextrousness of the app and the voice commands, you will also be making this app convenient for differently abled people, and it is always a good thing.