Usability testing a fully featured, prototype app
A global internet software security provider evaluate their new prototype app in Germany
Our client is a global cybersecurity company that provides a range of software solutions to a global market. Their deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe.
UX24/7 was asked to facilitate a moderated usability evaluation of a test build of the clients’ Android Internet Security app in the German market.
The app protects the users Internet connection, the data on their device, and access to other apps. It also allows users to block unwanted calls and text messages and hide their personal contacts.
They wanted to test the mobile app to:
- Assess the overall ease of use of the app interface, processes and functionality
- Ensure critical processes and software elements are intuitive
- Understand, identify issues and provide solutions of highest value on the app
- Identify other potential usability issues that could affect their users’ experience.
During the sessions, participants attempted to perform tasks typical of those users would be attempting in the real world which were designed following discussions with the client and an analysis of the prototype app. A research plan was agreed with the client prior to the research and participants were recruited that were representative of their target audience. The technology set up was a test laptop with picture in picture software, the smartphone, a webcam, to capture the participants head/shoulders.
Key tasks performed during the usability testing sessions:
- Usability testing using real participants in a usability lab
- Prototype app using staging environment
- 16 x 90 minute sessions over 4 days
- In market: Cologne, Germany
The insights we gathered from the research sessions were based on a combination of observation of user behaviour, issues that users encounter and comments that they make. These are some of the key insight themes uncovered through the research.
As the client is a popular, well-known brand in Germany, participants were generally very positive even if they hadn’t used the app previously
Searching & buying the app in Google Play Store
This was generally well received but users had some difficulty finding information about the app costs and the features on the free/premium versions.
Key navigational elements & information architecture
The main screen was appreciated for its ease of access and the information provided, whilst the hamburger menu’s length meant that many services could be ignored or scrolled over too quickly.
Setting up key features
Users tended not to read through lengthy information resulting in them struggling with setting up the anti-theft protection feature. In contrast, the app lock feature required more instruction.
We offered a range of suggestions and recommendations for the client to focus on for the next stage of app development. Some Key recommendations included:
- To ensure clarity of feature names and icons
- Ensure instruction text is to the point and can be scanned easily– this is important as users miss essential information as they don’t tent to read continuous text to the end
- Provide price-transparency
- Provide more guidance to setup the features
- Reflect users’ priorities when considering which features to promote
As a next step, UX24/7 recommended a detailed usability evaluation of the online portal that is accessed for account management and more. Through this research we learned that users had problems with the information structure as well as command dialogs when trying to manage a lost phone. An evaluation for other use cases could be beneficial for a redesign.
“I really enjoyed working with the client – from developing the research design to conducting a 4-day-testing in Cologne to the final presentation of the results via Skype. It was great to hear from the client that their product team was very happy with the research and that the results and our recommendations will help them to make improvements to their app to better meet users’ needs.”
Simone, Senior UX Researcher