Tips on Android Usability Testing

Usability for mobile apps is not the same for desktop apps. For mobile apps, the input method, the connection speed and the screen size are the criteria that make the difference. We look at the general principles that guide Android usability testing and what users should know regarding the guidelines that need to be followed when actually performing it.

Ten general principles that guide user interface design

  1. Visibility of systems status
  2. Match between systems and real world
  3. User control and freedom
  4. Error prevention
  5. Flexibility and efficiency of use
  6. Consistency and standards
  7. Help users recognize, analyse, and recover from errors
  8. Recognition rather than recall
  9. Aesthetic and minimalistic design
  10. Help and documentation

Android Guidelines and Tips (What You Should Be Testing Against)

  1. Touch
  • Slidebars are not easy to use on touch screens
  • Fingerprints are more visible on darker backgrounds
  • There must be a way to go back or undo an action, as a user touches the wrong item quite impulsively
  • Common operations must be visible directly on the screen
  • Use full screen and minimise keyboard input
  1. Icons and buttons
  • Buttons should have the right size and should be suitable for big fingers
  • They should remain in the same place in the screen to avoid confusion
  • Buttons that have the same functionality should have the same colour
  • Icons and buttons should be natural and consistent
  1. Text
  • Keep text simple and clear
  • Short sentences and paragraphs are readable
  • Use headers as it will make the text that much more readable
  • Typing in a text box should start with an uppercase letter
  • Font size should be big enough, but not too big (neither should it be too small)

  1. Messages
  • Confirmation messages should be avoided, as a click performs the action directly
  • The user should be warned when the app starts downloading a lot of data

Author: Melanie Antoine

Openwave Computing is a premier Information Technology leader, providing exemplary services to the clients worldwide since 1997. We have transformed companies through the value chain, providing technology to attain a competitive advantage. We, Openwave, transform our relationships from being just a service partner to a strategic partner. We excel in understanding their unique requirements and customize our services to fulfill all their technology needs.

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