5 Budget-Friendly Ways to Conduct App User Testing

Jenna Rodrigues
September 28, 2021

As of the first quarter of 2021, there were about 3.48 million apps to choose from on Google Play and over 2.22 million available apps on the Apple App Store. With such numbers, it’s clear that there’s enough competition to safely say that the “build it and they will come” narrative won’t be enough to make your app successful.

To stand out from the competition, your mobile app needs testing — it’s a vital part of the development process. App user testing or usability testing is the process of evaluating the functionality, usability, design, and user experience of a mobile app by having real users test it out in real-time. And yes, it’s often an expensive process.

Early user testing can give developers a clue of the major issues that could lead to the failure of a fully launched app. The insights collected from user testing are highly valuable and can prove useful especially when building and improving an app to help it reach its full potential.

Here, we look at how to achieve big-time user testing with a micro-budget.

Begin with a Small Group of Users

While there are some benefits to having a large group of reviewers, having a small group, say five participants, will help you gather plenty and more precise information. By allowing your mobile app to be tested by a smaller group, you stand to gather an abundance of data and insights in the specific areas where your app requires optimization and enhanced usability.

For maximum results, identify a small number of users and start the test. Perform the test across different devices because user behavior can differ significantly across devices. Gather as much information as possible, analyze their feedback, and then try again with a new testing team. This allows you to detect major issues that keep arising after working with each test group and improve them on the go.

Reach Out to Your Network and Ask for Feedback

Now that you have embarked on user testing, your network will be among the tools that are at your disposal. It’s the easiest, most cost-effective, and most productive way to perform user testing. If you have spent time creating an email list, you’re a step ahead and all you need is to send an email to each of the users on the list and use them as beta testers.

There is a high likelihood that your email subscribers will graciously accept to be reviewers and provide genuine feedback on your app. If possible, you can add an incentive such as a shopping voucher, Amazon gift card, and more in exchange for their feedback.

Request Honest Feedback from Family, Friends, Colleagues, Co-Workers, and Random People

Surprisingly, folks around might turn out to be resourceful beta testers. Make the most of your connections and ensure you reach out to family, friends, co-workers, clients, or even random people on the street. Get as much feedback as possible, whether it’s positive or negative.

Try visiting the neighborhood stores, coffee shops, and restaurants that are popular among innovative individuals, tech gurus, and entrepreneurs. Don’t be afraid to ask them for a few minutes of their time to evaluate and test your app and get candid feedback.

Keep in mind some of the major spots where your target audience is most likely to hang out. Go to public places and politely ask random people to evaluate your app. Parks, malls, and campuses also offer plenty of testing opportunities for your app. The best part is that they are cost-effective and you get instant feedback.

No Need to Spend On Fancy Equipment

Yes! Fancy elevated equipment and two-way mirrors are helpful to use during user tests, but you don’t need them. A single quiet room might be all you need to get results.

The best way to get the most relevant feedback is to encourage reviewers to use the app in their natural surroundings. Let them try it out on the streets if it’s intended to assist workers to catch a train to their destination. If you prefer a quiet testing environment, you may want to consider standard and cost-friendly conference rooms instead of testing labs.

Whether you choose to test in a conventional space or public place, ensure your mobile app is tested in the right environment.

Remote User Testing

Looking for beta testers, planning test sessions, and coordinating tests in person is time-consuming and expensive. These are the main reasons why more companies are opting for remote user testing. A popular form of usability testing involves using an online software program to record the screens of beta evaluators and regulating what they click on and how they navigate.

If possible, you want to capture three critical things:

• The screen of the app as the customer navigates around it

• A video of the user as they engage with the app

• Recorded audio of the user’s views and feelings about the app

Thanks to advanced technology, some software enables you to track both the tester’s screen flows and their facial expressions as they interact with the app. Knowing the user’s perception of your app helps to add a new dimension to the testing process which can reveal critical areas that need improvement to enhance user engagement.

Need Some Help With User Testing?

An app launch is a complex, multistage process. User testing is part of this process and determines how successful an app will be. While receiving criticism about your app’s usefulness may be a scary experience, it can help you identify the key areas to improve upon to help you optimize your app based on what the user expects, needs, and wants. Furthermore, without it, there’s no way to determine whether you’re on the right track during the design and development process. The best part is that you can achieve effectiveness with user testing with a small budget.

So, do you want to build a successful user testing strategy for your app? We can help. Our team understands the unique needs of your business and will help you achieve great results at every stage of the product life cycle.

Book a consultation with our experts and get started with your user testing process right away!

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