No one can deny the power of testing. Having the ability to take your product or a prototype of your product and expose it to certain key audiences for feedback purposes is paramount to the future success of your mobile applications. By knowing what people like and do not like right off the bat, you save yourself a lot of time and trouble down the road, and can ensure that your product will be a gem when it is finally released. So how exactly do you go about testing your product before release? With certain tools and technologies, it is possible to release prototypes of your applications and have them configured in a way that allows you to extract information that you want from the experience. For instance you might throw in some in-app surveys or explanations to help guide your users through the experience. This article will go into more detail about prototyping and what exactly it can do for your business.
The central benefits of rapid prototyping
Probably the most pronounced benefit of rapid prototyping is the ability to see directly how people are interacting with your applications. You can see exactly what they are clicking on, as well as the information that they tend to ignore. You can also get in depth feedback about certain elements of your application, and find out what people think might be missing from your product altogether. Instructions can be implemented into the application prototype to help guide users through a typical experience with your application. This can be great if you are testing the prototype with an audience that might be unfamiliar with the philosophy of your application’s design. All of this can be done without writing a single line of code. Everything is strung together with a variety of media options, turned into an interactive format, and then customized the way you want to accurately represent your application. This can all be done very quickly and allow for many different testing scenarios, all before committing to actual designs and writing your code.
Testing flexibility of rapid prototyping
Everything that you create for testing can be shared and ran on various mobile devices of your choosing, even devices that might seem a bit obscure and uncommon like less popular phones. This is excellent for testing cross platform compatibility and seeing how certain functionality available in different operating systems effects the end-experience of your application for the user. You can also run the prototypes on the web if you so wish. Obviously you have complete control over who gets to test your prototypes, that way you can maintain security and not have to worry about anything being stolen or leaked. All feedback can be provided to you within the application itself, making the process quite simple for testers. You want to pay very close attention to the feedback that you get. Testers should be capable of giving you very in depth explanations of their personal experience with your application. They should be able to tell you whether or not they were engaged and getting value from your design idea, or if they found it lacking or even useless. Always take criticism from a constructive point of view, and maintain an objective attitude about things. Some people are not going to like your designs, others will love them. It is up to you to decide how you can balance things out, if at all, and what features and functionality are most important to achieve your business goals when publishing your article to your target audience.
Long term testing is crucial
While pre-release testing is very important, it’s worth continuing your testing and analysis after release as well. There are of course tools available on the market that can allow you to do long term statistical analysis of your products, but most importantly is to simply be connected to the community that you are selling to. Obviously once your application has been released to the public it’s going to be exposed to a much greater sized market. This can of course bring up special points of interest and issues that were not fixed in the prototyping phase, such as specific incompatibility issues with certain devices that were not tested for previously. This is bound to happen and really isn’t a big deal, just be consistent at addressing the issues that are brought up and that can actually be taken care of in the first place. By doing rapid prototyping in the developmental stages of your application you can ensure that your release is as smooth as possible, and won’t flop right out of the gate. If things don’t work the first time, you can also hit the drawing boards again. Just make sure that you are very sincere about your product and what it offers to customers, otherwise you might be developing something that you think is helpful but that no one is truly interested in.