Enhancing Early Mobile Prototype Testing: Requirements Analysis through Interviews and a System Design

DS 85-1: Proceedings of NordDesign 2016, Volume 1, Trondheim, Norway, 10th - 12th August 2016

Year: 2016
Editor: Boks, Casper; Sigurjonsson, Johannes; Steinert, Martin; Vis, Carlijn; Wulvik, Andreas
Author: Meyer, Sebastian; Häger, Franziska; Uflacker, Matthias
Series: NordDESIGN
Institution: Hasso Plattner Institute, Germany
Section: Human Interaction Prototyping
Page(s): 144-154
ISBN: 978-1-904670-80-3


During the last three decades the number of active mobile devices went from zero to 7.2 billion devices. And research predicts the usage of mobile devices will replace desktop systems in many areas i.e. mobile devices are becoming the primary way for people to access the internet. Thus, the mobile market has become extremely competitive. In this market delivering high quality software which addresses the user's needs and has an appealing interface becomes a competitive advantage. To achieve a good user experience for their products, companies are aiming to involve end-user into their development processes by adopting user-centred approaches. These approaches rely heavily on repeated user-research and validating prototypes with end users early on and throughout the development process. Research agrees that testing mobile application prototypes should be in the right context, at best in the field on the mobile device. However, there is still little experience on mobile application testing and standardized approaches or tools are not yet established. Especially for early non-technical prototypes such as wireframes or clickable user interface dummies testing on the actual device is challenging. This paper provides a glimpse into current challenges of testing for mobile application prototypes and proposes a system to solve them. Current challenges derived from interviews with three major software companies on current approaches to mobile testing with regards to tooling and processes are presented. Based on these challenges a list of requirements for a system that allows testing of early mobile prototypes on the actual device and collecting data around the tests such as gestures used, environmental data and so on is composed. A system architecture for a software system which can fulfil these requirements is presented and its possibilities and limitations are discussed.

Keywords: Mobile Prototype Testing, System Design, Software Engineering


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