Mobile Usability Testing: Conducting Ethnography Studies

behavior


How to do you conduct consumer behavior research with mobile users? Video Questions is a research feature for mobile devices so that UX & CX researchers could get users to provide visual, verbal, and contextual feedback about their digital experiences. This way, users can provide their opinions faster and with less effort.

This visual question type can be used to supplement or substitute the written open-ended question type. This has opened up two new and exciting possibilities for Mobile Usability Testing.

One, the video question type puts a face to the users critiquing a digital experience. Two, it has opened Mobile Testing to the world of Contextual Inquiry and Ethnography.

To demonstrate the versatility of the video question, our US colleagues conducted a task-based Usability Study on Target.com as well as an Ethnographic Inquiry in the Target U.S. store.

This post is to showcase the use of the video question type for Ethnography. As with all our internal studies, the goal is to demonstrate a feature or functionality. The results are not to be considered as valid.

The Mobile Usability Test at a glance:

Two participants were invited to participate in this Mobile Usability Test and requested to visit their local Target store. Here, their goal was to find a convertible car seat for a newborn.

Using the video question, they were first asked to describe how they would go about finding the car seat before entering the store. Next, they were asked to enter the store and find the convertible car seat.

After they found the car seat, they were asked to provide feedback on any special displays, guides and other information that aided in finding the item. This was followed by questions on the ease of finding the car seat as well as the quality of goods displayed.

For each video question, users had up to 60 seconds to provide their feedback. The in-store task duration was ~10 minutes.

Description & Results:

1. The email invitation to the study introduced the in-store task to the user. On clicking the link, users were provided step-by-step instructions to be carried out before and after entering the store.

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Step 1. Users requested to visit their local Target store.

Step 2. Users were presented with the task scenario, followed by their first video question.

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Video question # 1: Users were presented with the task scenario followed by their first video question.

The task scenario was to imagine that they are looking to gift a convertible car seat to a friend, who is expecting a baby in a few months.

But, before entering the store, they’re asked to describe how they would look for the car seat.

Result:

Here is the pre-task video question from one of the participants.

Step 3. Their next task was to enter the store and find the car seat.

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Step 4. After they had found the car seat, users were presented with the next video question.

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Video question # 2: Evaluate the car seats available in the store.

For the second video question, users were asked to evaluate the available car seats, the aisle in which they were displayed and the variety in price range and brands.

Result:

Here is the post-task video question from one of the participants.

Step 5. Next, users were asked to rate the ease of finding the car seat in the store. This was followed by the next video question.

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Video question # 3: Rate & describe the ease or difficulty of finding the car seat at Target.

This video question was conditioned on whether users found it easy or difficult to find the car seat. Depending on their rating, they were presented 1 of 2 possible video questions.

If users rated between 1-3, they were presented with the video question asking them to describe what was difficult about finding the aisle with convertible car seats. If users rated between 4-7, they were presented with the video question asking them to describe the ease.

Result:

Both users said it was easy to find the car seat. Here is the video question from one of the participants.

Step 6. Users were next asked to rate the quality of car seats available.

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Video question # 4: Rate & describe the quality of car seats available at Target.

This video question was also conditional. Depending on their rating, they were presented 1 of 2 possible video questions.

If users rated between 1-3, they were presented with the video question asking them to describe what they did not like about the car seats or the aisle. If users rated between 4-7, they were presented with the video question asking them to describe what they liked about the available choices.

Result:

Both participants indicated that the quality and selection of goods were of superior quality.

Here is the post-task video question from one of the participants.

Step 7.

For the final section, users were asked some final demographic questions, such as their age range, gender and whether they had children below the age of 5 in their household.

After they finished the survey, they were thanked for their time and the study was closed.

Conclusion:

The video question facilitates capturing contextual cues in exciting and versatile ways. Now, researchers can ask users to think-out-loud as they accomplish a task, record a store walkthrough, capture videos of what they like and don’t like about an experience and provide situational feedback.

Ethnographic study methodology provides researchers with the opportunity to mark contextual cues from the users physical environment and direct and implicit behavioral and emotional cues that is otherwise inaccessible.

About the author

snehaAt UserZooom, Sneha Kanneganti specializes in unmoderated remote usability testing (URUT). She also has extensive in-lab usability testing experience with various research methodologies, from in-depth interviews and task based studies to focus groups. Her background is in Information Science and Psychology and loves analyzing results and finding patterns in collective behavioral outcomes.

 

 

 

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