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With over 2 million apps out there, building one and launching it is definitely not enough to gain success. If you want your mobile app to stand a chance it would definitely need testing. In fact, it’s a vital part of the development process.

By definition, user testing is the process of evaluating usability, functionality, design and user experience of an app by having real people performing specific tasks in realistic conditions. That’s usually an expensive process. However, it can help developers identify issues that could lead a fully-launched app to a complete failure. This process can be used to build and improve an app to its full potential.

Mobile app designers, developers or researchers are often tasked with user testing on a small budget. That made them think of some budget-friendly ways to do it. We’re going to list some examples of such ways below, so you don’t have to skip this important process due to a limited budget.

Start With a Smaller Group of Users

You don’t need to have thousands of people to test your mobile app. Yes, having more testers might be an advantage, but you can have great results from five participants as well. Providing your new mobile app for testing to a small group also gives you an insight into what you need to improve or fix.

Find your ideal set of users and start with them. Collect and learn from their feedback, then try with some more people. This way you can improve your app step by step, without spending a fortune on user testing.

Use Family, Friends or Some Random Strangers

People around you might turn out to be great beta testers. Don’t worry about reaching out to family, friends, or even random strangers you meet on the street. Any feedback is useful for your testing.

Don’t hesitate to ask people for a few minutes of their time to test your mobile app. Consider your target audience and visit the places it’s most likely to find it. Randomly asking people that look like your perfect user also works great. However, be aware of how much time your test takes and keep it no longer than 5 minutes.

Always make sure to share your intentions of why you are testing the mobile app and what feedback you’d like to receive. It’s best to use a release to help establish trust as participants would be fully informed of the way their feedback will be used.

You Don’t Need Fancy Equipment

You don’t need a fancy lab with high-tech equipment in order to conduct your user test. They might be great but aren’t a necessity in any case. Just a single quiet room might be perfect for your needs. 

Testers should use the app in their natural environment. This provides more accurate results than testing in a lab. They can even try it out on the streets if that’s where it’s supposed to be used. Whether in a conference room or at the mall, you should always make sure your mobile app is tested in the right environment.

Capture Only the Most Essential Problems

Be clear in what you are testing, so that the process is the most effective. Identify the main problems and their potential solutions, then test to see if the solutions work. Having a clear vision of the final result will make it way easier for UI/UX designers to achieve it for a lower cost.

Have short sessions with no more than three problems, as testing many of them at once will most likely lower the accuracy. Work on fixing these top problems before moving on to the next test. Dealing with only a few problems in a specific time frame increases the chances of them actually being solved.