Social Distanced UX Research Strategies For your Next iOS App

COIVD has forced us to stop using in-person UX research. Here are some tried and true methods we’re keeping after the lockdowns lift.

Web Based Prototypes

The first question we asked was: How do we make our prototypes more accessible?

Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

How do I webify my mobile app?

There are a few common options that work for popular tech stacks where you can take an experience intended for iOS or Android and repackage it as a web app. Alternatively, if the feature warrants this, you can scaffold it rapidly as a new and isolated project to conduct your UX research interviews. Depending on your architecture, your mileage may vary.

Conducting 1:1 Tests

Our team has tried multiple chat platforms but we always seem to come back to Google Meet. All the other tools complicate the tester’s onboarding process and assume people are willing to download their tool (i.e. Teams or Zoom).

  1. Open the link
  2. Share your screen
  3. Record your meeting
Photo by Tim Bennett on Unsplash

Group Testing with Cheap Ad Campaigns

Creating a simple ad campaign can also go a long way in helping you understand if your UX strategy resonates with your target users. This is by no means a new strategy, but I feel it is under utilized and needs a shout out.

A quick ad campaign establishes a clear prioritization for the team with numbers to back it up.

This method can work extremely well if you have a few ideas for the product experience or a roadmapping decisions. Run a quick campaign over the weekend and let the results on Monday speak for itself.

What Can Your User Testing Ad Link To?

Your ad doesn’t need to link to your web app per se. If you do link the web port of your app, it’s obviously beneficial to hook up analytics to monitor your tester’s behaviour. Google Analytics and Firebase have great developer SDKs that do this quickly and proficiently. You can monitor custom events for KPIs and have stats like app page views and page view flow falloff collected automatically. You now have a true measurable test to see if your new app experience works for your users.

Photo by Tobias Tullius on Unsplash

Remote-First Testing Conclusion

The above methods helped my team scale their reach beyond our usual localized testing methodology. It was easy to setup experiments whenever we wanted to gauge reactions from different users.

We were no longer limited by inviting people to use an iPhone at our office.

When our reach extended beyond the primary users, it helped ensure our app was truly inclusive. By including users we normally couldn’t meet in person (i.e. rural or international), we could easily challenge our own assumptions.

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