Software QA FYI - SQAFYI

A great mobile app user experience starts with building trust

By: Jennifer Lent

Mobile has sensors and capabilities our desktops don't. But the best mobile app user experience Jennifer Lent had was old-fashioned phone support.
Apps that offer the best mobile user experience aren't just mobile. Sure, they take advantage of mobile device features like the camera and the GPS. But the best experiences also include old-fashioned features like phone support.
This realization was brought home to me this week as I worked my way through the unenviable task of moving my bank accounts from one financial institution to another. When I ran into trouble -- the new bank's mobile app wouldn't let me complete the check deposit process -- the app saved the day with a strategically placed Call a Rep button. With a single click, I was talking to a real person who explained why the app wouldn't let me deposit my check.
I didn't like the answer, but I loved the mobile app user experience. Instead of giving me an error message that didn't really make sense or abandoning me altogether, my new banking app quickly directed me down a path that led to an answer.
Elizabeth Rosenzweig, principal consultant at the Bentley University User Experience Center, said that when our apps communicate with us, they build trust. When apps don't communicate with us, they create distrust, undermining the credibility of both the app and the organization behind it.
In this edition of Quality Time, I outline what made the mobile user experience with the banking app inspire trust.
For quality-assurance, or QA, pros working on mobile apps, this is a reminder that no amount of device testing or in-the-field testing will matter if the user experience doesn't meet user needs. The most important step software testers can take is running a mobile app through its paces, evaluating the user interfaces. How does it respond to actions the user takes? Does it communicate effectively with the user? Do the error messages make sense? These crucial questions can't be left unanswered.

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A great mobile app user experience starts with building trust