Building a mobile app UX testing setup for under $50

  • UX agencies charge thousands of dollars to do this for you and I heard that many don’t even record the user taps (only screen recording).
  • The available commercial options were expensive and didn’t fit our needs
  1. allow the user to hold the phone as naturally as possible
  2. allow the user to do recorded testing on their own phone
  3. record the following inputs — user’s taps & swipes — user’s face — user’s voice as they narrate — a high def feed of the phone screen (in case we can’t make out what they are tapping on)
  4. …and the kicker — under $50 to setup and use (no expensive software licenses)
Mr Tappy
  1. The first version had a flat sled which the user had to hold with the phone in their hand (rather than having it on a flat surface) — whilst this is more in line with how a user will naturally hold their phone it meant that the setup was unstable and the webcam wasn’t always capturing the screen
  2. The second version had small rubberised feet which helped it stay put on table however the user couldn’t fit their hand under the sled which meant that the user had to swipe with their index finger rather than their thumb (more natural)
  3. The current version (which you can see in the picture below) allows the user to wrap their hand underneath the phone and sled whilst it remains on a table. The legs at the top are slightly higher than those at the back so that the screen is tilted towards the user. It also has a ridge at the bottom which keeps the phone in place with a gap for the power cable (learnt this was required the hard way).
Our latest testing sled — total cost $50
Our latest testing sled with an iPhone connected to Open Broadcaster — you can see the recording capturing taps, a feed of the app screen as well as the user’s face.

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