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I found an article about mobile and handheld usability testing written by Tim Fidgeon. He pointed out that mobile and handheld testing could actually be more important than computer-based usability testing. Could he be right??
He has three main arguments for his statement.
- A growing number of users are accessing the internet from mobile devices: This is true. The awareness of the opportunity to get online anywhere you are is spreading.
- Going online with your mobile is fairly new way of using the internet: Computers have been in use “for ages”. Even if someone makes a rather unique design for a web site, users are somewhat expert users and can navigate in almost all conditions. Accessing the internet with mobile devices hasn’t been possible for that long. It’s a new thing and the users may still be a bit confused about this opportunity. The users are novices.
- There is much more varying with different mobile and handheld device platforms than with computers: The sizes of the screens differ. The platforms differ. With computers it doesn’t really make much of a difference wether you use IE or Firefox. But it might make a big difference wether you use NOKIA E90 communicator or iPhone, for example.
I think Tim has a point here!