A Guide To Simple And Painless Mobile User Testing


The incredible growth of mobile and the proliferation of mobile devices has made the UX designer’s job more challenging and interesting. It also means that user-testing mobile apps and websites is an essential component of the UX toolkit.

But unlike the desktop environment, no out-of-the-box software packages such as Silverback or Camtasia are specifically designed to record mobile usability tests.

Even if you’re not developing a mobile app, chances are that a large proportion of your website traffic is coming from mobile. Running regular mobile usability tests is the only way to gauge how well this channel is working for your customers.

A bit of hacking is required. And, after years of experimentation, we think we’ve figured out the best hack available yet. If you want to test iPhone or Android experiences, this solution is simple, cost-effective and high quality.

在移动设备上进行可用性测试是大多用户体验设计团队既关注又头疼的部分,市面上的各种专业测试工具各有利弊,如何抉择是一道难题。性能好、对用户干扰少、录制质量高、能记录用户面部表情和手部操作、价格便宜等要素成为大家在选择工具与方法时重点关心的内容。本文作者Colman Walsh提供了一种讨巧的方式,能较好的解决测试中大部分问题。移动端令人难以置信的增长趋势和移动设备的全面普及,让用户体验设计师的工作更具挑战性与趣味性。这意味着移动应用与移动站点的用户测试成为用户体验工具中的重要一环。与桌面环境有所区别的是,移动端可用性测试缺少像Silverback或Camtasia这样开箱即用的软件记录工具。即使不开发一款移动应用,你的网站大部分流量也可能来自于移动设备。执行常规的移动可用性测试,便成为衡量该渠道是否正常工作的唯一途径。此时需要一定的动手能力,经过多年实验,我们认为已经找到了最理想的手段。如果你想简单测试iPhone 或Android 的体验,这套方法不仅简单,性价比高,而且效果出色。

The Old Hack: Wires And Duct Tape

In days gone by, we used a “sled” to mount a smartphone and camera into a position where we could record what users were doing on screen. (To create the sled, we bought some acrylic in a hardware store and bent it into shape over a toaster. Fun.)

We attached a webcam to the sled with duct tape and mounted the phone with tape and some velcro strips. Looking back, the device was pretty crude. It wasn’t a natural experience for users, who would often cradle the phone in two hands to keep the sled steady.




Smartphone on a sled
A user with smartphone and camera mounted on a sled.

Technically, it wasn’t reliable. Because we were using two cameras on one laptop (the camera on the sled and the laptop’s built-in camera), we had to have two camera apps open at the same time. This led to flaky performance. Either setting it up would be a stressful time or we’d get a blackout in the middle of a test — or, often, both.

And there were other issues, such as screen glare and camera focus. Overall, it was time-consuming to set up, with unreliable performance and a suboptimal testing environment. It was particularly stressful if clients were around, but it was the best solution we knew at the time.



A Better Way: Wireless

Ideally, testing equipment and software should be invisible to the users. We want as natural an environment as possible, just the users and their smartphones — no wires, sleds, cameras or duct tape.

For the UX team, the focus should be on learning and insight. We don’t want to be sweating over the setup or worrying about blackouts.

I’d like to introduce you to a simple setup that achieves all of these goals. It allows the UX team to focus on what really matters, and lets users focus on their phones. And it’s so reliable that we regularly use it in front of clients and during our training classes.

We’ll focus here on testing usability on smartphones, using a MacBook as the recording device. But the approach works with Windows PCs, too.





接下来重点谈智能手机的可用性测试,我们使用一台MacBook作为记录设备。当然,这种方法也适用于Windows PC。

Wireless testing is more natural
Wireless testing is more natural.


The magic ingredient in this setup is Apple’s wireless AirPlay technology. This is the software that lets you stream music or videos wirelessly to an Apple TV.

So, the first software you’ll need to buy (for $15) and install is Reflector, which converts your laptop into an AirPlay receiver, just like an Apple TV. This allows us to mirror the user’s smartphone screen onto the laptop: Whatever is on the user’s smartphone will also be seen on the laptop.

Now we have a scenario in which we don’t need an external camera to record the user’s smartphone screen. We just need screen-capturing software to record the smartphone on the laptop. My personal favorite is ScreenFlow($99), for two reasons. It’s reliable, and it uses the laptop’s camera to record the user’s face during the session, an essential component of any usability test.


This step is optional, but I like to use an external display so that the facilitator and notetaker don’t have to peer over the user’s shoulder to see the action. It also minimizes distraction for the user; they won’t see a giant version of their smartphone on the laptop in front of them — it will be on the monitor instead.

So, run an extension cable from your MacBook to the monitor. If the monitor and the laptop are showing the exact same thing, that means they’re being mirrored, which we don’t want. Open up “System Preferences” and select “Displays,” and make sure the box for “Mirror Displays” is unchecked.


产生神奇效果的关键在于Apple的AirPlay无线技术,该软件能让你把流媒体(音乐、视频)通过无线的方式传送到Apple TV上。

因此,首先你需要购买并安装一个叫做Reflector(大概15刀)的软件,它能将笔记本变成一个AirPlay信号接收器,像Apple TV一样。这样一来,我们能够把用户智能手机屏幕以镜像的方式投射到笔记本电脑上,用户屏幕上的内容将在笔记本屏幕上同步出现。





The correct display preferences for your Mac
The correct display preferences for your Mac.


To start beaming the smartphone to the laptop, open Reflector on your Mac. You’ll see the Reflector icon in the toolbar in the top left of your screen.



You'll see this icon when Reflector is open
You’ll see this icon when Reflector is open.


Now we come to the magic part. If you’re using an iPhone, swipe up from the bottom of the screen, and enable AirPlay. Then select your MacBook from the list (in this example, it’s “Colman’s MacBook Pro”). Finally, flick the “Mirroring” switch to active (green).



Turning on mirroring on your iPhone
Turning on mirroring on your iPhone.

Your iPhone should now appear in the middle of your external monitor. Magic! (If the iPhone appears on your MacBook’s screen, just drag it onto the external monitor.)

For devices with Android 4.4.2 or higher, swipe down from the top of your screen to access the settings. Select the “Cast screen” option, and then select your MacBook.

Note: Your smartphone and MacBook need to be on the same Wi-Fi network for any of this to work. It’s the first thing to do when troubleshooting if you can’t get it to work right away.


使用Android 4.4.2或更高版本设备的,从屏幕顶部向下划动进入设置,选择“投射屏幕”选项,然后选择你的MacBook。



To start recording, open ScreenFlow; the new recording configuration box will appear. You’ll need to adjust the following three settings:


Setting up ScreenFlow
Setting up ScreenFlow.
  • “Record desktop from”
    Check this and make sure to select the external monitor from the dropdown menu (“2270W” in the example below).
  • “Record video from”
    Check this and select “FaceTime HD Camera (Built-in),” which is the default option.
  • “Record audio from”
    Check this and select “Built-in microphone.”








Position the user directly in front of the MacBook. You should see their face in the ScreenFlow preview. Then, press the large red record button. That’s it — you are now recording.

As you and the notetaker are watching the action on the monitor, the user will be sitting in front of a blank laptop, using their smartphone as they normally would — no wires, duct tape, cameras or intrusive mounts.

In the screenshot below, I’m playing around with Spotify on my iPhone. You can see that, as well as capturing the smartphone’s screen, ScreenFlow also provides a picture-in-picture display of the user, perfect for usability testing.





TA screenshot of the recording output of ScreenFlow
A screenshot of the recording output of ScreenFlow.

Granted, the recording won’t show the user’s fingers interacting with the device. But the overall benefits of this technique are so numerous (see the list below) that the trade-off is justifiable.




To be clear, let’s review what your setup should look like. The user should be sitting in front of the MacBook, with the smartphone in their hand. And the facilitator and notetaker (if you have one) should be sitting nearby, looking at the external monitor.



Room setup
How the room and screens should be set up for the test.

Keep the monitor pointed away from the user. It can get distracting seeing their smartphone flashing on the big screen.



There are so many advantages to this approach that it would be worth listing them:

  • Simple
    After your first time getting things together, setup takes about five minutes the second time.
  • Reliable
    It’s not perfect, but crashes and setup issues are rare. With the sled-and-camera approach, however, problems were par for the course.
  • Cost-effective
    You can have this solution in place for less than $200 if you’re using a MacBook. (By comparison, Morae, the high-end usability testing software, sells for $2,000.)
  • Professional
    The output is high-quality and professional. It doesn’t look like a hack. We’ve shared our recordings with clients, executives, everybody.
  • Flexible
    The solution works with the major platforms: PC, Mac, Android and iOS.
  • Convenient
    Finally, because you don’t need any duct tape or velcro, test participants can use their own phones. This makes your tests even more natural and effective.















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hanna baiA Guide To Simple And Painless Mobile User Testing

Adobe launches Experience Design CC, a new tool for UX designers

ADOBE XD CC有哪些高效好用的小功能?




具备一些简单高效的小功能,比如我们的圆方切换与AI类似 。


Experience Design CC is the company’s first tool that is purpose-built for user experience (UX) designers. It takes what Adobe has learned from working with UX designers who currently use its tools like Illustrator, Photoshop and others and distills it into a single product that aims to make designers more productive.

As Andrew Shorten, Adobe’s director of product management for Experience Design CC, told me, the company started this project about 18 months ago. “We began to see challenges with combining established tools like Photoshop,” he said, and noted how the company’s research found lots of gaps in the standard workflow for UX designers. Specifically, the fact that they often had to use multiple tools that didn’t necessarily talk to each other meant that every time designers wanted to change something in their mockups, they had to go back and change it manually (and maybe numerous times to account for different screen sizes).




With this new tool, designers can quickly change back and forth between the artboards designers create in the “design” mode and the prototype mode.

Any changes they make in the design mode (an updated icon, text, etc.) are automatically reflected in the prototype mode, which makes it easy to define interactive hotspots and transitions that make a mockup come to life. Say you want a “read more” button on a mobile homepage to connect to an article; all you have to do is define the hotspot and drag a line to the mockup of the article page.



The design mode features a number of basic drawing and text editing tools, but the main focus is obviously on laying out the different elements of a given page.

To help designers get started, Adobe added UI kits with the standard widgets for designing apps in iOS and Windows, as well as for apps that follow Google’s Material Design guidelines.



A feature that will likely save designers more time than any other in Experience Design CC is probably the “repeat grid tool.” With this, you can define an area on the page (maybe a post on the homepage) and repeat it a couple of times down the page. Typically, this would involve lots of copying and pasting, but with this new tool it only takes a few clicks.

One feature the team hasn’t built into the tool yet, though, is support for responsive designs, but Shorten tells me that’s on the roadmap.

As Shorten stressed, the team also focused on making it very easy to share artboards and prototypes with others. Uploading a prototype to the web takes a single click. The tool then gives you a link you can share with others. And if this is a mobile app, you can also easily use this to try a new design on a phone or tablet, too.



The preview of Adobe Experience Design CC is now available for free to anybody with an Adobe account (even if you are not a paying Creative Cloud user). In a somewhat unusual move, though, the team decided to only make this first preview available for OS X users. Shorten tells me a Windows version is in the works.




For now, the new tool doesn’t integrate other Adobe services like CC libraries and Adobe Stock, but that’s coming soon. Also coming soon, designers will be able to immediately preview their edits on connected mobile devices.

Adobe promises a monthly update cadence, so chances are the company will add these missing features pretty soon. Adobe’s annual MAX conference is scheduled for early November; I’d wager a guess that we’ll see the general availability of Experience Design CC then.



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hanna baiAdobe launches Experience Design CC, a new tool for UX designers

“Craft” New amazing plugin for Sketch and Photoshop





Today, InVision is introducing Craft, a suite of three new plugins for Sketch and Photoshop to held developers and designers with their UI mockups.

The three plugins Type, Photos and Duplicate work in unison, but command three unique tenets of the design process.

Type automatically populates your design from a database of names, email addresses, countries, cities, zip codes or other identifiable information. It helps create a contextually relevant design, which adds a personalized touch if you’re doing freelance work for a client.

Photos lets you add images from your computer, Dropbox or Unsplash with one click. If you’ve got some stock images saved for wire framing apps or websites, Photos makes short work of adding them.

Finally, Duplicate lets you copy any element for a new template. It captures the design with “pixel-perfect precision,” which you can use as many times as you need.

• Styles, which exists within the new Craft Manager, creates a new page within Sketch with the project’s color palette, fonts, and text styles.

• Users can also include a host of custom elements, like buttons, symbols, and more.

• The Styles-generated guide syncs to projects, so when designers make a change to the guide, the change applies across the entire project.

  • Styles is exclusively for Sketch users. Craft is 100% free. When users update or download Craft, they will get Styles and the new Craft Manager too.














7mt20160212▲ Cratf图像填充演示——Unsplash填充

8mt20160212▲ Cratf图像填充演示——从任一网页填充


这是Craft插件最吸引人的地方,真正的方便和节省时间的功能。以往我们要复制元素,还要考虑份数和间距等等问题,最简单的方式也只是“Alt +拖动”,当然有部分插件能实现快速复制。

但是Craft的复制功能的最大好处是,它会自动完成上述所有的功能外,还自动替换图像和文本。完全不需要手动处理,就能实现完全的高保真界面。 真的太酷了!












  • 神功能A:插入文件夹的图品(最牛逼的功能): Shift + Ctrl +1
  • 神功能B:随机从Unsplash插入图片(Unsplash是质量很好的壁纸库) Shift + Ctrl + 3
  • 神功能C:从Drapbox插入图片(因为国内被墙,用处没有那么大了) Shift + Ctrl + 2

For download Craft please visit:

Special thanks to: 米田miten

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hanna bai“Craft” New amazing plugin for Sketch and Photoshop

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dev01It is so cheap!

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