User’s Mistakes and his experience

Typing on the mobile device keypad is harder compared with a physical keyboard. An app that gets minimum input from users will easily win users’ heart. The reasons are the keypad is smaller & user needs to toggle between alphabets, numbers, special characters and to change the letter case. Because of this, the password setting pattern is changing after the popularity of mobile apps.

I stumbled upon a claim from a To do list mobile app, that it is the simplest To do list mobile app, so decided to give a try. The tester instinct within me never sleeps, especially if I see these two words mobile and simple. Being a big fan of Jony Ive, I always look for the simplest and cleanest of things.

In general, most apps work fine if the user makes no mistake. But, the user experience starts degrading the moment user makes mistakes. This is true for most of the apps. I make this conclusion based on the apps I test and use. My user experience test report always includes the experience, once when the user never makes any mistakes and once running the same scenarios by making all possible mistakes.

When I tried with a password that didn’t meet the app’s password rule, here is the error message I got.

Error Message

It took close to a minute to read and understand the rule, then dismiss the message to create a new password. I have already lost a minute, but haven’t completed setting my password. Now, when I started typing I was not sure and again failed to meet their policy. Unlike the web, I cannot keep the error message window and type the password. Finally, after two minutes of struggle I was able to register into the app, that claimed the simplest of all. In mobile world two minutes is a long time. Two minutes in mobile is like two hours in web (Please refer Nolan’s movies like Intersellar or Inception ;-))

For those who still think, it’s fine and the message is not so bad, users has to read and dismiss the message to enter the text, there are better solutions.


Before scrolling down to see the embedded video, think for a while if we can provide a better solution.

This is how  Dashlane app solved it. It didn’t take more than 20 seconds to set the password. More importantly, the app avoided user from making mistakes.

This is how a Context Driven Tester thrives, always exploring, observing, relating and learning.

Also, the mobile application testing needs a different approach compared to traditional desktop softwares. My CAST 2015 tutorial on Mobile Application Testing has more such things to offer.