Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ad Hoc Usability Testing: Smartphone/Tablet Stand

When performing usability tests, we want to record user actions. Easy enough on a computer with screen capture, a bit more difficult with a smartphone or tablet. Unfortunately, we don't have the budget (or fabrication machine) for a latch-on device such as the Mr. Tappy or Mod 1000. Next best thing will be to record the device using a stationary webcam. From past experience I have found the variable placement and angle of the device in a user's hands a difficult obstacle for consistent screen recording. I need the device stationary as well. So... how about a stand?

Much like a book stand, this stand will let the device rest at a slight angle to accommodate recording, and allow the user-device interaction with relative ease.

After performing a Google image search for "cardboard book stand," I drew inspiration from this example. I found left over foam core and felt. It took plenty of measuring and some X-acto cutting to fashion the finished product pictured in the album below. Example video also available below, too.