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Get Feedback Anywhere, Anytime with the Mobile Recorder

Jennifer DeRome  |  July 20, 2015
Your customers interact with your brand in the wild, not in a lab. And an important consideration for gathering user feedback includes observing those interactions as they happen, in the real world. Our mobile recorder is a powerful tool in your UX toolkit. While there are hundreds of ways you can take advantage of the mobility and freedom of the recorder, we wanted to share just a few examples. Read on to learn how you can get the most out of the mobile recorder when conducting your user research.


There’s a time and place for testing in a lab. But if you want to know how your users really interact with your app or site, you need to see them interact with it in their natural environment. Because users have the recorder in their pockets, your tests can go wherever they do. You can even design tests to be taken in a particular location, like a brick-and-mortar store, a restaurant, or a theme park.Example: Price and comparison shopping. See how users use an app to compare prices and features when shopping at a brick and mortar store. Watch how they navigate through the store, and see what sites they use to compare products with a competitor’s offering. 

Multiple devices

In today’s omnichannel environment, it’s important to understand how your users interact with your brand across multiple devices. The mobile recorder enables you to follow your user’s journey from a computer, to a smartphone, to a tablet—in a real world setting.Example: Searching for a gadget. Follow users as they search for the latest gadget using an ecommerce website, then see how they use the app on a smartphone and how they interact with the site or app on a tablet, too.

Consumer insights

User testing doesn’t have to be limited to the digital world. With the mobile recorder, you can now test non-digital products and experiences, including consumer insights. Traditional consumer insight research can take weeks—even months—and is a costly investment. The mobile recorder gives you insight into the daily life of your target demographic of users in a matter of hours.Example: Learn the preferences and opinions of consumers who make coffee at home. Ask users to talk about their coffee making habits, and why they choose the brands they use.All of our app and website tests are dramatically improved by the mobile recorders. Here are some of the benefits:
  • The mobile recorder reduces our turnaround time on app tests, making it easy for you to incorporate user tests in even the most aggressive agile development program. Do a build in the morning, watch users test it in the afternoon.
  • Because we’re recording the screen directly, it’s always in focus and brightly lit, and the user’s fingers do not obscure the screen. Plus, of course, we continue to record the user’s voice.
  • Users can now hold the device naturally rather than leaving it flat on a desk under a camera. This gives you higher-quality feedback on usability.
  • You can see taps, swipes, and other gestures animated on the screen.
  • The mobile recorder gives a larger subset of our panel the ability to participate in mobile studies. This makes it easier to set up tests with narrow demographics, and helps to ensure that you get “fresh eyes” for tests.
  • We record full-motion video of the screen, so you can see exactly what the user is doing, and you can follow the action as a user plays a game or watches a video. The recorder won’t affect the performance of your app or website.
  • The recorder works with both iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, and can test both native apps and mobile websites.

iOS native apps

As all iOS developers know, it can be time-consuming to test iOS apps, especially if they haven’t yet been released in the app store. We’ve taken special steps to make the iOS testing process easier. First, we record tests without requiring test participants to “jailbreak” their phones (an intimidating process that would chase away most normal users). Instead, we’ve created a small recorder SDK that you can easily link into your app. Second, we take care of all the test distribution hassles for you. You just send us a build with the recorder SDK added, and we deploy it directly to our test participants—you don’t have to hassle with UDIDs or TestFlight. To protect the security of your app, the SDK also acts as a “kill switch” so your app can’t run outside of the test.(Note that the SDK is needed only for testing iOS native applications. iOS website tests, and all Android tests, do not require an SDK.)


Your customer's journey can span multiple devices, locations, and even no device at all. Our mobile recorder enables you to quickly capture user feedback along every step of that journey. If you’d like to learn more about our mobile recorder, you can check out our handy FAQ or learn a few tips and tricks to using the mobile recorder here.
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About the author:

Jennifer is a Senior Content Strategist for UserTesting. When she's not dreaming up new ways to connect with audiences, you can find her traveling around the world or enjoying a glass of wine with friends.