To optimize the usability of its new Navigator app, Messe Frankfurt recently had the app tested by usability.de, an independent consulting and service company. The results were gratifying: the app performed well with both exhibitors and visitors. But there is still room for improvement
An app’s “usability” is the indicator of its success. To test this, app users were asked to test it during the Heimtextil trade fair on January 10th and 11th, 2017 in Frankfurt by solving typical tasks with the app under the observation of the test experts from usability.de. A moderator motivated the testers to describe their impressions. Emphasis was placed on the following questions:
- Do users find all the information they are looking for?
- What do users think of the app’s features? Are they missing features or do they feel that some features are redundant?
- Is app usage intuitive?
- Do they use the filter and sorting features?
- Are they aware of the ad banners?
Using this approach, the test provides information about whether the user can use the core functions without problems. The observations and findings were subsequently collected, summarized and prioritized. Differentiation was made here according to different levels of usability problems.
Result: good – with potential for optimization
Overall the app achieved good results with visitors and exhibitors as confirmed by the significantly higher download numbers and the rates of actual app usage. According to the test experts from usability.de, there are basically no obstacles to app usage. Users especially liked the app’s tidy and appealing design. The features were seen as important and efficient and navigation caused no difficulties. The most important features were “Interactive map”, “Exhibitors” and “Favourites”, which provide users with answers to their most pressing questions: Where can I find which exhibitors and how do I get there fastest?
The testers gave positive ratings to the exhibitor search and filters, which can be used to search according to product groups, for example. They could collect the exhibitors they wanted to visit in their favourites list. The testers also found it easy to gain orientation using the interactive map of the trade fair grounds, because it displays their current location. Usability.de recommends that the trade fair take advantage of this feature to navigate to individual exhibitors and to add details such as toilets, restaurants and bus stops. Other potential for improvement: Some tools for the exhibitor search are only found late or not at all. There are also features that are still not supported thus far. By expanding the scope of features, the trade fair could better support its users. The “close-by” feature, which users can use to receive signals from beacons, was mostly seen as not very helpful. Many testers did not know what are beacons even are and what this feature has to offer. However, the beacon test will be continued, because the topic is still in its infancy and has good potential.
fun factor even higher than average
The majority of users rated the navigator app as good to excellent and said it was simple to use. In the “Joy of Use” comparison, die app even exceeded usability.de’s benchmark with regard to attractiveness, stimulation and originality.
“The test results are very informative and important for us, because we are always working to further develop our products according to the needs of our customers,” said Ellen Matheis, Coordinator of Web Solutions at Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH, of the app test. “Our app has achieved some very good results that we can be proud of. There are also areas where we still can improve. Therefore, the investigation was an important first step toward making the full value of the app available to our customers in the future.”
For more information about important Digital trends 2017 also read our articles Say yes to digital, but with caution, the most important digital trends 2017, and our interview Mobility 4.0 – study on digital transformation in mobility & logistics.