Marina Lin is an Interaction Designer for Mobile Apps at Cars.com. She holds a Master’s in Information Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology. She has recently contributed a chapter to the textbook “Negotiating Cultural Encounters: Narrating Intercultural Engineering and Technical Communication.” Her work has also appeared in Boxes and Arrows, User Experience Magazine, and Business Communication Quarterly.
People use their mobile devices everywhere: on the train, while waiting in line, sitting on the couch. As much as we aim to design our mobile apps and websites for contextual use, testing their usability in context can be challenging.
While getting out in the field for user testing is not always realistic, simulating much of that contextual experience in a lab is possible. One approach to mobile testing is participatory design.