Mobile App Eye Tracking Research in Mumbai, India!

Objective Experience recently delivered mobile app user research with a Tobii eye tracker in Mumbai, India!

Marine Drive on the way to usability testing in Mumbai

Marine Drive, also known as the Queen’s Necklace

I traveled from Singapore to Mumbai to run the study and felt the difference as soon as I touched down at the Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport . With the monsoons in full swing, Mumbai was rather pleasant but the traffic was out of control. The good people of Mumbai made up for it though, with participants braving the rain and the bad traffic to participate in the study. The participants were a colourful bunch, ranging from affluent business people to IT consultants and entrepreneurs.

Mumbai User Testing Lab

A busy intersection on the way to the user testing lab

Having run a number of usability studies in Singapore, I noticed a distinct difference in Indian respondents. For starters, the incentive to participate in studies is the sense of importance Indian respondents get when they are told that their insights could help shape a product. Objective’s recruiting partner had to build a relationship with each of the respondents by keeping in touch with them before the study, often listening to their friendly banter. When it was time for the study, bad weather and traffic conditions barely dampened the spirits of the respondents. They enthusiastically participated in the study while providing a peek into their personal lives as well.

User testing with Objective Experience

User testing with a mobile device stand in Mumbai

User interview with mobile apps in Mumbai

Here are a few key points to take note of when running a study in Mumbai, India.

Respondents naturally feel the pressure to perform, characteristic of the need to stand out from the crowd. It will help to make them feel completely at ease by doing the following:

  • You are not being tested! Reminding them time and time again that the digital offering (website/app) is being tested and not them.
  • Speak Hinglish. Encourage them to speak in a language they are comfortable with. Being an Indian who could speak Hindi myself, it was easy to get participants to open up. While most Indians speak English, they will invariably slip into “Hinglish” when they are comfortable.
  • Your ideas are important. Letting them know that their ideas and suggestions will help to shape the product and will help to improve the user experience.
  • Interesting but too much information. Indians are a rather affable lot. Don’t be surprised if they speak a lot, sometimes broaching topics about their personal lives. Steer them back gently to the topic at hand, if what they are saying is not very relevant.
  • It’s not your fault. People here tend to blame themselves a lot if they aren’t able to complete a task and may not admit that a certain task was difficult. This is where eye tracking comes in handy. Use the eye tracking videos during the retrospective think aloud process to probe portions of tasks where they seemed confused or disoriented.

 On the whole, the study yielded a lot of interesting insights and put to rest quite a few boardroom discussions. The result is that the client’s business now has a clear cut direction to work towards! For more information on running a usability study in India, please contact or call us at +65 6737 4511

P.S. We can run studies in any country and have Mandarin, Bahasa, Cantonese, Hokkien, Hindi and English speakers to execute the user research.

Gowri Penkar

On the way to usability testing in Mombai

A street vendor on Marine Drive on the way to the user testing lab

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