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Beta testing plays a significant part in the process of mobile app testing. You need to make sure you are working out all the kinks and tangles before introducing it to the public. Ensuring that you have the right beta testers on your side is one part of the puzzle, but there are several other factors to keep in mind as well. Beta testing issues are always occurring but you must know how to deal with it. Being aware of all the components of your beta testing will help you catch and notice the warning signs of a failing test. If caught on time, you can correct it which will inevitably strengthen your test and results.

Below are 4 major warning signs that your beta testing is in danger:

1. Are you having significant delays?

A surefire way to recognize that your beta test is going out of hand is when your delays are becoming extreme. It’s realistic and reasonable to have some minor delays with beta testing, but delays should never be more than 3 – 4 days or maximum 1 week. If your delays are pushing at the two weeks mark, you will need to manage your test better.

What you can do is to make strict deadlines for your team and testers. Give some padding and set a realistic timeframe for the expected delays (less than two weeks), however, inform your testers about the major deadlines. Major deadlines should be set and not be missed. Delays can come up when testers are not required to be aware of what is expected of them. Make your objectives clear at the beginning to avoid any ambiguity or disappointment. With everyone on the same page, your process will keep up to date and everyone will know what is expected from them.

Staying in touch and reaching out to your testers is another way to keep them interested and on board with their mission. Send them updates, check what their status is and ask them if they have any questions. This simple gesture can improve communication and understanding between you and your beta testers which may lead to better feedback.

2. Is your test limited on time?

It’s understandable to want to test your product as fast as you can so that you can get your product out on the market. However, speeding up your beta testing period is not the way to go. The testing stages are really what stands between your success or your failure so it’s better to ensure that you are investing into the proper test management tools as well as investing with your time.

With short beta testing, you should recruit beta people who already have experience being in a beta test. The familiarity will help them to navigate through your test easier than someone who is brand new to the beta testing world. To make your process smoother, you should also inform all your testers about the time crunch and that you will need them to be active with feedback and deadlines. This way, you will eliminate potential delays and everyone will know beforehand what is expected of them and what they are getting into. Only select beta testers who have experience and can fulfill their tasks in this certain amount of time.


3. Frustrated Testers

Another aspect that you should pay attention to is the well-being of your testers. Happy testers are more likely to bring you better results. We encourage creating an environment that will bring enthusiasm to your project.

A clear warning sign that you may have frustrated testers is when they are not engaged. They may be slowing down with their response time or just delaying feedback. Be aware that beta testing can often run into many challenges and that it can be frustrating for some testers. With the strict deadlines and confusing tasks, it can easily foster stressful situations. Be aware of the position they are in. In these situations, it’s important to constantly check in with your testers and see where they stand. Appreciating your testers goes hand in hand with managing your beta testers well. Keep the communication lines open and minimize as much friction for your testers as possible. Inform your testers with any updates and listen to their concerns if they have any. Simply saying thank you will show your team that you appreciate their effort and help.

If you do your best to help your testers, your testers are more likely to do their best to help you. Instead of sending out massive surveys for them to complete, it would be more reasonable to limit your surveys to 20 questions. You can also create incentives for your testers late in the testing stages. This will give your team that extra push and motivation to finish the job and do it well. You can create incentives for finishing weekly tasks or when they hit targets towards the end of the beta test. The idea is to reward your team and ensure that they feel important because they really are.

Sometimes things can become very stressful and some beta testers leave. It can happen especially when testers are not happy with how you run your test or if they are not given the chance to voice their concerns. Other times testers are just not as reliable as you had hoped and they turn out to be very slow in giving you back critical feedback. In this case, it may be wise to have a backup plan of knowing where to recruit more testers when you need them.

4. Are we testing the target market/devices?

You need to verify that:

  • your beta testers are from the specific markets that you are about to target with your app and
  • that the most popular devices and carriers in this target market are tested.

What good will it do if you plan to launch your app in the USA and all your beta testers are from Asian markets, with devices that are less popular in the USA such as Xiaomi, UMI or Huawei? Or even if your beta testers will use iPhone or Android popular USA devices, but only with European or Asian carriers? An appropriate beta testing process must include beta testers from your target market with the right devices working with the appropriate carriers.  This is the only way to simulate your target market and ensure the beta testing process meets its goals.

Running a beta test for your project is definitely not an easy task to manage. However, with  awareness to some major warning signs, you may be able to alleviate potential problems and save the journey. Depending on your project, it may be in your best interest to make sure you have the right beta testing tools for both iOS and Android in order to put the right build in the hands of the testers and giving them the tools to easily report issues and feedback. Also, it may be wise to consider the services of professional beta testing companies that offer you paid beta testers, on a turn-key project basis with the help of an experienced project manager. It may be more expensive in the short term but can prove itself in the long run.

Additional tips for what you should really focus on for your beta test is knowing what you’re looking for so that you can get the right feedback. You must be sure that you are first selecting the right testers. Perhaps you should set up a beta test application for your testers to screen out individuals who have never engaged in a test before. This way you have experienced testers on your side who know what they are doing and what they are getting into especially if you are running short on time. With this in mind, do your best to avoid testing issues that you have the power to prevent. Then you can be on your way to managing your perfect beta test.

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