Top 10 Beta Testing Tips
Beta testing is an integral part of the app development cycle. As a manager, you should take into account the following highly-important rules.
1. No open betas.
There are two reasons for that: you either receive too many testers, which drastically increases administrative costs, or too few reports with insufficient information quality from the existing testers.
2. Make Beta Testers Be Consistent.
In order to achieve the best results from beta testing, your team must be self-motivated, so you have to find a way to get a tester to be consistent. Make sure you beta testers ‘promised’ you to send a feedback and reports (by marking a checkbox ‘I agree to send feedback’ when completeing their application form or by verifying this via e-mail, etc.). Once they promised, you have all chances that they will do so in order to be consistent.
3. Take Your Time.
It is impossible to get through a full beta testing cycle in less than 10 weeks, so you must carefully plan that time frame to be able to achieve the best results. The same statement can be applied to release of new builds: no more than once in every two weeks.
4. Beta Testing With 4 Releases at Least.
If you plan your beta testing with fewer than 4 releases it is not going to work.
5. Don’t Change Anything During Beta Testing.
If you add some features or updates to your code, it means that testing process must be restarted and it takes another 10 weeks and 4 releases to complete new update.
6. Don’t expect Feedbacks to be Numerous.
As statistics shows, only about one out of five applied testers will actually send you any feedback on your app. For example, you should approve 1500 beta applications to get 300 serious beta testers. Fewer number may lead to a lack of valuable information. More than that, may cause repeated feedbacks to appear. Are you tired of the endless searching for beta testers? Hire testers with Ubertesters and get numerous feedback instantly.
7. No Feedback – No Software For Free.
It is a common practice to give a free copy of the software to anyone who sends any kind of feedback, thus raising up an interest to the software product. Make sure you can terminate an access to your build any time you want (to avoid spreading your app among users who don’t want neither to pay now to send you their feedback). Revision management feature can help you with that.
8. More Testers – More Feedback.
The more testers you have the more feedback you will get. As a common practice, the minimum ammount of beta testers you need and the optimal ammount of testers one person can handle is about 100.
Make sure that each person who works with feedback from your beta testers handles no more than 100 units of feedback.
9. Keep Your Testers Interested.
It is obvious, that once tried, most beta testers lose interest to the program. In order to stay focused, your beta population should be divided into four groups for each new release. This ensures that each time when a new build is released, a new group of testers will be involved.
10. Feel the Difference Between Technical and Marketing betas.
They are not identical. Technical beta is aimed at finding bugs and getting as many feedback as possible. Marketing beta or pre-released version is aimed at distributing the software among press, key customers, authors of step-by-step books, etc, but not at receiving feedback. However, book writers can give fully detailed feedbacks and you should review their standpoint in order to discover potential bugs and issues in your software.
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