How To Successfully Run a BETA
BETA Testing Basics
Hard data is a powerful asset. As such, it can be difficult to gather. Yet, it’s integral to decision making. Especially leading up to product launches and app release. However, there are ways to compile insightful data that will help dictate the direction of a mobile app before it’s official launch. One of the best tools to gather this sample data is conducting a BETA test.
BETA testing generally consists of creating a series of small-groups. Then presenting those groups with an early version of the app (or the BETA version). When the small group concludes their trial of the BETA version, their feedback is then prompted and garnered. Importantly, these small groups should represent samples of the various target demographics included in the marketing strategy.
As enterprise apps grow in popularity, and the volume of mobile app development continues to increase, quality becomes even more vital. To deliver this quality in mobile apps and enterprise apps alike, the BETA testing process is crucial.
The Small Group Sessions
As mentioned above, the BETA version of the app is a skeletal version. Therefore, user design and user experience will likely be incomplete. However, the BETA should offer users a very similar experience to that of the end-product, as initially designed. That being said, it’s important to have an updated design plan aligned with the latest trends.
There is information that’s particularly important for developers to note from these small-group sessions. This information can be garnered in one of two ways.
The first option regarding this process is an open and honest group discussion. The discussion is usually led by a facilitator. They can ask specific questions. Therefore the feedback is poignant when needed and open-ended elsewhere.
Individual Feedback Surveys
This is another tool. A tool to gather feedback. Instead of a group discussion, these responses are written. Written on a hard-copy survey that asks the testers questions. The questions are about various aspects of the BETA version.
After conducting the surveys, collect them. Then review them.
After collecting the feedback the small-group concludes. Then reiterate the process. After conducting a variety of small-group sessions with representatives from a spectrum of target markets, there is ample feedback.
Utilizing the feedback means comparing the various sources of feedback to each other. In other words, cross-reference the feedback from the various focus groups. This should reveal some trends.
Upon reviewing and cross-referencing patterns will emerge in the data. These patterns help make informed decisions regarding a range of important factors.
Not every app is for every person, and this is an important reality to face as a developer. BETA testing will reveal key insights into the most marketable target-demographics.
Through BETA testing, users will define features they felt the app was missing. These notes are specifically helpful, as they can directly impact the end functionality of the app.
Similarly, users may identify features the app currently includes that they find unnecessary and suggest removing.
Finally, as mentioned above, there should already be a design-plan in place – but BETA testing results will undoubtedly provide vital information that provides additional direction for the UX.
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