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Are You Doing Real World Testing With Real Users and Devices?

July 7,Thursday

Mobile App Testing On-Demand Testing User Testing
Real world user testing

Your software needs real-world testing because your users are not faceless, emotionless devices sitting in a lab. They are real people living and working in the real world.

If you are building software for real people, shouldn’t you test your software with real people using real devices?

Are you doing justice to your product with your current testing practices?

Think for a moment about it:

You spend an enormous amount of energy and emotion in developing your product. You hire the best developers, use the best tools and platforms.

Why then, when it comes to testing, you rely on a house party, throwing it over the wall or hiring a lab with devices on a rack to see if your software “runs fine”?

May be you want to do better but can’t find the right resources quickly or in your budget. It may be taking too much time away from all the other things you need to do to get the business going.

Maybe you don’t want to hire a lot of staff who can’t be kept busy all the time.

Whatever it is, it is keeping you from delivering a great experience to your users. You are giving yourself a big handicap by not doing real-world testing with real users and devices.

Let’s look at the issues that are preventing you from testing with real users:

It’s expensive to hire a team of testers. Human testing costs money.

Keeping an army of testers on the standby to test your software every time your developers make a change is, quite frankly, beyond the means of most startups. So most startups skip real world testing.

It’s extremely difficult to find dozens of testers with the required devices and skills to test your app in real conditions.

You don’t want any tester – you want someone who resembles your target user.

Everyone in your team will need to go through his or her contact list to find enough people who fit the profile, have the tools & skills and are willing to spend the time to help you out.

It takes a lot of effort to manage a team of dozens of testers.

You need to create test plans, assign work to the right tester, make sure they understand what to do, have the tools to do it and actually finish the work on time.

Then you need to collect the test results, collate it and make sense of the data. If it sounds like a lot of pain, it really is.

Can you take out enough time from managing your developers, planning product features, marketing and fundraising? If not, you need help!

What are your options for app testing at a reasonable cost and without any headaches?

One way is to send out the developers to the local mall, show the software to the shoppers and ask for feedback. It may work for some but for most of us, it is too expensive (developers’ time in the mall costs $$$). It is also slow and unreliable because there is no guarantee how many shoppers will give you the feedback (they may give a piece of their mind for disrupting an enjoyable outing).

Another option is to invite your buddies, family, and neighbors for a party and ask them to break the app. It’s a different matter that after a couple of hours of free food and drink, few will remember why they came in the first place. And who is going to collect their feedback if everybody is busy making merry?

The house party sounds like a lot of fun and it really is, except that you won’t get your software really tested.

You can try hiring someone on a freelance site. It works – when you need to hire a couple of guys with specific skills, not when you need to hire dozens of people with different devices, in different countries and to test different aspects of the software. Plus, it is a lot of overhead to manage for a startup.

Let’s look at another option – On-demand testing from a specialized software testing company.

A true on-demand testing company maintains a large pool of testers and users who are not its full-time employees. You can think of it as a private crowd of testers.

The more people there are in this private crowd, the easier it is for the company to find the right testers for your software.

With on-demand testing, you don’t need to maintain the army; the testing company does it for you.

Good testing companies ensure diversity in the private crowd. They have users from different geographies, with different devices and skills. The diversity ensures that you always get people from your target group to test your app.

A good practice is to screen these users and rate them based on their skills and past performance. The data makes sure that only committed and high performing users will get to test your mobile app or software.

Of course, your mobile app or software needs more than just functional testing by users.

Security and performance testing should be part of the software testing process as well. A full-service testing company will have internal resources to run these tests for you. They will have devices, tools, and experts to design and execute these specialized tests.

If you work with the right on-demand testing company, it will manage the entire testing for you, saving you all the headache and precious time. The test manager will make sure the right tester is matched with the right assignment. He will supervise the work to ensure it gets delivered on time. The test manager will also collect the test results and collate them in a useful report for you. They can also create test cases for you if needed.

Is on-demand testing right for startups?

Using an on-demand software testing service provider is the best way for startups to perform real-world testing with real users using real devices. They will get to know the real world issues and challenges faced by their users.

On-demand testing is a great fit for startups. It is fast and affordable. It allows startups to focus their resources on designing and building a great product.

The key to success is finding the right testing partner who understands your specific needs and is willing to accommodate them. You can also do a small trial to see if the company is a good fit.