What are Beta-Tests and how do you serve those?
Beta-Testing is considerably your grand rehearsal before release. It will be your last testing activity when your new software is ready enough for it to be shown to users. This step evolves allowing non-workers (preferably target audience users) to toy with your software. They are to send you feedback and that feedback will be what determines which fixes are still essential. This is also one of your most important marketing steps. Basically all you are to do is to sit back and listen about what users have to say about your software.
Can beta-tests even save you money?
Well, considerably the can as:
- They are reducing the amount of redundant testing and support calls
- Grants you a nice review of your Help documents
- It’s literally free advertising
- Interim release risks are reduced
How may beta-tests be measured? With the mighty amount of received feedback and it’s quality. But all comes at a price, as we all know. Will it be too much considering you pay for quality? Well, even if we will not be considering sales that are failing due the product is released with many bugs there is still a minimum $20 price for every support call that will be made to your office and $100 to infinity per a bug found by an unsatisfied user after you release your software. Still believe beta-testing is just too expensive?
Several genera tips that will assist you with beta-testing
- Be sure you are simulating your actual release while beta-testing to get high-quality results.
- Be sure all is installed and removed(!) easy but is the processes are bulletproof.
- Do you know there will always be a grumpy guy that is always unhappy with everything? Listen to him as well, trust me on this one.
- Conduct beta tests with your target user if possible for better results. Thus you will get feedback on what they actually want you to do for them to buy your software.
- Most of the good stuff will come from usability testing. Make sure it’s of your top priority.
- You may even begin with early beta-test in order to verify many issues. But this is working well with some very hi-tech software with narrow target audience of with software that was previously released (earlier versions).
- If it’s the beta-test classics we are talking about (meaning the ones taking place before the release) you are to consider fixing all the bugs you are aware of in order for feedback to be informative and of high-quality. You do not wish all those people telling you things you already know, right?
Now, that you are pretty comfortable with the basics you are pretty much good to go and beta-test those bugs’ … neck (that would be the polite word, right?).
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