Share every thought, note every bug, and get engaged in the process as you can. The more active you are on the project, the more likely you will be to earn any project incentive and get other chances to test with us.
Since every company is going to approach Beta and Usability testing differently, there arenít any sure-fire rules. However, our experience has taught us some lessons that will help you be a great member of ANY testing team:
1. Focus Your Efforts
Spend a little time each day doing something on a part of the product. Budget some time each day (when possible) to submit feedback while it is fresh on your mind (suggestions, bug reports, forum posts, etc.).
Work through every feature and function that you can. By doing a little bit every day or every other day, you will test the product in its entirety, provide great feedback, and have a lot of fun.
By the end of the project, you will have a great understanding of the product and thus have a great end user experience each time you use the product for your personal needs!
2. Communicate Quickly and Consistently
Be communicative and responsive throughout the project. Remember that the team running the test is eager to hear what you have to say and what youíre experiencing.
Itís incredibly important to respond quickly to any inquiries our team might have for more information regarding feedback you have already submitted.
3. Be Clear and Thorough
Make your communication clear and detailed. Your feedback needs to give our Beta and Usability team a solid understanding of your issues, ideas, and opinions.
If they donít understand what youíre saying or donít have enough data, they might have to come back to you again, which just takes up more of everyoneís time.
They need to be able to understand your comments and act on them immediately. Screenshots and pictures often help.
4. Keep It To Yourself
WardrobeTools spends months designing and building our test products. We are spending many thousands of dollars to prepare for its launch.
If the Beta and Usability test is private, itís your responsibility and obligation to keep everything about the test absolutely secret.
Donít blog, donít Tweet, donít chat, donít post anything anywhere about the test. Donít even mention you are involved in the project.
Remember, WardrobeTools is trusting you with our new product or new version of a released product.
In return, you should reciprocate by keeping everything you experience a secret.
5. Be Flexible and Patient
Last, be flexible and understanding. Product development is a complicated process that involves many people and many tasks.
Your role in this process is to share your perspective regarding the product. If we discover an important issue or we need to change the direction of the project, that could change the schedule.
We might need to extend the test or cut it short to meet a new schedule. These changes are commonplace in Beta and Usability, so please be willing to adapt to them.
Beta and Usability testing is a really fun and rewarding experience. Hopefully these tips have helped you understand the process.
Please understand that we realize everyone's time is limited and VERY valuable. What we have described about our test and tester objectives are the ideal goals and aspirations for our tests and our testers.
Life is a complicated process that is not always utopian. We are flexible with our tests and testers.
We will always do our very best to make sure this is a pleasurable and rewarding experience for all!