How to Beta Test Software

How to Beta Test Software

Beta TestingWhen you have reached the stage in your software development when you are satisfied that it’s ready for sale to customers, that’s when you need to get some real world users beta testing your software.

Testing before release will save you both time and money as there is always something that you or your developer have missed or not even thought of.

Here are some of the points you need to consider.

Keep it Simple Sailing (KISS) 

When you are setting up your testing, keep it as simple as possible.  It’s better to start simple and then get complicated, rather then doing it in reverse.  Find out what’s working and not working.

Communication

Testers need communication.  They need to know what they are downloading and testing, what results you expect, hope for and don’t want, what else needs to be considered when testing and you should also give them the opportunity to suggest improvements.

Provide for your testers!

You have to provide some information about the product, what it’s supposed to do, how and what they need to test.  The majority need direction.  “Go forth and test” will probably not provide you with the information you want.  Spending a bit of time now to provide good information will save you time during testing.

Make sure that anything they need like a registration key, login to your membership site, downloads, FAQ’s, PDF’s or anything else can be easily accessed if you aren’t available or online.

What are they testing?

Testers need direction from you and you should have an idea of what you expect from them.  Below are some examples of what you could be asking them to do.   Make sure they are aware that they are testing for real world users.

Preparation before means you aren’t running around answering the same questions to however many testers you have.  I recommend giving them a checklist to start with, especially if they are first time testers.

  • Was it easy to download and install?
  • Did the software run as expected?
  • What results should they expect?
  • What results shouldn’t happen?
  • What bugs have already been identified and are just waiting on the developer to fix them.
  • Do you want improvement suggestions?

More Beta Testing

After you get feedback from your beta testers, you probably will be making improvement, whether it’s every single day or creating a mass change request for your developer.  Whichever way you go, you will need more beta testing after the changes and improvements.  Make sure your beta testers understand and are available for that further testing.

Ready for sale

At some point, you have to release the software.  No one can find all bugs / issues / improvements that could be done.  When you are ready, release it and don’t keep looking for perfection.

Can’t find or don’t have time to train up beta testers?

If you are struggling to find beta testers, send me an email and let me see if I can help you with some ideas.  My email is tania@webdsoftware.com.  You can also use our services at Web D Software and take advantage of our professional testing.

Tania Shipman

I destroy your software
before it destroys your reputation

Beta Test your Product!

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