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How do you find beta testers?

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How do you find beta testers?

Richard Gaskin via use-livecode
I have been getting feedback from friends and family on my app, but I want to find a wider circle of testers. I plan to seek testers on the use-list as well, but for now I am trying to find a couple dozen nonprogrammers so I can judge how the average public reacts to the app.

How do those of you who program for the general public do this?

Sent from my iPhone
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Re: How do you find beta testers?

Richard Gaskin via use-livecode
On 4/12/17 1:06 PM, Jonathan Lynch via use-livecode wrote:
> I have been getting feedback from friends and family on my app, but I
> want to find a wider circle of testers. I plan to seek testers on the
> use-list as well, but for now I am trying to find a couple dozen
> nonprogrammers so I can judge how the average public reacts to the
> app.
>
> How do those of you who program for the general public do this?

Since I do mostly client work, I hire someone. I use a professional QA
tester who's very good (let me know privately if you want more info.)
For non-commercial projects I do what you're planning to do -- ask around.

If you can afford it, I really recommend a professional QA person. They
know how to test, and they put the app through rigorous trials that
cover all situations including edge cases most people won't think of.
They can set up a bug database for you and they follow established
methodology for ensuring the software is as good as it can be. It really
is a skill that the general public is not prepared to do.

You do need a budget though.

--
Jacqueline Landman Gay         |     [hidden email]
HyperActive Software           |     http://www.hyperactivesw.com

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Re: How do you find beta testers?

Richard Gaskin via use-livecode
Thanks Jacqueline - sadly my budget is based on my excess cash flow, and I have 2 kids in private school, so that number is somewhere around negative zero.

However, I know quite a few programmers and design people. Maybe I could exchange favors.

I guess I will do a lot of asking around for the general public opinion.

Sent from my iPhone

> On Apr 12, 2017, at 4:09 PM, J. Landman Gay via use-livecode <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> On 4/12/17 1:06 PM, Jonathan Lynch via use-livecode wrote:
>> I have been getting feedback from friends and family on my app, but I
>> want to find a wider circle of testers. I plan to seek testers on the
>> use-list as well, but for now I am trying to find a couple dozen
>> nonprogrammers so I can judge how the average public reacts to the
>> app.
>>
>> How do those of you who program for the general public do this?
>
> Since I do mostly client work, I hire someone. I use a professional QA tester who's very good (let me know privately if you want more info.) For non-commercial projects I do what you're planning to do -- ask around.
>
> If you can afford it, I really recommend a professional QA person. They know how to test, and they put the app through rigorous trials that cover all situations including edge cases most people won't think of. They can set up a bug database for you and they follow established methodology for ensuring the software is as good as it can be. It really is a skill that the general public is not prepared to do.
>
> You do need a budget though.
>
> --
> Jacqueline Landman Gay         |     [hidden email]
> HyperActive Software           |     http://www.hyperactivesw.com
>
> _______________________________________________
> use-livecode mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Please visit this url to subscribe, unsubscribe and manage your subscription preferences:
> http://lists.runrev.com/mailman/listinfo/use-livecode

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Re: How do you find beta testers?

Richard Gaskin via use-livecode
jonathandlynch wrote:

 > I guess I will do a lot of asking around for the general public
 > opinion.

Prospective customers are great for several reasons:

- They represent your target market, so their interests
   and skill level will be a good match for assessing
   not only technical fitness but also usability.

- They're more motivated than most because they'll benefit
   directly from what the product delivers.

- When encouraged to speak candidly they'll be a wealth
   of information about possible new features for v2.0,
   opportunities for refinements in v1.1.

- Some will be so grateful to work with a vendor that actually
   listens to customers that they'll be happy to put in the time
   for great testing just to get a free license for the software.

- If you don't already have a list of prospects to contact
   about testing that may be an indicator of the state of
   your marketing plan.  After all, if you can't find prospective
   users who'd want a sneak preview of something that will benefit
   the work they do, you won't be able to find prospective users
   to become customers.

Cultivate that inner circle of end-users and so much becomes much easier...

--
  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World Systems
  Software Design and Development for the Desktop, Mobile, and the Web
  ____________________________________________________________________
  [hidden email]                http://www.FourthWorld.com

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Re: How do you find beta testers?

Richard Gaskin via use-livecode
This is good advice Richard. Thank you.

My app, Augmented Earth, is free. The money will (eventually) come from ads, in theory. The idea is for users to add interesting reports in different categories linked to specific geographic spots. Other users can then read those reports when they are near that location. It is like Pokémon go, but with interesting information rather than imaginary critters.

It is a way for people to appreciate how amazing the world really is.

I have not really segmented or defined my target market very thoroughly yet. Your comment makes me think I need to do that now, before I release the mobile version.

I have shown it to three history professors, and they loved it, so I think I should seek history buffs as one group of testers.

Good advice - thanks!

Sent from my iPhone

> On Apr 12, 2017, at 6:36 PM, Richard Gaskin via use-livecode <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> jonathandlynch wrote:
>
> > I guess I will do a lot of asking around for the general public
> > opinion.
>
> Prospective customers are great for several reasons:
>
> - They represent your target market, so their interests
>  and skill level will be a good match for assessing
>  not only technical fitness but also usability.
>
> - They're more motivated than most because they'll benefit
>  directly from what the product delivers.
>
> - When encouraged to speak candidly they'll be a wealth
>  of information about possible new features for v2.0,
>  opportunities for refinements in v1.1.
>
> - Some will be so grateful to work with a vendor that actually
>  listens to customers that they'll be happy to put in the time
>  for great testing just to get a free license for the software.
>
> - If you don't already have a list of prospects to contact
>  about testing that may be an indicator of the state of
>  your marketing plan.  After all, if you can't find prospective
>  users who'd want a sneak preview of something that will benefit
>  the work they do, you won't be able to find prospective users
>  to become customers.
>
> Cultivate that inner circle of end-users and so much becomes much easier...
>
> --
> Richard Gaskin
> Fourth World Systems
> Software Design and Development for the Desktop, Mobile, and the Web
> ____________________________________________________________________
> [hidden email]                http://www.FourthWorld.com
>
> _______________________________________________
> use-livecode mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Please visit this url to subscribe, unsubscribe and manage your subscription preferences:
> http://lists.runrev.com/mailman/listinfo/use-livecode

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Re: How do you find beta testers?

Richard Gaskin via use-livecode
You're very kind, Jonathan.  Thank you for the generous words.

I like things that get people outside.  This is a wonderful planet
indeed - history, prehistory - so much to learn.

I hope your app does very well.

You may find it inspiring to read up on iNaturalist.  It's a charming
app (not made in LC as far as I know, but charming just the same) that
encourages people to share flora and fauna sightings.  It's managed to
get some good press, lots to read up on.

One of the great things in their story is how they seem to have really
tapped into the strength of their core audience.  You'll see some very
enthusiastic users in the news stories about you can find.

Hooking into the human side of things with your app may be at least
equally engaging.

I hope it is.

Sounds like you're on the right track by starting with a focus on
history buffs as a core target audience.

So many history clubs and historical societies and more, each with their
own newletters and web sites and Facebook pages - earn respect among
some and they'll spread the word for you.

- rg


jonathandlynch wwrote:

> This is good advice Richard. Thank you.
>
> My app, Augmented Earth, is free. The money will (eventually) come from ads, in theory. The idea is for users to add interesting reports in different categories linked to specific geographic spots. Other users can then read those reports when they are near that location. It is like Pokémon go, but with interesting information rather than imaginary critters.
>
> It is a way for people to appreciate how amazing the world really is.
>
> I have not really segmented or defined my target market very thoroughly yet. Your comment makes me think I need to do that now, before I release the mobile version.
>
> I have shown it to three history professors, and they loved it, so I think I should seek history buffs as one group of testers.
>
> Good advice - thanks!
>
>
>> On Apr 12, 2017, at 6:36 PM, Richard Gaskin via use-livecode <use-livecode at lists.runrev.com> wrote:
>>
>> jonathandlynch wrote:
>>
>> > I guess I will do a lot of asking around for the general public
>> > opinion.
>>
>> Prospective customers are great for several reasons:
>>
>> - They represent your target market, so their interests
>>  and skill level will be a good match for assessing
>>  not only technical fitness but also usability.
>>
>> - They're more motivated than most because they'll benefit
>>  directly from what the product delivers.
>>
>> - When encouraged to speak candidly they'll be a wealth
>>  of information about possible new features for v2.0,
>>  opportunities for refinements in v1.1.
>>
>> - Some will be so grateful to work with a vendor that actually
>>  listens to customers that they'll be happy to put in the time
>>  for great testing just to get a free license for the software.
>>
>> - If you don't already have a list of prospects to contact
>>  about testing that may be an indicator of the state of
>>  your marketing plan.  After all, if you can't find prospective
>>  users who'd want a sneak preview of something that will benefit
>>  the work they do, you won't be able to find prospective users
>>  to become customers.
>>
>> Cultivate that inner circle of end-users and so much becomes much easier...
>>
>> --
>> Richard Gaskin



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Re: How do you find beta testers?

Richard Gaskin via use-livecode
In reply to this post by Richard Gaskin via use-livecode
Jonathan,

I invite feedback from 10 volunteers who are members of likely user mailing lists.  I never use the term Beta testing or release candidate, just say hey I made this and I want feedback from professionals experienced in ‘whatever’.  I say that anyone who gives me feedback, however little, gets a free copy of the final app. Once I was adjudged to be spamming (on LinkedIn, which is bloody ironic), but if you keep things informal, personable and friendly, I find that folks are interested.

This has the advantage of letting potential users on the list know that something is brewing, and the most interested ones as early adopters.    I always take the time to thank everyone via the list, and give a little bit of feedback on progress, just to keep awareness up.

The downside is that the ratio of volunteers to useful feedback is very high.  I say 10, but usually distribute 30 or so copies, and get actual feedback from only a handful.

Cheers,

David Glasgow

> On 12 Apr 2017, at 7:06 pm, Jonathan Lynch via use-livecode <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I have been getting feedback from friends and family on my app, but I want to find a wider circle of testers. I plan to seek testers on the use-list as well, but for now I am trying to find a couple dozen nonprogrammers so I can judge how the average public reacts to the app.
>
> How do those of you who program for the general public do this?
>
> Sent from my iPhone
> _______________________________________________
> use-livecode mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Please visit this url to subscribe, unsubscribe and manage your subscription preferences:
> http://lists.runrev.com/mailman/listinfo/use-livecode

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Re: How do you find beta testers?

Richard Gaskin via use-livecode
Thanks David,

So I should talk to 3 or 4 historical societies, and shoot for more than I actually need. I will do that as soon as I add formatting buttons for bolding, links, etc.

Sent from my iPhone

> On Apr 13, 2017, at 4:24 AM, David V Glasgow via use-livecode <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Jonathan,
>
> I invite feedback from 10 volunteers who are members of likely user mailing lists.  I never use the term Beta testing or release candidate, just say hey I made this and I want feedback from professionals experienced in ‘whatever’.  I say that anyone who gives me feedback, however little, gets a free copy of the final app. Once I was adjudged to be spamming (on LinkedIn, which is bloody ironic), but if you keep things informal, personable and friendly, I find that folks are interested.
>
> This has the advantage of letting potential users on the list know that something is brewing, and the most interested ones as early adopters.    I always take the time to thank everyone via the list, and give a little bit of feedback on progress, just to keep awareness up.
>
> The downside is that the ratio of volunteers to useful feedback is very high.  I say 10, but usually distribute 30 or so copies, and get actual feedback from only a handful.
>
> Cheers,
>
> David Glasgow
>
>> On 12 Apr 2017, at 7:06 pm, Jonathan Lynch via use-livecode <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> I have been getting feedback from friends and family on my app, but I want to find a wider circle of testers. I plan to seek testers on the use-list as well, but for now I am trying to find a couple dozen nonprogrammers so I can judge how the average public reacts to the app.
>>
>> How do those of you who program for the general public do this?
>>
>> Sent from my iPhone
>> _______________________________________________
>> use-livecode mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> Please visit this url to subscribe, unsubscribe and manage your subscription preferences:
>> http://lists.runrev.com/mailman/listinfo/use-livecode
>
> _______________________________________________
> use-livecode mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Please visit this url to subscribe, unsubscribe and manage your subscription preferences:
> http://lists.runrev.com/mailman/listinfo/use-livecode

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Re: How do you find beta testers?

Richard Gaskin via use-livecode
In reply to this post by Richard Gaskin via use-livecode
When I wrote an app to teach Transfusion Medicine, I selected 10 friends and colleagues--5 of them content experts in the field with no particular computer expertise and 5 of them friends I knew from Apple User Groups from way back in the days when all Apple ][ users were "hobbyists." The latter were tasked with beating up on the software, trying to break it. All of them got a free copy of the software.

This worked quite well. In all the years the software was sold, I never got a single bug report, although I have gotten content feedback through the same publisher.

Sent from my iPad

> On Apr 12, 2017, at 2:06 PM, Jonathan Lynch via use-livecode <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I have been getting feedback from friends and family on my app, but I want to find a wider circle of testers. I plan to seek testers on the use-list as well, but for now I am trying to find a couple dozen nonprogrammers so I can judge how the average public reacts to the app.
>
> How do those of you who program for the general public do this?


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