In our experience, our customers typically have a small group of internal testers that represent a variety of the target demographic that will be using the app. Many customers run into the same question: What level of testing is right for me? The number of testers is up to each company, and there is no ‘golden rule’ for numbers, but the most important thing about a successful beta test is to plan it well. Here are some things that will lead to a more successful beta test:
Having a targeted goal for your beta test is the first step.
Are you looking for ways to improve usability? Are you specifically looking for bugs? If usability testing is the goal, you’ll want to provide more open-ended testing. You may want to set up some meetings and watch people use the app so you can see the pain points they may not share otherwise. If you are only looking to identify bugs against the current set of features available, you may want to have several pre-set tasks you ask the user to complete. If they can complete a task, that particular task ‘passes’.
Identifying your target audience is key.
You will want a beta test group that best represents differences in your target market. It is important to include different demographics such as generational ranges to ensure the app is user-friendly for everyone who may see its benefit.
A real beta test should have a defined timeline that users understand.
It is important to get user agreement to this timeline to ensure that they can commit to the schedule you are targeting.
It is easy to get people to sign up for or agree to beta testing, but achieving a high participation rate is key.
Setting expectations is crucial to this, and you could potentially lead into the beta by doing a couple of short surveys, and basing your choices off of people’s response rate. Letting users know both how to get feedback to you during the beta, and responding to the feedback they give is very valuable.
Remember that your beta testers are volunteering their time, so make sure they feel appreciated.
Respond to their feedback often so they feel like it is valued and making a difference. It is nice to even plan a small gift or at the least a thoughtful note to thank them for a job well done.
In addition to the tips above, more in-depth information on how to get apps out to beta is available for Android and iOS is linked below. Google does not set specific number limits on Beta testers. Apple’s Test flight limits testers to 25 internal testers and up to 1000 external testers.