Web site beta tests typically focus on user experience, onboarding, quality, browser compatibility (mobile and desktop), and performance under real-world circumstances.
Web Site Beta Test Traits
Wide Range of Users - Worldwide users of varying social and cultural norms with unique perceptions of what constitutes a good web site.
Different Client Configurations - Web site betas generally utilize a wide range of different browsers, platforms, plug-ins, and connection speeds.
Minimal Communication - Web sites are typically intended to be standalone. Ideally a beta participant should be able to navigate and use the site with minimal outside help.
Large Participant Pools - Due to the number of people with varying demographics and client configurations, web site betas tend to have a larger number of participants.
User Experience - Web site and application betas are often heavily focused on determining the user's impression of and experience with the site itself.
Load Testing - Due to the server-based nature of web-based sites and applications, web site betas often aim to determine highly realistic load scenarios.
Web Site Beta Test Challenges
Communicating Beta Tasks - During a web site beta it is often essential for participants to focus on specific areas of the site. This focus can be difficult to communicate due to the open nature of web sites.
Client Configuration - Web sites can perform differently based upon the browser, connection speed, and connection type. It is important to collect and consider these factors when looking at feedback.
Engaging Participants - Users are difficult to engage in web-based projects due to the open nature of the internet, where you are fighting for the user's attention.
Customer Perception - Test participants have a tendency to blame the web software before they will look at their system, browser, or connection for the issues.
Security - Because of security, privacy, and virus concerns, test participants will be more hesitant to test unfinished web sites and applications.
Performance Testing - While it is often essential to test performance during a beta period, it's very challenging to organize these types of testing events during a specific time period in order to test realistic load.
Test Platforms - The Centercode platform can be used to collect and organize detailed information about the browsers, plug-ins, and operating systems beta participants are using to test. This is useful for both recruiting participants and managing their feedback.
Direct Linking - Feedback pages such as bug report forms can be linked directly from the beta web site or application, allowing users to easily submit feedback.
Surveys - Our software allows you to easily create surveys and deploy them to users. This makes it extremely easy to judge user perception of the web site or app throughout the beta.
Feedback Integration - Centercode can be integrated directly with the site to capture information such as errors. This ensures that all automated error reports and user-generated bug reports are in a single location.
Profiled Test Participants - Our Managed Beta Team has a detailed process by which all participants are profiled prior to starting the beta test. This gives us the capability to ensure your participant pool includes a representative sample of common browsers, plug-ins, and connection speeds used to access your site.
Simulate Real Activities - We create tasks for participants based on your individual project objectives. These tasks can range from having participants execute an e-commerce purchase to finding answers to predetermined questions on the site. After every task we collect information about their experience.
Coordinate Performance Tests - We can coordinate an event to test the performance of a site under a heavy load. These events require participants to utilize the web site at a specified time and perform specific tasks.
Managing Large Groups of Participants - Our beta managers have experience managing large scale betas. Our best practices and tools allow us to manage more participants in less time with higher participation rates.