Alex Larsen: How to Scale a Beta Program, Virality, and Creating Value
With Alex Larsen as our guest, this episode is all about taking it to the next level. Once you’ve established a program and built momentum, how do you get other teams to see the value in user testing?
Democratizing User Testing
Two decades ago, Centercode was bootstrapped by a small group of likeminded founders, collectively driven by our genuine passion to increase the positive impact of technology on the world.
Most Recent Posts
The 8 Best Product Management Apps in 2023
Explore the top 8 product management apps of 2023 to optimize collaboration, streamline processes, and make data-driven decisions, all within one comprehensive guide for your product development success.
6 Must-Have Components of a Beta Test Workspace
Discover the six essential components of an effective beta test workspace that fosters tester engagement, streamlines feedback management, and ultimately enhances your product's market readiness.
6 QA Best Practices for Modern Tech Companies
With reduced resources, increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of QA processes is more important than ever. To help you out, here are six best practices for quality assurance that you can use to continue meeting the high standards of your team and your customers even as a team of one.
Quality Assurance vs Quality Control
Learn the key differences and similarities between Quality Assurance (QA) vs Quality Control (QC), and how to implement effective processes to manage quality.
Strategies for Establishing a Successful Beta Program
In this episode, Chris Rader, VP of Marketing at Centercode along with Technical Trainer, Stefan Stenroos is joined by Richard Ball, formerly Director of Field Testing at Peloton to discuss the best strategies for starting a successful beta program.
7 Tips to Enhance Your QA Environment Remotely
Learn how to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of your QA environments with this blog.
Prioritizing Feedback Using the MoSCoW Framework
Learn how to prioritize beta test feedback using this data-driven method to categorize feedback into four categories: Must Have, Should Have, Could Have, Would Have. Improve communication, save time and resources, and make better decisions with the MoSCoW Framework.
How Product Leaders Challenge the Status Quo and Deliver Better Products
As a product manager or product management executive, you're always looking for ways to drive better results and improve your products. In your continuous search to improve, have you considered whether you’re leveraging the full potential of beta testing? According to Centercode's 2022 industry report, 7 out of 10 companies say beta testing is the most effective way to improve products.
Best Practices for Beta Test Reporting (with Template!)
When reporting on a beta test, it can be challenging to make sense of the data and difficult to know what information to report on or take action on. By following best practices for beta test reporting and using standardized templates, you can ensure that you're gathering the information you need to make informed decisions and improve your product.
Customer Loyalty Insights from Early Adopters
It's no secret that customer loyalty is crucial for any business. Not only is it more cost-effective to retain existing customers, but loyal customers also tend to spend more and recommend your company to others.
9 Product Quality Metrics to Improve with Beta Testing
One way to measure and improve the quality of your products is by tracking relevant product quality metrics during development.
4 Ways Beta Testing Can Boost User Satisfaction
If you want to retain more customers and keep them away from choosing your competitors, it’s essential to keep customer satisfaction high.
How to Screen Beta Test Applicants to Maximize the Value of Your User Test
By taking the time to properly screen applicants and build a strong recruitment strategy around your test goals, you can not only ensure the success of your beta test, but also maximize the overall value and usefulness of your product.
Maximize Beta Tester Engagement with Strong Communication (with Examples!)
Effective communication is crucial for the success of any beta test. If you’re stuck or just want some best practices, dive into these tips and examples to help you write the best weekly announcement emails your beta testers have ever read.
Why Recruiting More Beta Testers Than Needed Is a Smart Move
By recruiting more applicants than needed, you can increase the response rate, ensure better representation, provide flexibility, and gather extra feedback.
Incentivizing Beta Testers to Improve Participation and Feedback Quality
Incentivizing beta testers can not only increase the number of participants, but also the quality and depth of their feedback.
How Leveraging Brand Evangelists Can Supercharge Your Beta Test
By including brand evangelists in your beta tests, you’re boosting the impact of your projects while strengthening the bonds with your community. But what is a brand evangelist? And how can you recruit them into your tests?
8 Key Characteristics to Look for When Recruiting Beta Testers
Great beta testers have a combination of personal characteristics and skills that make them effective at testing and providing valuable feedback on a product.
Iceberg of Beta Tester Value [Infographic]
Most companies recognize the value that beta testers bring to an organization before product launch, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. The value that lies beneath the water line expands far beyond what you see on the surface.
Building Brand Evangelism Through User Testing
In this episode of the Delta Huddle podcast, we discuss the importance of building brand evangelism within your user testing programs.
The Anatomy of a Great Beta Tester [Infographic]
Great beta testers share many of the same commonalities, making them a very valuable part of the product development process. Here is an infographic explaining some of the desirable traits to look for in your beta testers.
What Are Beta Test Metrics and How Can You Measure Them?
Tracking the right metrics while running your beta program is essential for measuring the effectiveness of your beta testing efforts. But what are beta test metrics exactly and why are they important?
Why Every Product Manager Needs Beta Testing to Achieve their Roadmap Goals
By gathering valuable feedback and identifying and fixing issues early on, beta testing can help you improve the user experience and increase the chances of success for your product. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of beta testing and how to conduct a successful beta test.
The Value of Different Types of Beta Testers During Product Development
We'll explore the different types of beta testers, and how each type can provide valuable insights and feedback to help you make improvements and iterate on your products over time.
5 Surprising Tips for Beta Testing Your Product Over the Holidays
Not only can beta testing help improve the quality of your product, but it can also provide valuable insights and feedback during the busiest time of the year. In this blog we share tips for planning and executing a successful beta test over the holidays.
The Iceberg of Beta Tester Benefits
Most companies recognize the value that beta testers bring to an organization before product launch, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. The mass that lies beneath the water line expands far beyond what you see on the surface.
9 Challenges of Product Development in a Downturn
Your next product launch may be keeping you up at night. With fewer resources, budget cuts, and lack of personnel, it’s going to be much more challenging to release quality products and avoid costly delays.
Pilot Episode: Doing More With Less, Tech Optimism, and Delta Testing
For our very first episode, we discuss tech optimism, maintaining user delight, and doing more with less when it comes to user testing with David Perry, CEO of Carro and Luke Freiler, CEO of Centercode.
How Dogfooding Helps Build a Strong Remote Culture
As many teams are now working remotely, it’s challenging to maintain the same level of engagement and productivity that once existed. Remote teams can achieve a thriving remote culture, but it’s going to take some effort to ensure everyone feels aligned and included.
How Dogfooding Improves Company Culture with Involvement and Collaboration
Executive teams invest their hearts and souls into building an environment, a vibe, and a workplace culture that not only attracts new talent, it also keeps employees from looking elsewhere. But, when I say “culture” did you immediately think ping pong tables, sushi chefs, baristas and nap pods?
What Should You Look for in the Ideal Beta Tester?
One of the most important facets of product testing is identifying and finding an audience that will help you make your products better. When planning a product test, perhaps the most vital question to ask when determining who will test your product is, whose feedback will be the most important to your product’s development?
Eat Your Own Dog Food: Software Testing
In Spring of 2021, Centercode's biggest release yet was imminent and it was finally time to gather customer feedback. Coincidentally, the release included an entirely new framework, Delta testing, built to capture actionable feedback from testers with minimal effort.
5 Agile Principles for Evolving Your User Testing
We live in a world where the tools and services we use every day are in a constant state of improvement. Not only do our favorite devices improve massively with each new release, so does the software that powers them.
Centercode Key Performance Indicators: Impact Score
This week we round out our series on the Centercode Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) by discussing testing Delta Impact Score.
3 Agile Inspired Testing Ceremonies
There are a couple of big differences between traditional beta testing and delta testing. Perhaps one of the most significant is delta testing’s focus on working within Agile environments (vs. waterfall). Many parts of the delta testing methodology are pulled directly from common forms of Agile development.
4 Important Agile Ceremonies for Your Testing Strategy
That meeting could have been an email… Unfortunately this is a sentiment we’ve all had after a meeting that didn't feel particularly effective.
Measuring Project Success With Delta Health
In my last post, we discussed measuring tester engagement as a part of test health. Today, we are going to discuss measuring product success.
How to Measure User Testing Engagement
One of the primary concerns of any project manager throughout the testing period is whether there’s enough tester engagement. Good tester engagement is instrumental to a successful delta test.
3 Departments Who Need Your User Testing Results
There are countless benefits to having a successful user testing program. Being able to confidently bring new products to market and mature existing products is where the key business value lies.
Finally, an Automated User Testing Solution for Product Professionals - Part 2
If you read Part 1, you already know that the Centercode Delta release is a totally new way to plan and run user tests using automation, intuitive dashboards, and rich user feedback. So let’s dive into some of these features a little deeper.
Finally, an Automated User Testing Solution for Product Professionals- Part 1
Have you ever wanted to be able to automate your user tests and just jump to the good part where you get awesome feedback that’s easy to apply to product development? Us too.
How to Write Super-Clickable Beta Invite Emails (with Samples!)
The benefits of an awesome, highly effective invite are obvious: it allows you to attract and recruit qualified candidates (like customers or potential customers) for your beta, field, UAT, and user testing projects.
How Peer Review Creates Strong Collaborative Teams
Whether you’ve returned to the office, work in a hybrid model, or your entire company took the leap to being fully remote, our work spaces have changed dramatically in the last two years.
How Delta Testing Uses Atomic Habits to Promote Data-Driven Decisions
“You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.” This quote from Atomic Habits, by best-selling author and habit expert James Clear, is as true for using customer insight to drive product decision-making as it is for training to run a marathon, not biting your nails, or remembering to unload the dishwasher every night.
Conducting Continuous User Research with Delta Testing
What is continuous user research, exactly? We like this definition from Tomer Sharon, head of user research at Goldman Sachs:
How the Pros Run Their Beta Programs
So you want to run a beta program — and we're stoked for you! Whether you got here after running a handful of beta tests on your own, or your boss handed the task over to you, the insights you get from beta testing open the door to an incredibly enriching world of customer knowledge and product insight.
How to Keep the Fire Burning in Your Tester Community
Relationships require care. And not just in the form of those once-in-a-while grand gestures — though an extra special thank you every now and again never hurts.
The One Little Secret for Optimizing Your Tester Engagement
Imagine you're running a marathon. At first, you're bursting with energy — you've been waiting for this! You feel like you could run forever!
What Most Teams Don’t Understand About User Testing Metrics
Calculating user testing metrics? Avoid this common mistake and learn how to find the 3 metrics that matter most to showing your impact.
How Delta Testing Is Helping Today's Product Managers
No one knows what your customers need better than your customers; that's why their feedback has never been more critical to the success of your product.
3 User Testing Program Resolutions (And How to Keep Them)
It's the time of year for resolutions: where we dream big about the things we want to do and improvements we want to make in the hopes this year will be better than the last. But as everyone who's two weeks into a diet or exercise routine knows, resolutions are easy to set but difficult to keep — especially when you don't have a system in place for making it happen.
Centercode's 2021 Content Roundup
After 2020 and a year defined by upheaval, 2021 has been all about recovery and progress: shedding what doesn't work, strengthening what does, and reimagining possibilities in a world with a new outlook and new demands for the future.
Your Year Ahead User Research Checklist
The end of the year can mean a lot of things. While at home it's about decorating, cooking mountains of food, or reuniting with loved ones, the end of the work year is about looking back at everything you've accomplished — and looking forward to what's around the corner.
Ask the Expert: Should You Run User Tests Over the Holidays?
Should you plan to launch a user testing project over the holidays? In this installment of Ask the Expert, Centercode's Sr. Test Manager Mike Fine talks about the oft-debated holiday test launch: when it works, when it doesn't, and what you should expect from your testers.
Getting Attitudinal Data During Development With Delta Testing
Just like there are many ways to collect attitudinal data, there are different moments when data about your customers' thoughts, opinions, and attitudes comes into play during product development. But how do you get this data?
How to Thank Your Testers
When you think of "incentives" in user testing, the first thing that comes to mind might be a free product or a gift card. And yes, those are both common and viable ways to reward testers for their participation.
Why You Should Open Your Alpha Tests to Your Customers
Alpha testing is a critical part of getting ready for your product launch. It generally starts when your product is 60% feature-complete: stable enough to work in the real world, but still needs fine-tuning before it's ready for customers.
Segmentation: Enhancing Your Product Insights from User Testing
At some level, you probably already understand segmentation as a concept. But let's talk about how it applies to user testing. In user testing, segmentation means splitting your tester pool into subsets based on certain characteristics.
User Testing Recruitment Made Easy
The first step in building a product that solves problems is understanding what problems exist for your customers and how they're attempting to solve them. Technographics are a critical part of that understanding.
Why Is Automation Essential During Delta Testing?
Delta testing is user testing automation. At a tactical level, delta testing means: identifying users from your target market, getting them to use and provide feedback about your product, prioritizing those insights, and turning them into action items for Product and Engineering.
The Importance of Your Community in Delta Testing
The whole point of automating your user testing processes is to make the hard work of traditional beta faster and easier. But saying "beta is automated now" isn't the only thing that makes delta testing more efficient and effective.
Four (More) Signs It's Time to Upgrade to Delta Testing
Beta testing has many moving pieces. You need to recruit target market testers with the right demographic and technographic segmentations.
Four Signs It's Time to Upgrade from Beta Testing
In life, there are challenges you take on because they build character and the end goals are enormously rewarding. Other times, you find yourself mid-challenge because it's something you have to do, whether that's for your role, your product, or your organization.
Delta Testing for Product Iteration
The market for connected devices and other technology is more competitive today than it's ever been. Companies know that it's not enough to get their product off the shelves.
Delta Testing for Product Release
Beta, field, and user acceptance testing have the same overall goal in mind: to gather real-world feedback and improve products before launch. But while the majority of companies include customer tests, companies relying on traditional user testing practices experience varying degrees of success.
Delta Testing for Dogfooding
It's easy to find a company that has some sort of dogfooding or employee testing program. But it's much more difficult to find one whose program delivers actionable user insights derived from co-worker product use — unlike those companies using delta testing tools and practices.
Delta Testing for Competitive Product Analysis
Competitive testing is a use case in delta testing that lets you research and test competitors' products with their customers (i.e., your potential customers).
Delta Testing and CX/UX: Elevating the Voice of the Customer
Let's get one thing straight: delta testing does not replace UX or CX. Yes, delta testing, also known as user testing automation, provides exploratory user experience feedback from real-world usage by representatives of your target market demographics. But delta testing's unique deliverables are complements to, not competing with, the work of UX and CX teams.
4 Common Delta Testing Use Cases in Product Development
Delta testing is user testing automation. Like beta, field, UAT, and other fields of user testing, it generates feedback by getting functioning products into the hands of targeted users and giving them time to absorb and adopt the products out in their real-world environments.
What Is Delta Testing?
In a nutshell, delta testing is automated user testing. It's a proven, cost-effective approach to legacy user testing that allows companies to capture early product feedback from customers throughout the product life cycle.
The 4 Types of User Testers You Need (And How to Find Them)
The key to bubbling up the insights you need from user testing is getting the right users to provide the feedback you need for wherever you are in development. But what does the "right tester" actually mean?
Competitive Product Development: How to Decode the Competition
As a product owner, the prospect of bringing a new product to market is exciting. You see a gap in the market for a device, software, or mobile app that will make your customers' lives easier or more enjoyable.
Should You Build or Buy Your User Testing Tool?
There comes a point when the scale of your user testing projects or program exceeds what standard productivity tools like email and spreadsheets can handle. And that's when it's time for an upgrade: a specialized user testing tool that will serve as a hub for all your test management activities. Awesome!
How to User Test Your Product for Any Phase of Development
These quick user testing insights will help you identify which types of tests will deliver actionable, real-world-driven recommendations that increase product success.
20 Tips from 20 Years of Centercode
Since Centercode was founded back in 2001, we've learned a lot about what goes into becoming a highly skilled and competent user testing professional. Experience is a great teacher after all! What's even better is you don't have to work in the field for 20 years to benefit from our two decades of insights.
Centercode’s CEO on 20 Years of Technology and User Testing
Centercode was founded in 2001 as a way to connect technology innovators with their real customers through user testing. In 20 years, technology has changed significantly. But our mission — to remove friction in today's technology by helping companies perfect their products — has stayed the same.
5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When User Testing Your Mobile Apps
Today, there are thousands of connected tech products on the market — and thousands of mobile apps for managing each one.
4 Things You Need to Succeed in a Connected World
By 2022, Gartner predicts that there will be 6.4 billion devices in use next year as smartphones overtake desktop computers.
How Delta Testing Keeps the Focus on Customer Delight During Agile
One of the greatest traits of agile development is that it allows teams to respond to customer desires quickly. Its flexibility and conduciveness to rapid iteration opened the door to product evolution through small, successive improvements.
Centercode Is Powering Up These 4 Roles in Product Development
Investing in product analytics, quality testing, user experience, and market research is absolutely essential to building a good product.
Beta Testing Success Is About More Than Just Processes
It’s been decades since product developers first started using beta testing. Early tech companies first discovered back then what is common knowledge nowadays: If you get targeted users to provide product feedback, you can turn that data into insights and action items for Product and Engineering. It’s a highly effective strategy for product success — […]
Why It Isn’t Enough to Be Data-Driven During Customer Testing
Data is a library of information. And like a library, the books inside are only useful to you if they’re written in a language you understand. You also don’t have time to read every book in the library when you have a finite amount of time and a job to get done. The books you […]
Which Customer Testing Program Style Is Right for You?
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all method of product development that’s guaranteed to work for your organization. Take Agile, for example. Eighty percent of today’s tech companies have adopted agile practices — so there must be something to it, right? But not everyone practices Agile the same way. In fact, what counts as “agile development” can vary […]
How to Get a Top Rating from Consumer Reports
Every year, Consumer Reports tests thousands of products — from cars, to laptops, to WIFI-enabled speakers and appliances — and grades them on a scale of 0 to 100. A trusted source of unbiased product testing, their mission is to make it easier for consumers to make well-informed buying decisions. And it’s as helpful to […]
Technographics: Your Shortcut to Improving Interoperability
With consumers adopting more and more smart tech, the everyday spaces of your customers has become an interoperability minefield. The key to navigating that minefield without a performance blowup? Tapping into an aspect of growing importance within the realm of beta testing: technographics. Today we’re talking technographics — what they are, why they matter, who […]
4 Types of Feedback You’re Not Collecting (But Should Be!)
When most people think of “beta test feedback,” they think of bug reports and feature requests. And they’re not wrong — issues and ideas are a key component to a successful pre-release customer test. But they aren’t the only way that test managers should be collecting feedback during beta. With a targeted group of candidates […]
How to Build and Release Perfected Products
What makes a product perfect? Your answer might depend on the role you play in product development. If you’re all about quality, you might describe perfection as a product that aces all its test scripts and doesn’t surprise you with bugs once it’s in the field. If your focus is UX, you might call a […]
The Evolution of the Tech Consumer
Technology isn’t the only thing that’s rapidly evolved in the past 25 years. The people who consume tech have also changed significantly. From the niche world of hi-tech enthusiasts from the 90s to today’s mainstream users, the people who consume technology have had as much of an effect on its evolution as it has had […]
How Customer Insights Are Shaping Tech for 2021
We’ve often described modern technology as highly sophisticated, highly connected, and continuously iterative. The rapid-fire changes of 2020 didn’t change that — in fact, it brought those qualities into sharper relief. It highlighted both the reliability of technology and its shortcomings. 2021 will be shaped by companies that have the best understanding of these nuances […]
Centercode Stories: How Did You Change for the Better in 2020?
This is the time of year where many of us are looking back on the last twelve months and reflecting on what we’d like to do better. But it’s also a time when we can be grateful for the things that are already good — especially in a year marked by so much loss, change, […]
2020 Centercode Content Roundup
You can say what you like about 2020, but you can’t say we didn’t learn a lot. This year has forced us to grow and change many, many aspects of our lives, from how we work (#remote), to how we communicate with our team (“Can you guys see my screen?”), to how to dress (hello […]
3 Tech Insights for 2021, Straight from Consumers
Software and tech gadgets are developing faster than we could ever have imagined even a decade ago. In many ways, this year has put a spotlight on those advancements as many industries pivot to adapt with unprecedented changes and uncertainty. More and more everyday products are being replaced by their sophisticated counterparts. And with many […]
How Setting Expectations Increases Test Success (And 3 Ways to Do It)
Setting too many expectations may be a quick path to disappointment in life, but what happens when you don’t set expectations during your beta test? Well, two decades of test planning and management has shown us it sort of ends up like the Wild West. Either your project turns into an out-of-control stampede…. Or..it’s a […]
Ask the Expert: Should I Add More Testers?
Is more testers always the best solution when you’re experiencing a dip in feedback? In this Ask the Expert series, Centercode’s Chris Rader weighs in on large tester teams: when they work, when they don’t, and how to manage when your stakeholders want to keep adding testers. Got a question you’d like to see on […]
Need a Template? Here’s Your User Acceptance Testing Checklist
If you want to run a solid user acceptance test, you need a solid plan — but since you’re reading this, you probably knew that already. With so much at stake, planning ain’t easy; there are schedules to build, people to recruit, stakeholders to work with, feedback to sort. We created this user acceptance testing […]
How Virtuous Acts Bring Our Team Together
The enormous stress of 2020 has made it all too easy to focus on what we don’t have: parties with friends and family, the ability to travel, some of our favorite holiday traditions…I’ll stop there before I start crying. But one tradition the COVID pandemic can’t disrupt is expressing gratitude — ’tis the season, after […]
2 Important Ways Your Testers Increase AI Performance
Why does AI that performs so well in a lab underperform when it’s out in the real world? Earlier this month, a team of 40 Google researchers published a study about just that — and their investigation returned some vital insights into the challenges of developing machine learning. Research points to a phenomenon known as […]
Delivering Picture-Perfect Experiences in the Year of Streaming
2020 has been aptly dubbed the “Year of Streaming.” Movie premieres, live concerts, conventions, and other normally in-person gatherings are joining the vast popularity of streaming media and games made possible by streaming services all over the world. Coronavirus solidified an already shifting focus toward entertainment and events that consumers can enjoy from home. But […]
Centercode Customers See a 646% Return on Investment
For nearly two decades, Centercode has provided leading platform and managed service customer testing solutions that help companies turn good technology into great products. A new study revealed that organizations leveraging Centercode saw a 646% return on investment (ROI) from customer testing over three years. While investing in marketing research, quality testing, user experience, and […]
Is Product Perfection Really Attainable?
Imagine: A delightful, bug-free product springs fully formed from your PRD and lands directly into your customers’ waiting hands. Seems impossible? That’s only because…it is. No product is perfect at the start. But perfecting a product is possible — and with the right methodologies and practices, it’s well within reach. But first, What Makes a […]