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. But unlike other user testing practices, it provides predictable, automated results from a wide variety of use cases throughout the product development life cycle.
Here are the four most common use cases for delta testing and how each one supports your initiatives no matter what stage of development you're in.
This use case applies if you're entering a market for the first time or have a serious competitor you need to get an edge on. Competitive testing provides in-depth experiential insights and research into your competitors' products on the market. This approach ensures you have good product-market fit and meaningful differentiation as you build your own products.
Cliffnotes on the Competitive Testing Delta Use Case
- What it enhances: market testing, comparative research, and competitive intelligence
- Who provides feedback: real customers of one or more of your competitors
- Where your product is in development: in design or released and available to the public
- What you get: actionable market intelligence to drive your product roadmap
This use case offers two key benefits. The first one improves your product by replacing inconsistent alpha testing with focused employee delta testing. It combines real-world environments and user experiences with the technical insights only employees can offer. The second benefit helps your organization. Employee delta testing promotes a product-centric culture and grows internal support for user testing efforts.
Cliffnotes on the Employee Testing Delta Use Case
- What it replaces: alpha testing, dogfooding, legacy employee testing
- Who provides feedback: your coworkers (and sometimes, your friends and family)
- Where your product is in development: varies widely from very early (alpha phase) to post-release
- What you get: high-quality product releases and a product-centric culture
Product Release Testing
Product release testing uses target market customers to test your introduction of a new product, identifying any remaining bugs that need to be fixed or improvements to make before launch. These unique insights ensure your audience gets peak product performance and a seamless user experience right from the get-go. It is impossible to launch with confidence without getting a representation before you are fully committed.
Cliffnotes on the Product Release Delta Use Case
- What it replaces: beta testing, field testing, user acceptance testing (UAT)
- Who provides feedback: your demographic and technographic target market
- Where your product is in development: at or near feature-complete, leading into your product's initial market launch
- What you get: a highly successful initial product release
Product Iteration Testing
In today's iterative tech environments, the work completed at launch is only partly finished. Product iteration testing captures input from actual customers on an ongoing basis. This ensures that every release is successful — with the added benefit of cultivating a group of loyal product evangelists along the way.
Cliffnotes on the Product Iteration Delta Use Case
- What it replaces: progressive delivery, early access, customer advisory boards
- Who provides feedback: your existing customers in the market
- Where your product is in development: the next version of your existing product is already at market
- What you get: a successful, long-term product maturity cycle
How Centercode Supports Delta Testing Use Cases
The Centercode Platform comes equipped to meet the specific needs of each of these delta testing use cases (among others). Our prescriptive solutions streamline, automate, and measure your user testing efforts to ensure the delivery of actionable, real-world feedback wherever you are in the product development life cycle.
Learn more about delta testing and its benefits, how it enhances your other user research practices, and tips for building a business case in our comprehensive ebook, The Definitive Guide to Delta Testing.