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. Studying how your product interacts with the diverse technologies inside your audiences' homes during user testing gives you a clear picture of how your product will perform at release.
It's a perfect opportunity because, unlike your customers, testers have the patience and willingness to help you surface bugs and make essential improvements to your product's real-world performance. If it doesn't play nicely with the devices your customers have already adopted, there's a high chance your product will end up in a pile of returns.
Centercode gets you these critical technographic insights by making it easy to recruit testers from your target market, down to the phones and other tech they're using. Our secret? They're called Test Platforms, and they're a key feature that increases the depth and accuracy of your user testing efforts.
Here's a quick breakdown of what they are, when they come in handy, and how to make the most of them during recruitment and feedback analysis.
What Are Test Platforms?
"Test Platforms" is a community feature inside the Centercode Platform that allows testers to add technographic details to their user profiles. This is information like the model of their phone and which version they're on, whether they're Apple or Microsoft users, what kind of TV they have, and if they have any connected devices that could interact (or compete) with your product.
Enhancing user profiles with these essential technographic details makes it easier to identify best-fit testers. And since this information is attached to a static profile instead of collected for each separate project, testers have the agency to update their Test Platforms as the technology in their homes expands and changes.
Test Platforms also let you segment your tester pool so that it accurately reflects your market and all its nuances. They give you more access to a wider range of technology products in the homes of your testers than could fit in the average lab. And that means you're ironing out any surprises (and stocking up on great ideas for your roadmap) before release, instead of waiting for your customers to tell you through bad reviews, social media, or support calls.
How to Use Test Platforms
How exactly do Test Platforms make recruitment easier? Say you're testing the new features on your latest product: a pair of noise-canceling, Bluetooth-capable headphones. Your testers should match your target demographic — that's a given. But you might also need to test your product with an equal number of Android and Apple users. Maybe there's a new feature where the headphones pair with a smartwatch. With Test Platforms, you can ensure a certain percentage of your testers own one.
Test Platforms also come in handy during feedback analysis and reporting. They provide Centercode's feedback prioritization automation and comprehensive dashboards with much-needed context on issues to fix and improvements to make. Instead of relying on testers to report critical details like their phone OS each time they submit an issue (leaving test managers with the headache of tracking it down), that information is ready and waiting for internal teams the moment an issue comes to light.
More Ways to Make Recruitment a Breeze
Understanding how their products perform in the real-world environments of their customers is one of the main reasons companies run user tests. But making the absolute most out of your user tests starts with finding and recruiting the right testers — the ones whose demographics and technographics align with your target audience.
Finding the right testers is a huge struggle for many user testing teams. But qualified testers are out there and they want to work with you — and we've got a resource to help you find them. Download the Recruitment Kit and start bringing your ideal testers into your community.