How To Run Live User Testing (aka: Or, Just Give Us a Call)

Brendan Mulligan, co-founder and designer of the community photo sharing app Cluster, recently posted a series of articles on TechCrunch, detailing the importance of live user testing and how a comprehensive plan could be built and executed. The recipe breaks down something like this:

1) Define the parameters of the project:

  • What are you testing? (e.g. iOS app, Android app, desktop app)
  • Why are you testing? (e.g. functionality, usability, security, localization, load)
  • How are you going to test? (define scope, hardware and OS requirements, maybe write a test case)
  • Who is going to test? (define desired tester characteristics)
  • When are you going to test?
  • Where are you going to test?

2) Pre-test admin:

  • Recruit, select and finalize test team and testing schedules
  • Acquire the needed testing equipment, devices and additional required resources

3) Execution:

  • Prepare testing spaces, if applicable
  • Onboard testers, explain scope and requirements, explain bug reporting and feedback processes
  • Run live user tests
  • Collect and organize bug reports, user feedback and any related materials like screenshots user videos
  • Administrate tester compensation and debriefing if applicable

4) Post test analysis and action:

  • Assemble bug reports, user feedback and related materials into consumable, sharable and hopefully quantifiable formats
  • Distribute data and information to dev team members
  • Collaborate with team members to identify and prioritize actionable items
  • Develop the next iteration of the product
  • Plan to run that next iteration through another live user testing plan

Rinse and repeat throughout the life of the product.

With small scale live user testing needs, DIY might be indeed be a viable path for many digital experience developers. But with modern-day digital globalization there’s really no such thing as ‘small scale’ anymore – especially when you start factoring in mobile fragmentation and localization demands. This is why we do what we do. After all, your end goal isn’t testing for testing’s sake, it’s to deliver amazing digital experiences – whether it’s desktop, mobile, wearable, web or native app – that captivate, engage, and keep customers.

Off hand, if you’re curious about what your own DIY costs might look like, we’ve got a handy calculator that can do just that.

Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing

2014 STPCon Recap

247931_220967294594067_6157694_aLast week the Software Test Professional Conference traveled down to New Orleans. Bookended by the French Quarter Festival and the Jazz Festival, I think we all know who brought the real party to NOLA. The four day conference was jam packed with information on test strategy, performance testing, automation testing, mobile testing and leadership perspectives for testers. In addition to standard sessions the folks at STP also debuted a few new session formats, including roundtable discussions and keynote debates.

Tuesday, the first full day of the conference, kicked off with a debate between Rex Black and Cem Kaner. The topic up for debate was, do schools of testing help advance the field of software testing or do they have a negative impact on the industry? It was an interesting conversation and while they disagreed on a lot, ultimately both parties agreed that schools of testing are not inherently negative – as long as discourse remains civil and folks keep an open mind.

The first session I attended was delivered by Pradeep Govindasamy and focused on Mobile Application Testing – Through the Customer’s Eyes. In his session, Pradeep states that prevailing trends point to a steep upward curve in both volume and expenditures on mobile application projects. To that end, organizations must ensure they understand the risks associated with multiple platform and OS usage, and have the proper processes in place in order to stay ahead of this curve.

Unfortunately I was not able to attend any additional sessions on Tuesday, however I did have the pleasure of speaking with many of the conference attendees at the two Sponsor Showcases held that afternoon and evening. We even gave away an iPad Mini to one very lucky fellow – this gentleman won not one but two iPad Minis in the span of mere minutes!

On Wednesday I began my day by being forced selected to participate in a little improv comedy. Nothing gets the blood flowing quite like a game of ‘Moving People’. After being embarrassed motivated I found my way to a session on Interviewing Testers by Rex Black. As Rex points out, a problem employee can consume as much as 50% of their manager’s time, so hiring the right people is critical. In his talk, Rex discusses strategies that will allow managers to overcome hiring challenges and ensure that they and their teams are set up for long term success.

After that, I attended a Round Table discussion on mobile testing. It was interesting to hear that despite the shift toward mobile applications and platforms, in many organizations the infrastructure to support mobile testing is still in its infancy.  It’s clear that many organizations still have a lot to learn when it comes to mobile testing which really drives home the importance of knowledge-sharing events like STP.

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Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing

How to Run a Software Testing Sprint (and Marathon)

Boston MarathonEndurance, speed, support and training. Not only are these traits a necessity for testing in Scrum sprint (more on this in a second), they are also the traits needed to finish a real marathon in one piece. No one knows each of these points better than Doron Reuveni, uTest’s CEO and Co-Founder.

Today – for the sixth time in as many years – Doron will be running in the Boston Marathon. After steady improvements each year, we fully expect him to win this year’s race. Anything less will be a major disappointment – no pressure! If you’re interested in keeping track of his progress, you can follow his Twitter handle (yes, he tweets mid-race) or search the official Boston Marathon website. Best of luck Doron!

Of course, running 26.2 miles isn’t easy – and as mentioned earlier – neither is testing in a Scrum sprint. So to stick with the running motif, I wanted to share a few scrum testing tips courtesy of testing expert Clemens Reijnen. Titled 5 Tips for Getting Software Testing Done in the Scrum Sprint, this article explains how to avoid some of the pitfalls and confusion that can often occur with what’s come to be known as “agile testing.” Let’s take a closer look at three points in particular (followed by our own take):

Tip #1: Get a Team
This is actually not a tip, it is a must. This is a kind of obvious but not common and the hardest thing to accomplish. Get a team, get testing knowledge in your team. When you don’t have it, you will fail. Teams and companies have failed to reach their agile software development goals only because it was impossible to get different disciplines together in a team.

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Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing

Do Testers Still Own Landline Phones?

Testers, especially those within the uTest Community, are at the forefront of mobile technology. From iPhones, to Android tablets, to even the latest smartwatches and fitness devices, uTesters often are armed with 5, 10, even 20 devices at a time for various testing projects.

So one would think that if anyone on the planet was going to own a ghastly piece of 1990s technology like a landline phone, it wouldn’t be testers.

But you’d be wrong.

According to a recent poll kicked off in the uTest Community, in fact, 64% of uTesters have landline phones still in their homes, and it’s not just for nostalgia.


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Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing

Capture Pokémon, Work for Google

pokemonFor most companies, April 1st is a less-than-ideal date in which to launch an app or a major update, as consumers, media and other interested parties might take it to be a prank. Google is not most companies.

The tech giant just released a mini-game in the update of its “Maps” application. Unlike most updates, this one incorporates a healthy dose of Pokémon. For those unfamiliar, Pokémon is a Nintendo-owned media franchise involving card games, video games, cartoons and movies that feature trainers capturing wild “Pokémon” creatures with special abilities. Once captured, they are trained to fight and pitted in battles against one another. At least that’s what I’m told.

Of course, Google is known for being quite a prankster, with a long list of similar April Fool’s Day pranks (seriously, a LONG list), however they have also peppered in a number of real releases on April 1, including Gmail. In fact, Gmail was thought to be a hoax, because at the time a free email service with a gigabyte of storage was an entirely new concept. Safe to say that one worked out pretty well.

So is this recent Pokémon update to Google’s Map application a hoax or the real deal? It seems a bit of both – at least we hope! The video promo they put together shows Poke-enthusiasts travelling the world, and “finding” Pokémon using an incredible looking augmented reality app within Google maps to capture their very own Pokémon. The video also promises any person that can capture all 150 Pokémon will have a chance to work at Google, with the title of “Pokémon Master”. Unfortunately, it’s a pretty good bet that these aspects are the hoax portion of their prank.

If you’re willing to take that chance in order to become a Pokémon Master, here’s how to get started:

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Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing