With thousands of new app submissions on the app stores, beta testing before approval and launch can get quite stressful. Make sure that you are 100% ready to press send and follow these 13 tips to help you establish a top-notch beta testing process and present your app in the best possible way.
- Know that beta testing will take you from eight to 10 weeks minimum for a full round. Less than that could result in inaccurate reports and wouldn’t give you the depth of insights you need to iterate the app.
- Create a landing page that is designated for beta tester signups. Explain the app features and how it works, information about your beta program, and a sign-up form to acquire leads.
- Register your beta testers in a program where they sign an agreement to regularly send you feedback and bugs. This will psychologically prepare them to commit and send you significant reports.
- You must ensure that the testers sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). It will protect your test results and give you a way to reinforce privacy. The NDA should specify a time frame in which your company or app information is not to be shared before the app goes live.
- Try to avoid getting beta testers who you know because they wouldn’t be objective when giving you their opinion about the app. Be smart about who you choose to include in the beta testing program and never hand out your beta version to any potential sales leads. Give the latter a bug-free, near perfect app so that they are more likely to promote it.
- Aim for a new build every two weeks to give the beta testers time to try it and give you substantial feedback. If you ship many builds in a short time frame, your beta testers could get quite confused and the monitoring process will be harder for you.
- Use an in-app feedback mechanism to encourage your testers to send feedback and bugs. It will make it easier for them to report a bug instead of sending e-mails and manual reports. At Instabug, we’ve collected billions of bugs, and we’ve found out that using in-app feedback mechanism results in 750% more user feedback. Help them to help you!
- Avoid adding new features during beta testing. This might lead you to restart the testing process from the beginning because of any unforeseen side effects you didn’t anticipate.
- Always give incentives to your testers. If your app is paid, give it to your testers for free or give them a discount for a specific in-app purchase (i.e: more lives or power-ups). You could also give them T-shirts or mugs with the logo of your app, especially if it’s a gaming one. Offering them a free coffee at Starbucks or a free voucher to their favorite stores (Amazon, Virgin, etc.) is also guaranteed to make them happy.
- If one of your testers is not responsive, contact them at once and remind them of their involvement. You should set certain criteria for them to meet; if they don’t meet them, then it’s not necessary to keep them in the test. Just don’t forget to ask for your software back to avoid it being leaked before the release.
- If you are distributing your app through TestFlight, you will need to plan time ahead if you want to get external users. It might take them a while (a few hours to a couple of days) to review the app and approve it for external testing.
- If you distribute many test builds, you need to differentiate between them. Adding a timestamp, different source control number, and references in your logs is crucial to ensure that reports are issued and reproduced easily.
- Get your app reviewed on several websites before you submit it to any of the app stores. This will allow you to discover any possible glitch that went unnoticed in the beta testing process and give you confidence before sending your app to the public.
As you go through the beta testing process, make sure that you strategize and choose the best work frames, tools, and models for your app. Depending on your app's purpose or genre, know who your users are and what they want in order to deliver a 360-degree solution.
NOW IT'S YOUR TURN: What are your beta testing process tips and tricks? Share them with our community in the comments below.