Beta Testing and its Role in Software Development lifecycle

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Beta Testing

The ultimate goal of developing software is to provide end-users with a perfect and flawless user experience. The end product needs to be bug-free and easy to use. Program testing enables you to monitor the software and determine if it meets your expectations. Hence, it is one of the essential steps in the software development life cycle.

Bug testing can be helpful, and at the same time, the process can be fun. Software testing guarantees product quality and serves both customer and user needs. In addition, it promises improved business optimization, reliability, and excellent experience.

Beta testing is another kind of acceptance test. A beta test is the second stage of software testing, in which a representative sample of the target audience is allowed to try out the product. Early user experience is shared with developers who make final improvements before commercial releases of the software. Let’s know what exactly Beta testing is and how it will benefit you.

Beta Testing Basics

What is Beta testing? How will it benefit my business? These are some of the concerns that we have.

Beta Testing is a customer validation approach for assessing customer satisfaction with the product. It allows the end-users to use and evaluate the product over a certain period of time. Beta tests give a thorough exploration of various new features added to the software that helps understand how acceptable the feature is.

Product managers, sales teams, user experience (UX) teams, and quality management play a key role in beta testing products. The actual prospective consumers of the product must be included because they provide an authentic perspective and essential information. Their feedback helps improve the software, and it would be easy for developers to deal with the detected flaws.

The goal of beta testing companies is to find and repair critical/important issues and recommend user experience enhancements that can be made before the product is released. The final product is ready to go into the continuous development phase when the end-users are familiar with the product and happy.

Why is Beta Testing Conducted?

Below are some of the pointers that explain why Beta testing is conducted:

  • It helps in understanding what the end-users think about the software. The product is tested by the users, which makes Beta testing more accurate.
  • It offers the first chance to evaluate software outside the setting of the lab or stage in an existing production environment. This guarantees that the program can operate in real working conditions and all work as expected at speed, storage, and scalability.
  • The test is conducted by varied users so that each aspect of the product can be tested as each user has a different reason to use the software.
  • The beta test checks the product’s real-world compatibility to a larger extent.
  • This test also helps detect hidden problems and gaps in an end-product since a wide range of platforms used by the end-user during the QA may not be available to the internal testing team.
  • If any bug remains unidentified during the testing the product will fail. Thus, it helps to find bugs and improve on them and make the software compatible for all platforms.

Process of Beta Testing

There is no standard way of conducting beta testing. However, by following specific regulation steps, it can be carried out perfectly.

Product test documentation

A test document helps participants access the instructions of the test whenever they want. For eg. how to use or how to set up etc. Whether the documentation is created before or during the testing it helps the team in many ways. A comprehensive set of documents allows you to define and document test planning, test design, test execution, and test results.

Tools for beta testing

There are various tools for reporting bugs and collecting feedback from beta testers which will help simplify the process of testing. New beta testing tools and features are released to make your test flight go as smoothly as possible. Many testing tools can gather individuals. Making your software available for test flights is only as good as the plane itself. Its tools assist you in avoiding a program crash once it is released.

Check internally

Conducting alpha testing before moving on to beta testing is the right move. It makes no sense to conduct both the alpha test and beta test at the same time. It gets confusing for the testers. Hence all the checks must be made clearly and later should be forwarded for beta testing.

Be selective with platforms and devices

Testing of the software on several platforms and devices is highly vital. The users can be using different platforms; hence including them will give you issues from the actual user experience. You can also designate certain individuals to test on a specific platform to ensure that all the foundations are covered.

Allocation of the beta tester

One needs to make sure that how many testers will be needed to carry out the complete testing process. The size of the project determines the number of testers working on it. Remember, you will not receive genuine feedback from all testers. Some of them will not find any flaws, while others will tell you how much they like the program despite its flaws. It is said that too many testers are also not required. Hence, decide on the number of testers from the size of the project.

Beta tester persona

Personas are fictitious characters you construct whose characteristics correspond to certain groups of your target market. It is important to create a persona and follow that in the entire testing process. Think about your target audience’s skills and how your tests could be affected. Construct the beta test to obtain the essential details.

Decide a timeframe

Any process can’t go on forever. There should be a certain time limit decided. The testing process should not be carried in a hurry but should also not take long. The time required to maintain the test also depends on the length of the project. Consider all the aspects and decide on a timeframe that will help manage things on time.

Time to choose beta testers

Carrying the testing with a wide range of beta testers gives more opinions and helps to make the product more and more user-friendly. Although some people may ideally engage, the project must establish a minimum and maximum restriction on the number of individuals participating owing to funding limits. Choosing the beta testers wisely is really important.

Feedbacks

Feedbacks are the most important part of it. Feedback is examined to analyze and fulfill the client’s requirements. When you get the feedback, make every possible effort to solve them and improve the app before release.

Types of Beta Testing

Yes, there are different types of beta testing. Further, let’s see how these types cover all the aspects of testing.

  • Closed Beta Testing: The beta test released to a close group or limited people is known as the closed beta testing version. The people selected for the closed version of testing are the ones who are already using the product or the paid testers. The software development company itself sends an invite to these groups of people. Feedbacks are gathered regarding all the essential aspects of the product and sent for improvements.
  • Open Beta Testing: It is also known as public beta testing. The product is made available to the broader public through internet means, and anybody can contribute their feedback. This allows users to spread the word about your product by sharing it with other potential customers while also collecting valuable feedback.
  • Technical Beta Testing: In this type of Beta testing, the software is tested by an internal group of employees who are also technically sound. This testing aims to find complicated flaws and deliver high-quality test execution reports to the development team. These groups of testers have technical knowledge, which is why the test is carried out with more details.
  • Focused Beta Testing: This is more of feature-based testing where the team gathers information on the particular features introduced in the software. Features like functionalities are tested. The product is released in the market for focused beta testing.
  • Marketing Beta Testing: This type of testing aims to make the audience aware and get media attention. In general, this form of beta testing might aid in the evaluation of your marketing channels. This way, we also know how the user will react to functionalities.
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The Changes Taking Place In Beta Testing

Many believe that beta testing is an outdated version of testing, but the more accurate companies want to bring in their software depends on beta testing itself. People have mixed opinions; they think the modern way of product development and pre-release testing won’t do them justice. There are some reasons why people feel the same way.

Not knowing about beta testing is one of the reasons. Because of the inability to administer the test correctly and a variety of other circumstances, it’s difficult to determine how successful it is and where there’s space for improvement. Taking tests for various features simultaneously makes it confusing and leads to feedback that is not to the point or decisive.

Also, the time constraints are a point of concern. When the project is already not on time, the testers have no time to conduct a beta test. As these many things are not going the right way, the feedback will also be affected.

The changing demands of the industry are also demanding new and improvised tactics of beta testing. The old one does not work. To acquire consumer data and transform it into powerful product enhancements, you’ll need updated procedures, better tools, tried approaches, and best practices. Hence, evolution in Beta testing methods can help gain a deeper understanding of the flaws in software, if there are any.

Conclusion

I hope this article clears many of the doubts related to beta testing. Beta testing is an excellent method to test your product with actual consumers before its release. The products are different, and so is the purpose of testing. However, they remain the same in providing customers with a great user experience.

Beta tests take a lot of effort and commitment since they involve managing numerous things simultaneously, like a beta test environment in parallel to current production releases, the recruitment and management of beta testers, and the gathering and analysis of communication and feedback. However, all the work pays off as the Beta tested product is high quality and corresponds with the newest upgrades.

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Bluein Christian
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Content Writer with experience of 6+ years. Have experience writing content for different industries, such as travel, education, fashion, and more. A creative person by birth and by profession. She loves learning new concepts and creating useful content about them. She loves traveling and is always up for new challenges.

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