Beta Testers: What is the best way to find good beta testers?


9

For a website that involves video uploading what is the best way to find people to participate in a closed beta trial?

  1. how many people should I try and get to become testers?
  2. how should I ask people to participate?
  3. other than immediate friends and family, where is the best place to locate beta tester?
  4. what have you learned from your beta testing experience (either from participating in one or being the host of one)?

Thanks so much for any guidance.

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asked Oct 23 '09 at 18:16
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Adam Webber
314 points

5 Answers


7

Check out Prefinery and Centercode.

answered Oct 23 '09 at 18:40
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Pbreit
379 points
  • Wow, those are both great. I'll look more into them. thanks – Adam Webber 9 years ago
  • Prefinery is great, it is also a very cool startup, try them out http://www.prefinery.com/Ricardo 9 years ago
  • didn't know such a company exist, great idea. – The Dictator 9 years ago
  • Also using prefinery, in the very early stages but only good things so far – Jer Levine 9 years ago

6

If you have clear competition, try to engage with their power-users. You'll get plenty of blunt feedback, and while it might be scary, this is the best feedback you can get. The second population is easily defined as your target customers. Get the product into the hands of those you intend to attract in the future. They will be a huge source of information and one you can't overlook. Never assume you know what your users need.

Don't rely on friends and family, especially those without a lot of experience in your space. Everyone will of course love your new venture, but you can end up operating in a warm and fuzzy bubble which is not reality.

This of course assumes that your interpretation of "beta" is to polish the product. Some companies use the beta stage for different purposes (testing scalability, etc.)

Overall, it's quality not quantity of beta testers. The ones who will give feedback are key. Search Twitter for the names of your competitors, find their fans, and engage with them. Also, seek out early adopters like @scobelizer, etc. These people see tons of software, and will have valuable insight as well.

Just my two cents. Best of luck!

answered Oct 24 '09 at 02:00
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Justyn
892 points
  • Solid feedback, especially about not relying on fuzzy comments of F&F. Tracking down competitions top users sounds like a very smart angle & focusing on quality over quantity. Thanks. – Adam Webber 9 years ago

2

I'm going lo tech and lo cost here but I've used Craigslist before and gotten great results. Just clearly outline the qualifications you're looking for and unless it's something way out of the ordinary, you'll probably get a ton of responses. Like, a ton.

answered Oct 25 '09 at 00:36
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Tager
61 points
  • I agree, I just looked and they have a volunteers section that I think this falls nicely into. Thanks for the post. – Adam Webber 9 years ago

2

If you just want many people with different types of computers and different graphics cards to try your service to verify it works, then I'd try Amazon's Mechanical Turk.

You need to provide a clear set of tasks and a way of tracking their success on your system (ideally by creating accounts for each of the testers). It's a very inexpensive way to get a large number of people trying your service.

answered Oct 24 '09 at 07:21
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Denis Hennessy
1,363 points
  • I have heard many interesting things about the Turks mico tasking powers but have always been to intimidated by the process to give it a try. I'll look further into it. Thanks. – Adam Webber 9 years ago

1

Pay them :)

Honestly, an offer of money or freebies will encourage people to do anything. It will also encourage them to repost/tweet your offer to friends.

Also, try UserTesting.com.

The two things I've learned from beta testing:

  • Users will always do it differently than you expected.
  • Someone, somewhere, will always have an obscure OS/Browser combination you haven't tried.
answered Nov 20 '09 at 01:24
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Jon Hadley
161 points

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