Mobile applications are a core market for any business that thrives off of tech consumers. Its strong relation with the booming smart device market and their symbiotic relationship make it so mobile apps will be a major source of income for developers for the foreseeable future, but if you want to create an application that will put a mark on the industry, it has to be a very good one, as competition is stiffer than ever.
Part of the recipe for a successful app lies with locating and eliminating any kind of bug or problem that would otherwise negatively impact the customer experience. To find everything that’s wrong or just not clicking, you must have feedback, someone or something letting you know what needs to be change. Starting with the closest people around you is good, such as team members and people involved in the development process, but what you really need is the opinion of the consumers, the people that you want to sell the app to. The best way of finding out what they want is by asking them. This feedback takes places during the beta testing phase, which any app must go through. The quality of the beta phase can dictate whether or not an app will be successful or just another icon on the app market interface.
Once you are ready to start the beta phase, carefully select the beta testing group. This group should include multiple types of devices. Creating an app for a limited number of handsets is a huge detriment for any project. Try to include as much diversity as you can.
The beta group should include people you don’t know but that you can trust. In other words, it is vital that the people giving you feedback during beta are as objective as possible. This can be hindered if you only involve family members and friends, and you’ll sooner or later find out that your perception of the app progress is skewed.
Now you have the beta app and you have the beta group. All that’s missing is a beta platform. You need a platform where people can test out the app and also give feedback. Try finding an accessible platform where you can start a beta testing group. You could also set up a feedback system within the app itself. This will make it so that testers have a highly accessible feedback at their disposal.
You can use this group platform to not only receive information about how testing is going, but also distribute new information such as beta builds, tester duties and expectations you have from each tester. You can consider this space the equivalent of a conference room. This is where information goes back and forth between you and the testing group.
Keep testers in check
Once the process has started, it is very important that you manage and take care of your testers, so that you may ensure several things. First, you need to make sure that each tester does their part, and that each of them sends you regular updates and feedback. Slackers will only delay or hinder your operation.
Make sure to remind them what it is they’re feedback is for. Speaking of which, you also have to set up a reward plan that will entice the testers to give their best during beta testing. It’s up to you what kind of rewards awaits them, just make sure it’s something worth their time. You could guarantee extra or deluxe features for free once the app launches, which otherwise would require payment, or give them the whole app for free.
Set up the app launch
Don’t rush and launch your app as soon as you think it’s ready. Test out the app in small increments. This will help you find and put the finishing touches on some of the remaining bugs or issues. Release it in a limited amount to just one market, and do a full release once the app is operating at 110%. Consider releasing your app on a lower tier app market at first. If there are any major problems discovered on a major market, it might be too hard to bounce back from a launch fiasco. If the app is fine on a smaller market, you can step it up and launch your app on the App Store or Google Play.
A very important thing to take from all this, is the fact that successful apps aren’t born overnight. They require a lot of time and nurturing, and the beta phase is where a lot of that happens. Beta offers app developers all the answers they need to make their app successful. It’s the developer’s job to know how to set their app up for critical acclaim, starting with beta testing.