Can My Company Use Crowdsourced App Testing? The Answer May Surprise
Although the concept of crowdsourced app testing is fairly new, it has gained a lot of momentum in just a short period of time. More and more companies are realising its potential for identifying bugs and vulnerabilities so they can swiftly make adjustments.
Not only does this improve user experience, it often expedites an app’s time-to-market. Considering the fact that many companies are under pressure with a rush to release, this is a tremendous asset.
However, the nuts and bolts of the process still remain a little murky for some companies.
Is crowdsourced app testing a viable solution for your company?
Can your company even use it in the first place?
Is it applicable to your industry?
These are all common questions that businesses have. This post will help you gain a better understanding of the methodologies behind the process and let you know whether or not it’s right for your company.
Types of Testing
First of all, it’s helpful to understand which specific elements of your app are tested. This gives you a better idea of how practical it truly is.
When you break it all down, there are three main types of testing - functionality, usability and security.
Functionality refers to the ease in which people can use your app. This includes things like menu navigation, text inputting, search features and so on. The end goal is to ensure that your app’s functions meet your original design specifications and users don’t encounter unwanted obstacles.
Usability is just like it sounds. This can include testing your app’s speed, responsiveness, content and overall flow. Offering great usability is key for making users feel comfortable with your app and eliminating unnecessary friction.
Finally, there’s security, which is a growing concern for developers in the 21st century. Gartner says that 75 per cent or more of mobile apps would fail basic security tests. Misconfigurations or poor coding can leave your app vulnerable and open to attacks.
So it’s in the best interest of most companies to make sure that their app undergoes rigorous analysis.
Security testing is used to minimise risks and prevent a range of attacks such as data theft, denial of service, takeover, etc. This is primarily done by using ethical hackers to identify vulnerabilities.
These individuals are often members of recognised security groups such as OWASP, NULL and DEFCON. They’re able to generate reports that highlight potential risks and problem areas pre-deployment before real hackers do.
If any of these three areas are a concern for your company, crowdsourced app testing is a smart move.
Crowdsourced testing gives you a distinct advantage over competitors who skimp on testing and lets you launch your app with greater confidence.
Common Industries That Use Crowdtesting
You may also be wondering if crowdtesting can be performed on apps in your specific industry. More often than not, it can.
In fact, there are solutions for a wide array of industries. Here are just a few examples:
Retail and e-commerce
Education and learning
Games and gaming
Healthcare and fitness
Travel and leisure
As you can see, these industries run the gamut, so there’s a strong chance that crowdsourced app testing can be done in your industry. It’s simply a matter of discussing your objectives upfront and choosing a package that fits your needs.
For instance, a digital retailer might want to test their shopping cart to ensure that it’s functioning properly when customers make a purchase. A company in the financial services industry might place an emphasis on security to protect its users’ sensitive data.
Regardless of your company’s specific needs and objectives, crowdtesting has numerous applications.
Where is it most useful?
For starters, this form of app testing enables you to gain a deeper understanding of what your average user’s experience is like. It allows you to put yourself in their shoes.
By utilising multiple testers, you get an overarching vantage point of how users are responding and common issues they’re experiencing. This translates into plenty of high quality, unbiased feedback that’s essential for fine-tuning your app and making critical adjustments.
Next, there’s the load test. Sure, your app may work flawlessly when just a single user is on it. But it may be a different story entirely when there are multiple users accessing at once. Increased demand can create issues that you didn’t know were present initially.
Taking this approach will let you know how your app functions with this increased demand. If there are problems, they can be resolved prior to deployment.
It’s also important to remember that an application may be used in a variety of geographical locations with differing weather conditions and network conditions. You’ll want to know how it behaves if someone is using your app on the other side of the world.
Finally, there’s the issue of device compatibility. There are a plethora of different devices that may be used at any given time to access your application. You can’t expect every single person to use an up-to-date iOS device.
Crowdsourced testing is ideal because it can cover 20 to 50 devices. Any compatibility issues will be brought to light so problems can be resolved before your app is launched.
At this point, we’ve discussed the various types of testing that can be performed, some industries where apps are commonly tested and the specific areas in which testing can be utilised.
But how does this translate into advantages?
Crowdsourced testing can benefit your company in numerous way, but there are three key areas you’ll be most interested in.
First, there’s cost. When compared to alternatives such as in-house quality assurance, crowd testing tends to be much cheaper. In fact, it can drive down overall test costs by as much as 50 - 70 percent.
When compared to alternatives such as in-house quality assurance, crowd testing can be 50-70% cheaper.
That’s because you’re not having to invest major money into full-time QA hires or on purchasing dozens of devices. So the savings can really add up in a hurry.
Next, there’s the matter of speed and efficiency. The length of a test cycle typically ranges anywhere from three to six days, so you’re not wasting weeks or even months on meticulous testing.
By tapping into thousands of testers all over the world, you can streamline the process and quickly get the results you need. This shortens your time-to-market significantly.
Third, you have access to a wide range of expert testers. These individuals come from diverse backgrounds, which translates into a fresh, objective perspective on your app. By having such a large talent pool, you can build a superior finished product and cover all of the bases.
When Crowdsourced App Testing Makes Sense
Your app is an extension of your company’s brand. Launching an app that’s buggy, contains security vulnerabilities or is generally unstable can damage your reputation.
Security in particular is a big deal these days.
In turn, companies are placing a bigger emphasis on achieving high security standards. The World Quality Report 2016-17 interviewed 1,600 senior executives across 32 countries and found that 80 percent of respondents said the top priority of their QA efforts was to improve application security.
If your app’s security isn’t what it should be, crowd testing is a smart move. It will help you catch vulnerabilities before it’s too late.
When it comes to acquiring a pool of talented testers, this simply isn’t feasible for many companies to do in-house. Assembling your own team of QA testers can be both costly and a hassle.
In this case, crowdsourced testing is usually your best option. Using a service and predefined testing package allows you to select a package that’s the perfect fit for your business.
You can choose the number of testers, number of devices, length of test cycle and so on. Not only is this far more cost effective than in-house QA, it’s way more flexible as well. This way you can get the precise services you need without overspending on extraneous ones that aren’t really necessary.
The bottom line is that crowdsourced app testing is quickly becoming the go-to option for comprehensive app analysis. More and more companies are realising its potential and understanding the vast array of benefits that comes along with it.
Not only can you get detailed results on the functionality, usability and security of your app, you can get them in a hurry. This ultimately means you can deploy your app more quickly and bring it to market with full confidence of a great user experience.
Crowdtesting is applicable for companies across numerous industries. Whether it’s retail, IT, travel or manufacturing, it can be used to optimise your app.
At first glance, it may seem like something that’s only viable for large companies with deep pockets. However, this just isn’t the case. There are a variety of options available with some of the most basic costing under $1,000 USD.
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