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Beta testers - can you give me your advice on beta testing?

09-03-2009, 10:33 AM
#1
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 1
Beta testers - can you give me your advice on beta testing?

Hi, I'm a n00b dev on the iPhone.

I'm doing my homework before I get my app into the App Store, and wanted to find out how most devs do their beta testing.

There seems to be many beta testers here on this forum, so it would be great if you could share your experience with me. It would help me setup a good beta test.

I have some questions that I'd like feedback on:
  • Do dev's make you sign legal stuff like a non-disclosure agreement (NDA)?
  • How do you give feedback to the devs?
  • E-mail?
  • Website form?
  • Dev's private forum?
  • Web-based bug testing software?
  • IM like Skype, MSN, AOL, etc?
  • Do dev's typically provide you with readmes or quick-start guides for the app that include info like known issues, control instructions, etc?

If you have any other suggestions based on your beta testing experience, that would be great! I'd like to find out what NOT to do.

Your help would be appreciated!
09-03-2009, 11:01 AM
#2
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,206
Quote:
Originally Posted by tom182 View Post
Do dev's make you sign legal stuff like a non-disclosure agreement (NDA)?
Usually not. I've had to sign one for all I've beta tested. Mostly it's been verbal agreements not to blab until it's ready to be revealed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tom182 View Post
How do you give feedback to the devs?
Usually E-Mail, but some have set up mailing lists, too. Bigger devs sometimes have a beta site set up just for testing. Never had to use bug testing software or anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tom182 View Post
Do dev's typically provide you with readmes or quick-start guides for the app that include info like known issues, control instructions, etc?
Depends on how far along the development path it is before entering the beta phase. I've been on projects that started almost from square one to garner feedback during the entire design process, and some that were nearing final stages and were using feedback just to tweak and find bugs. Most of the time I've just gotten some basic instructions and been told to have at it and report any issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tom182 View Post
If you have any other suggestions based on your beta testing experience, that would be great! I'd like to find out what NOT to do.

Your help would be appreciated!
I would say that garnering feedback from pure end users (those whom would be your target audience) is great and important for shaping the game's development and gathering suggestions from a player's perspective to help it appeal to an audience consisting of people like themselves. However, it's also good to pair that with people who are experienced in finding, reproducing, and reporting bugs in detail. People with some programming or technical background are usually great for this; some end users can be good at it too, but technical-minded people I find are best because they know what sort of paces to put it through and how to report and reproduce any bugs they find as a result.

Also, try and have as broad a range of device owners as possible so as to be able to gauge performance and discover any issues with specific devices. It helps to include at least one or two jailbroken device owners too in addition to non-jailbroken ones, because jailbroken devices can present unique issues not found on clean devices.

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09-03-2009, 11:46 AM
#3
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,657
Do dev's make you sign legal stuff like a non-disclosure agreement (NDA)?
Some of them but thats because I tested some games from big devs so yea can't tell NDA
How do you give feedback to the devs?
E-mail, on site(right on the spot), and also in a private group here in TA
E-mail?
Yes
Website form?
Yup
Dev's private forum?
Private group here on TA so yea
Web-based bug testing software?
Nope
IM like Skype, MSN, AOL, etc?
Nope not in my experiences. All of them prefer email or a group
Do dev's typically provide you with readmes or quick-start guides for the app that include info like known issues, control instructions, etc?
All of them told me how to install

Quote:
Originally Posted by Somerandomdude View Post
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