Loading

Beta Testing Checklist


Software development is a process by which standalone or individual software is created using a specific programming language. This process though may appear quite easy and exciting, it is full of complicated and diverse development, testing, and management techniques, methodologies and tools. Each of these methods and techniques require special attention of expert software developers and testers, who are dedicated to develop and deliver a product that is of exceptional quality and has state-of-the-art-functionality, effectiveness, performance and efficiency. Beta testing is also a part of Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) and is the second phase of software testing, wherein a sampling of the intended audience tries and tests the product to validate its effectiveness and functionality. Beta testing is a very critical phase of the whole project, as it uncovers all the discrepancies detected by the end users. Therefore, to define Beta Testing’s importance in Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), here is a description of the same.

What is Beta Testing?

Also known as field testing, beta testing is executed before the release of a product. Through this type of testing the developers and testers try to find any defects or errors in the system, which are only visible the end user, once the product is delivered. Beta testing involves, sending the product to beta test sites, which is outside the testing environment, for real world exposure. Moreover, it adds a key measurement to quality testing, by testing the product under a wide spectrum of situation that can't be reproduced in a lab setting. Beta testing is the most appropriate way of testing a product before its release, as it ensures that all defects and errors are fixed and removed in the software and it is ready for its release in the software industry.

Benefits of Beta Testing:

From the above mentioned points we can conclude that beta testing is a very important part of software testing process. Apart from playing a major role in software development cycle, it provides a vast array of benefits to the team of software testers also. With the assistance of beta testing, testers all over the world can detect any discrepancies in the product from the user end, by subjecting the software product to test, which is performed by real clients in the real or virtual surroundings before its release. Other benefits of this testing are mentioned below:

  • One can get a developed application into the hands of the users prior to releasing it to the general public.
  • Users can install as well as test the application, and send their feedbacks to the developers, during beta testing period.
  • With the received feedback, testers can fix all the issues and problems encountered by the end user before the product is released for public use.
  • Beta testing allows developers and testers to deliver high quality software or application.
  • It improves the performance and functionality of the software.
  • Adds value to the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC).

Beta Testing Checklist:

To ensure that all the aspects of the software are tested properly, software testers should prepare a checklist, which can assist them in tracking and monitoring the progress of their project. Moreover, this checklist allows them to test the minutest detail of the software thoroughly, which further validates software’s quality and performance. Therefore, here is a beta testing checklist, which will inform testers what they should test in beta testing:

  1. Content: The content of the project should be tested for the following things:
    • Match copy onscreen to specifications document.
    • Keep an eye out for typos that may have snuck past the review team.
    • Footer should be tested along with the details of copyright info, privacy policy, sitemap etc.
    • Popups, sliders, animations etc. for impact and functionality.
    • Verify whether web-safe fonts have been used as fall backs and tested.
  2. Search Optimization and Analytics: Elements listed under this are:
    • Meta-tags and metadata.
    • Keywords such as, title tag, h1 tag, image alt tags and more.
    • SEO landing pages (content and functionality).
  3. User Experience and Acceptance Testing: Here all elements related to user experience and analytics should be include. Like:
    • Review final website VS the Specifications document and Business Rules.
    • Hyperlinks.
    • Logos.
    • Overall usability.
    • Page optimization, like reduction of landing page load times, animations images or videos.
    • Form submissions (login, signup, join email list etc.).
    • Search fields.
  4. Compatibility: The compatibility of the software should be tested with:
    • Targeted web browsers, such as Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer etc. Moreover, they should test the versions their user base is using.
    • Compatibility with devices like Apple and Android tablets and smartphones.
    • They should review layouts at different screen sizes.
  5. Security:
    • Penetration scanning testing should be done to uncover security vulnerabilities.
    • Implementation of a SSL certificate (if applicable).

Challanges Encountered While Performing Beta Testing:

Facing challenges while executing testing is a very common factor. Testers all around the world come across many challenges or issues while performing various tests on their project, which makes the process of development slow and time consuming. Similarly, while performing beta testing on the pre-released software, testers encounter several hurdles that affect the speed, cost and time of testing. These challenges are:

  1. Dedicating Qualified Resources: The process of beta testing is initiated at the last stage of software development, when the product team is trying to close up every loose end and has a little time or energy to focus on beta.
  2. Recruiting Skilled Beta Testers: Finding an adequate pool of dedicated, target oriented and unbiased tester is a difficult task.
  3. Collecting Relevant Feedback: As not all the provided feedback is valuable, finding any feedback that helps to improvise the quality of the product is quite challenging.
  4. Organizing and Distributing Feedback: Distributing the right feedback to the right people is a complicated and time-consuming task.

Common Mistakes Made in Beta Testing:

There are innumerable reasons for the results of beta testing to go wrong. From wrong inputs and badly managed incentives to any technical error made by a programmer or a tester can affect the quality of best test’s result. Therefore, it is best to check for these common mistakes made in beta testing, to ensure that you get best outcomes. These mistakes are:

  • Lack of Universal Best program support.
  • No well-defined plan.
  • Understanding ramp-up time requirements.
  • Releasing a non-viable product to the best test.
  • If the number of beta tester is too high or too low.
  • Too short or too long testing period.
  • Poorly motivated or managed testers.
  • The use of ineffective tools, which results in loss of time and feedback.
  • Failing to manage feedback effectively.

Conclusion:

Performed during the last phase of Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), Beta Testing is a very essential part of software testing process. It is an exceptional testing technique that allows testers to test the functionality and quality of a software before it is released for the use of the general public. Moreover, beta testing tests the software in a real world like environment or situation, to make sure that not discrepancies or defects are found once the software it delivered to the client. In short, beta testing takes place at customer’s site, where it sends the system/software to users who install it and use it under real-world working conditions. A beta test gives an abundance of information about the software like bugs, client bolster information, vital deals data and how the clients view it. Additionally, it improves the performance and functionality of the software and adds extra value to the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC).