To compete in today’s global market, you need to be able to launch your mobile app as effectively and quickly as possible. One QA testing method that allows companies to be both cost-effective and fast is crowdsourced testing. 

Also known as crowdtesting, it’s a shining example of the phrase “two heads are better than one”.

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Different from in-house or outsourced QA testing where testers and software testing preside at one central location, crowdtesting is a collective effort from people at different workplaces. With its roots in the Open Source movement, crowdsourced mobile app testing uses the effectiveness and skillset of multiple, individual testers. The “crowd” has all the necessary tools at their disposal. 

CROWDTESTING 101

Before we dive too far into crowdsourced testing, let’s get some of the basic definitions down: 

  • Crowdsourced app testing – An emergent method of QA app testing leveraging a dispersed, temporary workforce to test software applications quickly and effectively.
  • Crowdsourced Quality AssuranceCrowdsourced QA tests software and provides meaningful feedback via real testers and real devices in a wide variety of locations.
  • Crowd engineering – Creating technical content through a group of motivated users; keeps companies agile and gives them a cost-effective, competitive advantage.
  • Virtual war room – Online project management enabling development teams to quickly formulate and execute action plans cohesively and collaboratively.

What’s crowdsourced software testing?
Crowdsourced QA is an increasingly popular testing method. Leveraging a dispersed and often temporary workforce, companies can expedite testing more effectively. This makes for more financially sound and efficient testing.

Who’s involved in crowdtesting?
Crowdtesting is in no way a challenger of in-house QA experts. Rather,  crowd testers augment internal QA resources allowing managers to allocate resources in a more efficient way. This provides the highest possible quality with the lowest possible investment. But it also requires QA teams to carefully consider how to deploy these resources for maximum efficiency.

Why choose crowdsourced app testing?
There are many benefits of crowdsourced testing: It enables companies to work with professional testers in different environments, with a variety of languages, and who have access to various devices. Additionally, these testers can be scaled up or down at any time.
Furthermore, because crowdsourced testers do not belong to an organization, they are generally unbiased.

How does crowdtesting work?
Crowd teams monitor project tasks, identify issues, and report bugs in real-time so internal QA engineers can fix problems and maintain a seamless user experience.

Crowdsourced QA testing works in various ways:

  • BYOD or simulation: Testers either receive device emulators or virtual machines, or they utilize their own devices. 
  • Direct or indirect: Companies either work through the crowdsourced testing companies which act as a middleman, or they can go directly to individual testers to give directions and input.
  • Types of testing: Crowdsourced testing ranges from exhaustive exploratory testing to very specific functional testing.

PROS AND CONS OF CROWDTESTING

With the ever-increasing demand for product quality coupled with a need to push to market quickly, QA mobile app testing is absolutely essential. Each application should be free of bugs and tested for ease of use and security.

Crowdsourced testing is a powerful approach which harnesses the power of crowd talent and wisdom. And when utilizing modern development practices of CI (continuous integration) and CD (continuous delivery or continuous deployment), crowdtesting scales better and is more flexible than other methods such as manual and automation testing. 

But not all mobile app testing methods are equal. So before quality assurance managers spend resources on the latest testing trend, it’s important to understand what testing techniques will bring the best ROI.

Pros

Crowdtesting involves many individuals, often with better QA and a reduced cost. Other major advantages that ensure an application is ready for launch include:

  • Speed – The importance of developers getting timely and relevant bug information is crucial. With such a large, global number of people involved in the testing, crowdsourced testing leads to fast execution and better results. 
  • Efficiency – Crowd teams help some clients in time-varying bursts to manage peak workloads. This peak-demand testing strategy leads to the most efficient utilization of testing resources. Companies benefit from these burstable instances because they receive a high volume of QA resources for a short period of time only when necessary meaning they can manage day-to-day testing with fewer resources when necessary. 
  • Cost-effective – To reduce labor costs and dramatically improve efficiencies, today’s software development teams tap into on-demand crowdsourced QA services. It allows you to conduct testing without adding a permanent employee… and the salary, pension, and other costly benefits incurred. Costs are dramatically reduced by applying the time-varying resource provisioning of managed crowdtesting.
  • Localized insights – Crowdtesting is great for testing localization projects. With access to diverse thoughts and variation in language… well beyond the traditional  translation-based approach
  • Usability testing capability – Through the power of crowdsourced testing, companies are able to determine quickly where their mobile application needs to be revised, updated, or fixed in order to avoid losing out on potential users. Crowdsourced testing delivers real users, on real devices, in their target markets.

Cons

While the pros of speed and flexibility of crowdtesting are remarkable, some issues can arise if you haven’t created a concrete test plan or rely on unsupervised testers from a marketplace.  

  • Corporate assimilation – An in-house QA team assimilates seamlessly into the company culture affording it the opportunity to maintain a constant and clear dialogue.  While crowdsourcing can lead to more ambiguity in testing tasks. 
  • Not equal errors – A dedicated test team familiar with the mobile app has a higher likelihood of finding more important bugs and errors. 
  • Confidentiality – With crowdsourcing, you never really know who is testing your product. 
  • Beyond beta testing – While it’s easy to find enough qualified users to carry out small tests, as tasks become more complex the available talent pool becomes more challenging. 
  • One-sided conversations – If you use the wrong crowdsourced vendor, you lose the ability to communicate directly. This requires more upfront work in order to give them enough instruction. 

A DIFFERENT CROWD: HOW TESTLIO DOES CROWDTESTING DIFFERENTLY

Consistency and accountability are key in today’s rapid development environment.

That’s why Testlio deploys dedicated teams to every project, retaining valuable process and product knowledge for more reliable results and faster turnaround.

Unlike common crowdtesting services, Testlio only enlists experienced professional QA engineers who understand your software inside and out. 

From accessibility testing to regression – and everything in between – Testlio has over one billion end-users in its global network of passionate and rigorously screened testers.

Additionally, the company utilizes a proven managed approach with dedicated QA project managers. 

Diverse device and versions
In 2016, Strava chose to accelerate its release cycle from just a handful of releases a year to a bi-monthly release. To keep pace with its accelerated cycle, Strava chose Testlio as its mobile testing partner. Testlio was able to provide experienced testers to add to the social fitness network’s current device library. 

As Mark Shaw, Strava’s CTO explains, “Testlio has made our user experience a competitive advantage. They ensure our app meets customers’ expectations no matter where they’re located or what device they’re on.”

Lessening laborious non-native languages 
Often times, it doesn’t make sense to hire a full-time language expert. Instead, companies outsource this project to a translating service, but still need to ensure the quality of translations is on par with native speakers.

With 29 different target languages the company wanted translated, Acompli tasked Testlio with completing localization testing in a mere two weeks. Complete with a global tester base, Testlio was in the unique position to be able to source the language experts from its already great testing community. Within a few short weeks, Acompli went from being English-only to 30 on both iOS and Android.

Scaling specific needs
Delivering a consistently high customer experience is critical when you’re a transportation application. That’s why Lyft maintains a weekly release cycle to ensure the app adds new features as well as adjusts those that create friction.

The complexity of Lyft’s backend platform means that meeting deadlines and consistent reporting are top priorities. And according to Heather Daigle, QA Lead at Lyft, “Testlio enhanced the speed and agility of our engineering team.” In fact, Daigle says “we look forward to working with Testlio on new projects such as localization testing down the road.”

A STEP AHEAD OF THE COMPETITION

Mobile devices have revolutionized the way people work and play. Companies must deliver consistent and high-quality apps. By utilizing a blend of in-house QA methods and crowdsourced testing, organizations can leverage speed, quality, localization, and usability at a fraction of the price… while staying a step ahead of the competition.

Contact Testlio to schedule a demo and discover the difference of professional, crowdsourced QA.

Dog owner, expat, gin lover. Allegedly wise to the ways of digital marketing, PR, and social media. Currently waging a war on mediocrity in communication and storytelling.
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