Everybody should be testing their apps and software products with real unbiased users, and extensive functional coverage. Unfortunately, not everybody has the time and the resources to handle that internally. Here are four examples of software testing startups using an outsourcing model to make it much easier to ship cleaner, more intuitive software.
Best summed up as an all-in-one marketplace for usability testing, anyone can use ATryBox to access over 1,000 US based testers, all of which can be filtered by +100 criteria. The service boasts quick setup times (one to five minutes) and no minimum fees.
Test participants are invited to create profiles outlining their expertise. From there, developers and businesses are able to browse through profiles and hand-pick participants for their tests.
Currently the service costs $35 (+$7 fee) for one-on-one phone interviews, $25 (+$5 fee) for online usability tests (including 10-25 minute recorded video), $10 (+$2 fee) for surveys, and $5 (+$1 fee) to simply get help on choosing certain design elements, names or labels. There is also the option have in-person meetings for a custom fee.
Test IO is a service heavily geared towards developers, with a focus on debugging; clients can access over 20,000 testers and integrations into over eight leading bug tracking tools. Despite being geared towards the engineering side of the house, the startup does offer usability testing and custom use case execution. TestIO’s strength seems to be the comprehensive nature of their testing coverage.
The company offers an extensive collection of documentation and educational materials on their processes and how to best engage with them. Tests usually start at 10am or 6pm and often are scheduled on weekends. Participants typically only receive one-day notice, although in some cases invitations might be sent minutes before the process begins.
The company raised $5M in a Series A round just last November, and an undisclosed amount from a seed round in March of 2012.
If you’d rather just watch, with uninterrupted video, all the steps your users take when interacting with your interfaces, there is Watchsend. Rather than requiring users to define tests and specs up front, Watchsend simply records footage of full user sessions. Once recorded, clients can easily view tap locations, crash reports, and general events with a few clicks. The platform allows for “tags” to be placed in the product code so that particular events and orders of events can be easily indexed, searched and filtered.
The service is specifically designed for iOS applications. Priced quite affordably, users get up to 100 sessions a month for free, after which the paid plans are $19/month for up to 500 views, and $69/month for up to 3,000 views; beyond 3,000 views, pricing is determined per client.
To date, the company has raised an undisclosed amount of funds from five investors, including Y Combinator.
As virtual reality gains popularity there is an increasing need for people to test a wide variety of experiences. The process for VR testing can often be more complex than traditional usability projects. Fishbowl VR boils VR application and content testing down to three basic steps; upload build, request test(s), get results.
Fishbowl VR is geared towards developers, designers and product managers alike. The service currently offers over 400 testers who are able to test Rift, Vive, Gear VR, and other devices, for just $39 per test, per tester. Tests can be targeted by platform, system, device, user interests and other dimensions. Surveys are an optional add-on for additional feedback after the active engagements.
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