If there’s one thing we’ve learned in all our years of app development, it’s that you really cannot get too much feedback on your app before you release it on the App Store. Feedback is perhaps the most vital step of your entire development process: by selecting a mixture of industry experts and everyday users to check over your app, explore its potential, and use it as it was intended to be used, you can gain a whole load of valuable insights into where you’re doing well, and (importantly) what needs to be improved.
Your app testers will often be able to pick up on the kind of things which developers overlook, and which really need to be rectified before you send your app out into the wider world. Perhaps it’s something as simple as a colour scheme sending out the wrong signals, or the app is just too complicated to use correctly. It may be something a little more technical, such as some unfortunate glitches, or problems running on different kinds of devices. No matter what comes out of these feedback sessions, it’s really important to keep the responses you get in mind.
While it’s never a bad idea to get feedback from people of all walks of life and professions, there’s one place you can go where you can be sure to find experienced beta testers eager to give their opinion: Reddit. This online group of forums has proven to be invaluable to app developers all over the world, and Reddit features countless threads and chatrooms dedicated solely to beta testing and helping out developers smooth over the cracks in their creations. Reddit users are generally a friendly and helpful bunch, and those involved in beta testing love getting a sneak peek of upcoming apps or programs, and being the first to give their opinion. As such, we can highly recommend Reddit for such purposes, and if you aren’t using this site’s dedicated beta testers, you’re missing out on some valuable feedback and collected knowledge! Let’s take a closer look at beta testing with Reddit, and consider how to make the most of this online resource.
Be Communicative and Polite
Reddit users are more than accustomed to people contacting them in order to have apps and products beta tested. Just a quick Google search will reveal dozens of chat rooms dedicated solely to beta testing apps, so there’s never any danger of not being able to find able and willing testers online at any given time.
However, don’t imagine you can just barge into a thread and demand that somebody helps you out by testing your app. Reddit users really appreciate some rapport and friendliness, and it’s highly advisable to spend a bit of time introducing yourself, sharing your story, and explaining exactly what it is you want. While Redditors are usually happy to help, they have been known to ‘turn’ on unfriendly or rude app developers and, believe us, if you’re asking them for a favour, you really want them to be on your side!
Make it Clear What You’re Looking For
One mistake all too many app developers make while seeking beta testing on Reddit is being vague about what they’re looking for. You have built and designed an app, and you need it testing. OK, but exactly what sort of tests are you looking for? Do you want to check how fast it loads on people’s mobile devices? Do you need to make sure the app can be easily navigated? Do you just want feedback on the app’s appearance or themes? These are the kinds of questions you need to ask yourself and answer satisfactorily before you take your app to Reddit.
The main reason for this is that by failing to establish what you need testing, you’ll end up with a whole mess of responses which might be difficult to trawl through and make conclusions out of. Be specific, be communicative, and follow up on all your replies to show you’re listening. Ask secondary questions, delve a little deeper, and you’ll end up with far more satisfactory feedback and results.
Be Selective With Your Testers
If you approach a Reddit chat room with an offer to check out and beta test your hot new app, the chances are, you’ll get a lot of eager responses from young, app-savvy individuals keen to check out what you’re doing and lend a hand. While it would be tempting to let them all run loose with your app’s prototype, sometimes less really is more.
Take the time to chat a little about your app, and hear what your would-be testers have to say about themselves and their experience in beta-testing, too. You want testers who not only have the keen eye for detail that you need but who have plenty of skill and experience in rooting out problems and highlighting them in a constructive manner. Go with the best, and you’ll end up with the best results. It’s really as simple as that!
Give Something Back
If you really want to get the most out of your Reddit testers, it’s never a bad idea to sweeten the deal a little and offer them something for their time. Often, this would something like a free month of subscription to your app or services, or a discount code with which they can save some money on a purchase. It might not amount to a whole lot in financial terms, but Redditors really appreciate these kinds of gestures, as it demonstrates your understanding that you’re asking them to spend their time on your work.
Be sure to consistently express your gratitude, and follow up the points they make as you keep them informed every step of the way. Once your app is completed, get back in touch with your testers, and show them your handiwork – the chances are, they’d love to see whether their suggestions were included in the finished article!
Used properly and appropriately, Reddit is a fantastic resource for app developers. Use it well, and with the respect it deserves, and it can be an enormously powerful tool in your app development arsenal.