If you’re selected for one of our private Betabound Exclusive tests, then there are seven types of feedback you’ll be expected to submit — including surveys. A survey is a series of questions asked of testers intended to collect information relevant to a beta objective. I spoke with one of Centercode’s Test Managers, TJ McCabe, to learn more about our survey distribution processes and why submitting them on-time is important for testers.
Q: How is the information gathered from surveys different from other in-test feedback types like bug reports and discussion posts?
A: A survey is something that everyone is required to take. For example, with a bug report only one or two people may share that singular, faulty experience. Whereas, surveys capture bigger-picture information on, let’s say, product onboarding. Product onboarding is an experience that all testers in a project share, and therefore, can give feedback on. Survey responses help paint an entire picture of everyone’s opinions of a product within a test. Surveys are mostly opinion-based and are universal, while other feedback collection methods like bug reports usually revolve around specific instances that are unique to certain testers’ experiences.
Q: Who is responsible for creating and analyzing surveys?
A: Within our private Betabound Exclusives, a survey opens at the start of the week and closes at the end. So, there are several surveys released during the course of our multi-week projects. Centercode Test Managers are responsible for creating, distributing, and analyzing surveys on a weekly basis. We start by writing a survey on a specific topic based on a client’s input. When writing a survey, our team tries to gather qualitative information like attitudes and sentiments rather than quantitative things, like the time taken to perform some function with a beta product. Given the opinion-based nature of surveys, we analyze trends and common phrases or sentiments among survey responses. Once that survey data is organized, we’ll then sit down with a client and present our findings regarding their product’s customer acceptance.
Q: What advice can you give to testers completing surveys in our projects?
A: Be detailed in your answers, and be honest. By ‘be honest’, I mean you shouldn’t have to feel like you have to be overly complementary to a product and the company behind it for fear of not receiving an incentive or getting selected for future tests. Our clients are running a beta test to hear their future customers’ honest thoughts about, and experiences with, their product. So we encourage you to share your honest, constructive criticism — or praise!
Q: Why is it important for testers to submit surveys on time?
A: Surveys are tied to in-project activities. For example, an activity could be installing a beta app or connecting a hardware device to your home’s Wi-Fi, then sharing your experience by submitting a survey. The sooner you complete an activity, and submit its associated survey, the better! For starters, your experience with the product will be fresher in your mind, so your feedback will be more detailed.
The more detailed your survey responses, the more valuable your feedback will be to our client. Since survey results have a quick, one-week turnaround, the sooner you submit your thoughts, the more likely it is that your feedback will lead to a change in that product’s development. Being timely with your survey submission also means you won’t receive cluttersome reminders in your email inbox, and it will improve your perceived reliability in our community. By submitting surveys on time, you’re building a reputation for yourself as a responsible, reliable tester — which improves your likelihood of getting asked back for future beta projects.
The feedback collected in bug reports, discussion posts, suggestions, and journals is subjective – every tester experiences a product differently. Surveys create a one-size-fits-all setting for testers to share their experiences with product onboarding, ease-of-use, recommendations to friends, etc. and provide clear data that can help our clients understand the bigger picture of their product’s customer acceptance. For more questions on feedback types, please read the next blog post or comment below to speak with our team.