Being a beta tester is an exciting opportunity to try out and share your thoughts about a new product before anyone else. However, if you share these thoughts in a way that a beta manager can’t understand or use, it diminishes your value to the test and can even discourage beta managers from picking you for future projects.
You don’t have to be a world class writer to be a beta tester but you do have to be able to clearly communicate your ideas, issues, and opinions when you provide feedback on a product. Here are some easy tips that can make a big difference:
- Punctuation is important. Writing your feedback in long sentences without commas or periods can really confuse your message. Be sure to put a period at the end of sentences, use commas, and try to keep your sentences simple and clear. Also, you don’t need to use excessive exclamation points to get your point across. One is enough!
- Use capitalization wisely. Using proper capitalization in your sentences makes it much easier to read your feedback. It’s also okay to capitalize a word for emphasis on occasion. Complete sentences in ALL CAPS, however, drives most beta managers crazy, so try to keep the caps lock in check.
- Avoid slang. On any given test our beta testers usually come from many different age groups. What might be “sick” for you really isn’t “groovy” to someone else, so it’s best to keep slang out of the conversation.
- Spell out words completely. While it might be faster to type “ur” instead of “your”, it’s a lot easier to read sentences where the words are spelled out.
- Use spell check. Most web browsers have spell check built in. If yours doesn’t, try writing your text in your favorite word processor and checking it for spelling issues first. Then submit it through the portal.
- Write in complete sentences. While a one word answer might be the easiest response, you have to remember that beta managers are in conversations with dozens or hundreds of testers at any time. Giving a little context when you respond can ensure that your feedback is understood and handled more quickly.
- Keep paragraphs short. If you submit large chunks of text without a break, your ideas can get lost. Separate lengthy feedback into paragraphs to help the beta manager read quickly and make your train of thought clearer.
- Be descriptive with your titles. With our new feedback system, other testers can see feedback that’s been submitted and add to the conversation. When you’re submitting feedback of any kind, you want to make it clear to other testers as well as the beta manager what you’re talking about. This makes it easier for other testers to find feedback they’d like to contribute to and for beta managers to see what the conversations are about.
- Keep it focused. You don’t have to submit the next great American novel. Beta managers just need simple, complete, and clear feedback to share with the product team.
Remember, your role as a beta tester is to give relevant feedback on the product you’re testing. These guidelines can go a long way in making sure your feedback is clear and useful. Also keep in mind that beta managers are always on the lookout for all-star testers. If you make the effort to communicate well, it’s likely you’ll be their first choice for the next beta project.