Today we want to dispel a myth.
We are often led to think that the only companies that seek external help with software testing are those without the skills to do it internally. To prove this is not the case, we interviewed Federico Passalacqua, Product Manager at Bending Spoons, the developer company that has released apps such as LiveQuiz, 30 Day Fitness, Sleep, Yoga Wave... all with very high scores in the stores.
In their case, they're certainly not lacking internal skills when it comes to User Experience and Software Testing, yet they chose to outsource the testing process for part of 30 Day Fitness on the US market. Why did they do it? Federico tells us in the interview.
Together with UNGUESS (formerly known as AppQuality) you tested the UX of the 30 Day Fitness app on the US market. Can you tell us about the difficulties involved in testing and what your objectives were?
In the US (but also in Italy), 30 Day Fitness already has an excellent rating in the store, above 4 out of 5 stars. In short, users had already recognised the very high quality of the app to be tested. What we wanted to understand with this test was mainly how intuitive the features were and their "discoverability", which is fundamental given the wealth of functionalities offered. To do this, we used the "thinking aloud" methodology on two groups of testers.
Companies with a very strong tech footprint often think that outsourcing the testing process is better suited to less digital businesses, and therefore tend to do this phase in-house. Bending Spoons is unquestionably an evolved tech firm with software product quality recognised in Italy and beyond, yet it turned to UNGUESS. Why?
Relying on UNGUESS allowed us to maintain a very high level of quality by freeing up resources. We undoubtedly have strong UX skills internally, but what's missing is the time to devote to certain processes, like testing in this case. Placing this step in the hands of an external company we trust lets us gain quality insights fast without taking away the time dedicated to development.
We know there's no shortage of development and UX skills at Bending Spoons. Are there any parts of the test that would have created some headaches if you'd handled them?
Given that we don't have much experience in managing testers, there are some organisational mistakes we probably would have made. The 30 Day Fitness testing was relatively lengthy, with a lot of tasks for the testers to perform, and if we'd handled it internally I don't think we would initially have split the tasks between separate groups of testers. This would have led to the testers being less careful in the final steps and I imagine we would have had to adjust the test once it had already begun, whereas the support from UNGUESS enabled us to avoid management errors.
So would you recommend UNGUESS' Crowdtesting to tech companies like Bending Spoons?
Yes, I'd especially recommend it in situations where the team is overloaded and can't also manage the user experience testing process, which is still crucial for the quality of the final product. Having limited resources and an intense development programme, we're always in the situation of having to decide very carefully what to focus our efforts on. Knowing that we can rely on external partners for certain aspects, without compromising the quality of the result, helps us work on several aspects in parallel. With UNGUESS, the project was completed on time, perfectly in line with the timing specified to us in the kickoff phase. Returning to the previous discussion, the difference is that for a company with less marked tech skills, crowdtesting lets it reach top player quality, while it lets a company like ours maintain that quality without weighing down internal resources.