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Beta testing: how StuComm achieves the best user experience

A major advantage of the StuCommApp over other communication channels, is the fact that it is a native application: an app developed specifically for iOS and Android. This ensures students have an optimal user experience on their smartphones, as opposed to using a web application through a mobile browser. The high quality user experience is achieved via various means, one of which is beta testing. Rick Ossendrijver, Android developer at StuComm, shares some insights into how beta testing is helping StuComm deliver the most optimal user experience.

To offer every student who uses the StuCommApp the best possible user experience, StuComm uses a number of different processes, amongst which is beta testing. “Beta testing means that a small group of users receive early access to a beta version of the app. Users can sign themselves up for beta testing and get the possibility to use the newest version of the app before it is officially released. That way, they are able to experience the newest version and find small issues that we can resolve before the app is released to all students”, explains Rick. Especially for Android, beta testing is very important.

The importance of beta testing

Before the newest version of the app is available in the App Store and Google Play Store, it undergoes extensive testing. “We test all the changes and optimisations that are made and added to the new release, but it is not possible to test everything”, Rick states. Especially for Android, this is a challenge. “You have to realise that there are many companies who produce Android smartphones. Also, there are many versions of the Android software. If you add those together, there are thousands of combinations of different hardware and software that may influence the experience of our app. It is impossible to test everything ourselves.”

Because iOS only has one company creating both the software and hardware, there are far fewer combinations and thus testing is much easier. For Android, beta testing is crucial to offer all students the best user experience possible. “In the past we have had releases where we found out that some new features did not work properly in some cases, depending on the device and software version. That forced us to release ‘hot fixes’ to deal with the issues students experienced. Using beta testing, we are able to prevent these situations and offer every student a great user experience”, says Rick.

Help of clients and students

To get the most out of beta testing, we need the help of both our clients and their students. “We need the approval of our clients to make beta testing available to their students and we are very happy with all of our clients who support us in beta testing! But of course, there could always be more”, Rick says with a smile. But do students who do not want the beta version, just automatically get it on their smartphone?

“No, of course not. As soon as one of our clients allows us to make beta testing available for their students, students get the possibility to sign up for beta testing in the store. In the settings within the app, there is also a link they can use to sign up for beta testing. As with all other updates they receive a notification once a new version is available. They are able to use this and notify us if they come across any issues.”

“In the end, the more students who participate in beta testing, the better our app gets. We find issues much faster and are able to resolve them right away. Naturally, we are very happy with all of our clients who participate in beta testing”, Rick concludes.

Do you want to offer your students the best possible user experience through beta testing? Contact us!

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