Testing your start-up project

Reuters file photo

For a lot of start-ups who build applications, one of the outreach efforts being carried out is to ask friends, peers, and influencers to test their sites.

Here is a process that can be used in carrying out this task:

Invite friends, peers, and influencers to join your testing group

Ideally, they should represent your target market personas.

You can have several groups representing different set of personas. If they are amenable, you can also announce that they are part of a test group.

Their insights, all the way to the finished site, can be used as “quotable notes” when presenting the website or application to the public.

Create a test guide

Ideally, you will need a simple test guide that will outline what you need to be tested.

This can include both functional and aesthetics. For example:

  • Is the identity and purpose of the website or application clear?
  • Check out an item of interest (to purchase). Does it give you sufficient info to encourage you to purchase? What else should we add?
  • Do you find it easy to purchase the item? (Give credits to use for the purchase.) Do you feel secure when doing the purchase? What can we improve?
  • With this fun feature of (statusphere), will you be encouraged to share your shopping experience or activity through social media? What can we do to push it?
  • Did you receive the e-mail confirmation of purchase?
  • Did the newsletter sign-up work? How do you find the newsletter that was sent out? Will this interest you to read it regularly?
  • What is your overall impression of the website or application? Do you think it has great potential for success?
  • Will you still use it to purchase after the testing period? How often will you likely visit the site to purchase? What can we add on the site that will make you come back regularly?

Choose critical ones to work on

You will not be able to address all the concerns raised to you. If you have several test groups representing your target market, you will be able to assess if there is a common theme or concern that should be worked on right away.

Most websites or applications are meant to improve the way we do things. Address problems by giving solutions. Being able to communicate your objectives clearly will make your testing efforts well worth it.