Friday, August 8, 2008

Did Beckett Beta Testers Fail?

Beckett's new web site continues to have technical difficulties and I'm sure many are tired of discussing it (Eric on the Beckett blog is ready for a vacation I'm sure), but like the Brett Favvvvrreeee soap opera, this story keeps going.

Did the Beckett Beta Testers fail Beckett? I think so. Yesterday I finally found some blogs discussing their experiences as a new Beckett site beta tester. And like all Monday armchair quarterbacks, they are now saying what they should have said. This is a failure of the beta tester.

Note to any and all beta testers: your role as a beta tester is (and was with Beckett's site) to use the product as you would in real life (thus, the beta) and take notes on everything! You check if:
  • the site is slow
  • the performance support help systems add value,
  • the number of steps required to complete your task is too long,
  • process flow your routine has redundancy, and you check everything in between.
To sit at your PC now and write about the site struggles and what you should of said during the beta is your failure, not Beckett's. The only mistake Beckett made was asking those type of people to be beta testers in the first place.

I'm sure there will be a great deal of fall-out and lessons learned at the Beckett HQ. We'll hear some of the stories, but most will probably be contained to the Dallas HQ walls. Their review will cover everything from technical requirements to the evaluation of the testing region. I hope this review also includes the collectors who were external beta testers - not that anything will happen to them, but they should be on the list of "who not to ask" next time.

Eric from the Beckett blog and some of the other blog and message board moderators have done a good job with their site triage communication considering the volume they've had to do. Sure, things could have been structured better and written more clear (I don't think they'll argue with that), but 96 Beckett blog messages later - I think they are doing a fine job just staying alive.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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