When testing new software for your business, most organizations today are validating product quality and standards through crowdsourced testing (also known as crowd testing (CT) or crowd sourcing) to determine if there are any bugs or defects in software products. What this means is that crowdsourced testing is when a group (crowd) of individuals work together online at different locations throughout the world to test software products. Apple Inc., for example, uses crowdsourcing to promote people who influence (i.e., brand advocates) the Apple Inc. brands, like the iPhone, worldwide through online forums where people share knowledge about software products and any new trends in current and future software. Yet, crowdsourcing and outsourcing testers have different tasks in finding defects in software.
Difference between crowdsourcing and outsourcing (contracting out to a third party) is that crowdsourcing is global where people online work in different locations, while outsourcing is a single location where people have set hours. Crowdsourcing offers groups of people (brand advocates) flexible work hours with no overhead costs; whereas, outsourcing has fixed costs. An example of a company outsourcing is using financial, advertising and marketing type services from another source either locally, regionally, nationally or globally.
An example of crowdsourced testing is with Yale University’s innovative program, the Small World Initiative (SWI). The SWI is a program that supports students seeking a career in science with a focus and mission on health threats at a global level. The program addresses not only global health threats, but also promotes current antibiotics on the market now and new antibiotics in the market through crowdsourcing.
Why Use Crowdsourced Testing?
Crowdsourced testing is used to help businesses update and/or change software programmed on computers, mobile devices and cloud-based applications (apps) to improve efficiency. Crowdsourced testers use a platform of hardware/software, along with a network, or web host, to test apps (application platform). An application platform consists of hardware and software that controls your operating system (OS) basic functions, and other programs and computer object codes that are needed to operate your business successfully. Crowdsourced testing allows testers to run information about the effectiveness of your software.
Benefits of Crowdsourced Testing
Crowdsourced testing benefits help manage, maintain and improve all your computer hardware, software and digital applications. Other benefits include:
- Crowdsourced testing is effective for a lot of your business needs in today’s digital world using mobile devices like smart phones and laptops. Including, cloud-based apps (or otherwise known as Software as a Service (SaaS) like emails) and other software products used to operate your business such as quick-books, invoice and billing programs, and payroll software.
- Productivity can improve and lower your overall costs.
- Crowdsourced testing can also help you and your business build stronger relationships with customers and consumers using effective digital platforms, online networks and the world wide web (www).
- Your apps will perform more effectively. Crowdsourced testing is a technique used to rest assure that your business OS is running properly and secure. As a result, a secure and proper running OS helps strengthen the overall functionality of your business. In addition, customer and consumer interactions about your products and/or services will also improve.
- A percentage of website visitors (i.e., your conversion rates), along with your ROI and market share will increase because of today’s innovative digital abilities to make ethical decisions for your business growth. For that reason, crowdsourced testers will test all your software products and apps to be sure that they are bug free.
- Crowdsourced testing is less expensive than most traditional methods of testing products in the marketplaces.
Types of Testing
- Functional testing will provide a quality assurance assessment. Functional testing is a process to ensure your that software and other digital mobile devices and apps are functioning accordingly to your business needs. Functional testing will test all your internal links (hyperlinks) and any small files that you have saved on your computer known as cookies.
- Usability testing will improve customer and consumer experiences and assess the quality of your business products and/or services. Usability testing will also evaluate the proper functioning of your business mobile devices, cloud-based apps, software and websites. A benefit of usability testing is that this type of test will help you execute your digital roadmap in planning your business’s future and the development of your products and/or services.
Security testing will protect your business from any risks like vulnerable hackers who are experts in computers with intentions to steal valuable and even confidential data. Security testing will test for online trespassers and will protect you from them. Online trespassers are individuals who have intentions of stealing and interrupting your OS through networks known as cybercrime
Being sure that shopping carts on websites are working properly is an example of functional crowdsourced testing, and will assess your search engines, Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) for authentication. Whereas, easy and understandable to read instructions on websites is an example of usability crowdsourced testing, and therefore, testing your Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart (CAPTCHA) is another example of security crowdsourced testing.
How Crowdsourced Testing Works
Planning, launching, executing, accessing and delivering are the steps in the process of how a well-managed crowdsourced testing works. First, plan by being sure that you assign a qualified manager who understands and can explain the requirements that are needed to test data. Second, launch your crowdsourced testing by hiring only skilled and experienced crowdsourced testers and by being prepared to test your plans. Then, execute the crowdsourced testing by implementing the test requirements needed to assess all your business platforms and devices. Note, it is important in the execute step to monitor the test team performances to help manage the testing. Fourthly, be sure that you and your manager reviews any defects that may occur by prioritizing and removing threatening defects. Lastly, assess crowdsourced testers performances.