Why is "In-The-Wild" testing essential?

Julien Mascaro Julien Mascaro
minute read
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Many companies have quality assurance (QA) labs to test their products before they are released. These lab results are often misleading, however.

Why? Because your users aren’t in lab environments. They’re in situations and places that are difficult to reproduce. Not accounting for real-world use cases can hurt the success of your product.

Two solutions are available to you to ensure that your product will always work as expected:

  • Complete life-size tests in the laboratory or through a Beta testing program with your users, trying to reproduce as closely as possible the use of your product with your target customers. Automating your tests for basic functionality is also a solution, with the need to take into account the important resources that will be needed, and without solving the problems related to connectivity.
  • Partner with a company offering integrated “In-The-Wild” testing services, such as Applause, which has a test community established in more than 200 countries and using more than 2.4 million devices.

The first solution is expensive and time consuming, but it is internalized. It cannot cover all the combinations between devices and operating systems of your users that are almost infinite. In contrast, Applause’s “In-The-Wild” testing integrated services enable you to replicate many more scenarios your users might encounter in the real world.

What is behind the concept of “In-The-Wild” testing?

“In-The-Wild” testing is a test method that uses a decentralized team of testers using your application, website or connected object in real conditions. There are several ways to test “In-The-Wild”:

Device Testing: Whether it’s an application, a website or a prototype, it’s the most common test mode because it focuses on the product itself. It can be done in exploratory mode - where the testers will survey the application the way they want it - or in a more methodical way using test cases, written by Applause or by you. In general, it is the natural precondition for other modes of testing.

Test in nature: in this type of test, the team will try to test the application in nature. Whether in transport, in-store interaction or sport, this phase will come closest to what your users will know when using your products.

Scenario test: With this method, the team will test one or more critical features of the application, such as paying for an item in a store or making a trip using your app or connected object. This critical phase directly involves the tester who will put himself in the shoes of the end user to assess whether the digital experience will meet the expectations of the public.

These methods are not exclusive and can very well be combined for better results. Beyond the feedback on the possible bugs of the product, “In-The-Wild” testing allows you to enlarge your team of testers at your convenience, raise major user experience issues and to identify blockages that may occur in certain countries or places in particular.

Imagine these scenarios:

You are a transport company in an urban area and you want to test your new app for evaluating trips, schedules and ticket purchases. By testing the software part at first, you can ensure that the calculation, planning of a route and the purchasing process work properly. Afterwards, you will be able to know if the user has been able to realize and plan his journey from end to end, while using the application. Thanks to the “In-the-Wild” testing, you will be able to test the entire digital experience of your product.

Your connected watch for athletes sometimes gets mixed reviews. Using “In-the-Wild” testing, you can submit your product to our community in real-world conditions, and get the reviews and feedback you need to improve your product. From recording to use while jogging, you’ll know where the stumbling points are in a matter of hours and be able to fix them quickly.

To learn more about Applause’s “In-The-Wild” testing, watch this short explanatory video.

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