Why the hell is everyone going in for BETA all the time. Think about customers, think business (WEB 2.0 is about business, pleasing customers , helping them to have a good web experience and from that making money). WTF do customers think when they see BETA?. Does this mean ‘something may go wrong’, please bear with us because we cannot be so sure that this is going to work’. ‘Dear guinea pig/customer help me sort this out and then I will sell you my products. I appreciate the growth element and involving customers to create the best web environment for your business, I further appreciate the fantastic opportunites and ability to interact with the customer with AJAX and RUBY on RAILS, but…….. At the end of the day, its about getting customers, pleasing them, making them happy, make them return and worshipping the ground they walk on – not using them as (ill qualified) testers. Can somebody please explain or debate this point. Thanks
Comment by shawpy — January 17, 2006
The answer is really quite simple: “No battle plan ever survived contact eith the enemy”
No matter how much in-house testing you do, there will be things that get past your internal QA. It is simply not possible to anticipate everything a user might do on an appliction. When you release a Beta, you should have a reasonably stable and well-tested application that is ready for use in the real world, by real users. Inevitably, in this first release, there will be bugs that are found by the users that you never would have thought to look for, and there will be suggestions from the users that you missed in the development, for whatever reason.
By dubbing this a “Beta”, you alert the user that the application is NOT fully user-tested, and that you are actively seeking feedback. Some users are OK with this, others aren’t. Those who aren’t will probably stay away from the application until it’s “real” release.
This is done, BTW, to ultimately better “get customers, please them, make them happy and make them return”
As far as users being “ill qualified” – who better to judge how well your application suits their needs than the very people who will be using the application?