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The importance of beta testing

The importance of beta testing

Mobile app beta testing is a stage in mobile app development during which the business tests the app on a selected group of people. This process of testing allows a business to receive critical feedback about their soon-to-be-released mobile app.

This step is often overlooked but is important because it refines the user experience of the app. It’s tempting for businesses to simply “test” the app with their own developers to avoid the process of selecting testers. Unfortunately, this can be counterproductive, as the developers are essentially too close to the project and can easily lose perspective of the larger picture. It can be nearly impossible for them to see the mobile app as if they were interacting with it for the first time.

When getting prepared to beta test for your business’ mobile app, there are a few Important factors to consider:

  • Choose whether you want to do open or closed beta testing. This decision really depends on the type of feedback you need. Closed beta testing will probably do the trick if you’re looking for very specific, pointed answers, but if you need to test your app on multiple platforms or study user behaviors, a larger open group will get you results closer to what you’re looking for.
  • Beware of selection bias. Choosing beta testers who seem like they fit well with your business can be a big downfall. It can mean that they don’t necessarily look like your user group.
  • Don’t let beta testing be your end of the road. While it is an important part of developing your mobile app, it should act as your starting point, not your final destination. Beta testing should give you a starting point as your continue to integrate new technology and features into your mobile app.

Beta testing is a crucial part of mobile app development. It gives you information on specific changes that need to be made before it is released. However, beta testing should also act as a launching point for the continuous updates and changes that will need to happen to respond to the consumer’s ever-changing needs.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the cost of information

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the cost of information

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a growing field for decades, but the uprise in virtual assistants in the home has opened a new channel of advertising. With it comes new challenges. Virtual assistants, like Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa, give consumers a hands-free, hassle-free way of looking up information, keeping track of their plans for the day, or even trying new recipes. But the marketing industry has been hit hard by consumers’ new ability to make purchases or browse the internet without being exposed to a traditional advertisement.

AI brings both benefits and pitfalls to the marketplace. Marketers have new tools at their disposal, but they’ve also been given quite a few hurdles to jump through.

Pros of AI:

  • Virtual assistant devices offer better, more precise data that’s willingly volunteered by consumers. For example, Amazon gets detailed, individualized data with every task Alexa takes on.
  • AI creates a discrete form of advertising that doesn’t feel like a marching band of business owners trying to sell you their products. For example, ask Alexa to buy you a soda, and she immediately suggests the top two products, one of them being a 24-pack of Izze Sparkling Juice drinks. Izze drinks are getting quick advertising to interested customers disguised as a casual conversation. Consumers don’t recognize advertising as easily in this new and unmarked territory.

Cons:

  • Now that consumers are able to order a new product or search something on the internet without even pushing a button, the emphasis on digital marketing is threatened. Desktop and mobile devices have been the biggest platforms for reaching consumers. Only time will tell how AI will modify the relationship between customers and new businesses.
  • AI devices are always listening to all sound sources in the home, waiting to be activated. AI marketing is supposed to be the next big leap in marketing, but what information is gathered, how, and what happens to that data? What price are customers willing to pay for those advancements. Privacy in our homes is guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Will consumers give up that right by agreeing to a software licensing agreement? Sometimes, with no marked path to follow, a fresh line will need to be drawn when it comes to what is ethical and what is business-savvy.

AI emphasizes the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) more than anything. Recommendations by virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri are based on the top results in search engines. Making sure that your service or product is at the top of the list will allow your business to wedge its way into those recommendations. AI management of various details in our lives can be a great asset. The question becomes, “what will be the cost of that growth?”

Digital proofing aids content development

Digital proofing aids content development

For both agencies and their clients, the proofing process can often be more strenuous than the actual creation of the content. In the digital realm, it has become much more simplified. Today many online tools exist that make for a faster exchange of information. Rather than having to shuffle through multiple emails, the project content exists in one space. A digital interface often allows the project to be more collaborative. Even if the two parties never meet in person, a quality product can still be crafted.

Another benefit of the move to online proofing is that it erases the hassle of scheduling conflicts. An agency can send content out to the client whenever it is finished, and they are able to review it at their leisure. They do not have to be confined to an appointment time. The possibility of 24/7 communication means that a client will have the opportunity to give as much feedback as they want.

If a client likes a Japanese agency’s work, it does not matter if that client is based, for example, in Texas. Efficiency and quality can take precedence over proximity.

The switch to online proofing also saves the client money, as it is less expensive to edit digital content than to produce an entirely new physical copy. In fact, it is estimated that online proofing is up to 97% cheaper and twice as fast as reviewing the work face-to-face.

The process eases the workload on both ends. Therefore, it is becoming more difficult to find an agency that does not do most of their work digitally. In addition, improving technology means that it does not have to be as impersonal a process. Digitizing one’s work also establishes interactive working relationships. In the future, it is more easily shareable for whatever purpose the client desires.