Facebook just rocked the tech and investment communities with news it will purchase WhatsApp for $19 billion! King Digital, maker of the wildly popular Candy Crush franchise, has filed paperwork for an IPO, wherein it projects to raise $500 million. Clearly, there is big money in mobile right now, and it goes far beyond fun and games. From start-ups to major enterprises, brands everywhere are tapping this channel to build brand loyalty, better serve customers and capture newfound revenue and profit streams.
The global product lifecycle of an app is similar to most other products: every potentially great app starts with a great idea, then it’s up to savvy developers and creative programmers to bring the vision to life. After the coding has been completed, a flawless launch is needed to ensure the product hits the mark right out of the gate. One misstep could cost millions of dollars in lost revenue. So, how does a product manager make sure the mobile device, app, user portal, platform or customized tool will work halfway around the world?
Testing products for global market relevance and usage is an increasingly complicated venture. It’s no easy task for a cell phone manufacturer to ensure that the most anticipated device of the year will immediately work in Asia, Europe and the Americas. The process requires an army of testers on the ground in target markets, but it’s simply too expensive to hire and manage a dedicated team. Our customers tell us that the traditional outsourcing model for testing is too rigid to be effective. However, crowdsourcing has proven to be tremendously effective at ensuring the quickest time-to-market at the most affordable cost, while identifying and eradicating the most bugs.
Here are three tips to effectively crowdsource your next global testing program.
1. Utilize a managed approach: Crowd testing is more complicated than just sharing a product with a group of people who report back on problems that occur. It’s about designing an effective process to mimic product usage under all scenarios and managing the logistics for executing the test. While the goal is to uncover a bug, glitch or programming error, the test must be able to pinpoint what was happening when the problem occurred and recreate it if necessary. A managed crowd testing provider can tackle all of this, while providing an experienced crowd and ensuring the integrity of the test.
2. Don’t rely solely on the Crowd: Yes. You read that right. Here at Lionbridge, we’re the world’s biggest advocates for crowdsourcing. Our private Crowds of translators, data conversation specialists and product testers are among the best and brightest professionals in the world. However, we recognize that, for some projects, even the Crowd needs reinforcements. This is especially true for global projects. That’s why we’ve established strategically located development centers and secure lab facilities in North America, Europe, Asia and India. These locations create a dynamic environment for our in-lab specialists to work side-by-side with our client to solve problems uncovered by the Crowd to ensure go-to-market deadlines are met.
3. Decide if multilingual is a must: Foreign language projects, such as voice recognition or global web operations, will benefit tremendously from Lionbridge’s legacy services in translation and interpretation. We’ve interwoven these capabilities into most aspects of the Crowd’s work to deliver unparalleled multilingual expertise. While this may seem beneficial only for global projects, domestic projects often have a multilingual component because of the wide variety of languages spoken in the United States.
Facebook’s deal for WhatsApp has raised the stakes for start-ups, but the focus on mobile development isn’t just limited to up-and-coming entrepreneurs. Members of the “Old Guard” – Fortune 500 companies looking to build brand loyalty and implement cost-saving tools – are also investing important resources to create more exciting channels to connect with consumers. As each new application, platform and portal prepares to go live, Lionbridge and its crowd are putting the project through its paces to ensure a seamless launch.
Is your organization leveraging the Crowd to test a product? What are your thoughts about the role of the Crowd in developing and launching a new product?