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Introduction to Crowdsourced Testing

In conventional software testing, it is usual for testing to be performed by the in-house software testers or outsourced to QA service providers, but in Crowdsourced testing, the work is carried out by testers based at various locations around the globe. Geolocation and the quantity of testers involved is decided by the service seekers, based on the scope of the project.

While in-house remains the most common scenario for testing, Crowdsourced testing becomes beneficial when the scope of testing is huge or too complex. Researches say that testing done by various groups of people of different skills tends to drive out more hidden bugs from the product, which further improves the overall usability and user experience. Moreover the product companies also benefit from real-world user feedback, which in-house testing teams historically struggle to collate. This high-grade feedback is hugely important for meeting the marketing objectives of the product because ultimately, you are looking to sell what you have built.

Companies that have limited testing bandwidth may find crowdsourced testing useful for increasing coverage and test score, and a crowdsourcing platform for QA tasks may help teams use testing supplies more effectively. Doing this would allow teams to improve test coverage without having a big in-house team working full-time. Moreover, teams with on-demand testing needs may find crowdsourcing QA useful too. Here teams can scale up their testing before important events such as big releases. In this way, they can maintain a comfortably low number of in-house QA team members that work full time, but scale up the testing force when project needs demand.

Scenarios where Crowdsourced Testing Works

Testing the App on Different Cellular Networks

Crowdsourced testing can help in determining the behavior of an app on different cellular networks that are only available in some countries. Selecting crowdsourced testers within those countries who can access those networks can be really useful.

Testing across Various Devices

At times there will be demand for testing an app across different browsers and devices, so testers with specific devices can be requested through Crowdsourced platforms. This is particularly beneficial because cross-platform issues may be beyond the scope of normal test situations. Also, there may be testing needs where apps should be tested in different smart devices such as smart-watches, or gaming devices such as Xbox, etc. It’s not ideal for an in-house test company to have such an illustrious device lab so this calls for crowdsourced testers who are already equipped with these devices.

Performance Testing

Performance/Load testing is not something that is to be performed everyday. So when the demand arises performance testing experts can be hired from crowdsourced platforms.

Geographic/Weather-based App Testing

Crowdsourced testing can be very useful for testing mobile devices. Since there are numerous people around the world in many distinct locations with different weather conditions readily available to work on crowdsourced platforms, they can help in finding out how the mobile devices will perform during bad weather or in building basements, on mountains, and so on.

Usability

Last but not least, usability testing is concerned with making sure apps function correctly. Different users around the world with varying mindsets and attitudes towards using the products will be able to jump in and provide feedback on how useful they find a particular functionality in the product. Therefore, crowdsourced testing plays a significant role in UX testing.

Crowdsourced testing

CrowdSourced Testing Methods

This type of testing works in a number of ways. Users can employ their environments as well devices in order to test the software. Another way is to access VMs (virtual machines) or test in device emulators, which are available through the crowdsourced testing platform. There are a variety of models in which the crowdsourced testing service can manage those who test the products, and in other other cases, the testers can communicate directly with the customer to get direction as well as feedback.

Testers can also use the software through platforms where the test execution is hand-operated. There are types of tests from broad, exploratory testing to certain functional, verification testing. Those who do the testing can give information on the software, and also offer a list of defects and bugs found during the testing.

Disadvantages of Crowdsourced Testing

We can list down below demerits:

  • Privacy of the product under test
  • Unavailability of the testers when the testing demand arises
  • Inefficiency in understanding the product and providing less constructive feedback

Bottom Line

Finally, we can say that crowdsourced testing is both cost-effective and reliable, as well as a quick way to find out the quality of a product, and discover bugs. It includes the use of hired consultants, professionals, and skilled users for testing different apps in various conditions which helps in building successful software. Although it works to supplement testing teams in any organization, it should not be considered as a substitute for an in-house testing team.

Author

Jithin Nair

Jithin is a experienced lead quality assurance engineer with experience in full life cycle testing.​