After one month of developing our social media application, our team (@zigenculten, @jmasvoulas , @giuliapunktv) finally announced last week that CRABster is ready for field testing. Although not all the functions of our application were ready due to a number of reasons, our team managed to launch the most important pages, present the design concept, and implement practically all the important tools we were planning to have for this milestone.
Even though we deliberately asked only our friends to test the application, the testers clearly could be divided into two groups: those who fall in our target group and those who don’t. We believe that the responses from both sides are important, as they make the process of testing and conclusions more objective.
We had a total of 8 people testing our app, 3 of whom belonging to our target group. We provided them with login credentials, let them play around with the app, and consequently posed a total of 5 questions (see below!). During the test 4 shops, 2 events and 3 reviews were added. 1 bug was spotted and fixed.
Here are the questions we asked:
Do you understand the intended purpose of the service? Or is it not clear? If not what would you think that this application is for?
Did you enjoy the experience? Will you continue using it after the initial test or you just did it because you were asked by the tester?
Are there any extra functions that you would like to add in the application or remove? Please give some examples
Did you find any problems with the interface or the interaction design? Moreover, which parts of the designs did you like and which ones would you remove?
Do you have any additional suggestions?
As a result we received quite some feedback from users. In order to present the information retrieved through field testing properly, we will start examining what was good, then what can be better, and finally draw conclusions and summarize announcing our future plans.
What is good
The good part is that the totality of our testers figured out what was the purpose of the application within a couple of clicks/taps. No particular problems were encountered during the navigation and, in general, people manifested a certain degree of curiosity about the future developments of the app. Those who claimed that it is unlikely they will ever use the application again clearly stated that it was because they were not interested in comics, board games, and RPG/LARP.
What could be better
Given that the development of CRABster is still in its initial stage, we knew that there is a bunch of things that could (and need to!) be improved. For example, almost every tester suggested the implementation of a map and/or the possibility to upload pictures. Although at first look these comments could l seem to be a negative feedback, they’re actually not. Indeed, these implementations were already included in our roadmap and having their necessity confirmed by our testers means that we are moving in the right direction.
However, it would be a lie to claim that every critique was expected. Surprisingly, our testers caught us unprepared on a number of things, which will require some further work and development. For example, at least two testers suggested the implementation of some forum-like function, which could be interpreted as a need for a more direct interaction between users. The color choice was another popular subject of criticism, often defined as “boring” or not really suited for a comic/cartoonish environment.
In general, we consider the outcome of the field testing to be positive, even given some negative feedback. Of course there are some things and some critiques which we will need to be taken into consideration. Nevertheless, all the testers were satisfied with our application, and none of the users gave us strictly negative or just negative assessment. The results of first field testing will definitely influence further development of the application. For instance, we are considering implementing a number of functions required by users, as well as adding those tools which we initially planned to implement. All in all, we believe it is a good start, so go forth CRABster!