A friend of mine asked me to test a new app he is funding. After a few minutes of fiddling around, I was having a hard time getting it to behave the way I thought it should act. I started texting my friend with questions. After each time he answered one of my questions he added, “thanks for testing this app.”
Silicon Valley is comfortable living life in beta. They continually invent, change, and look for ways to improve or even push the boundaries. But for most associations, this is new territory. Despite this being new territory, living life in beta is a learned behavior and interested association professionals can learn it too.
Here are some things to explore as your staff team spends much more time in beta:
- Cheaply and quickly prototype your idea and have members interact with it.
- If there’s little interest, move quickly to the next idea.
- Find testers in your member community who are the target market but different enough from each other to represent the probable range of users (tech competent to tech exceptional).
- Listen to testers criticisms and approval and also listen to the questions they ask, where they are stuck, and what doesn’t make sense.
- Thank testers for any and all of their feedback because they are giving you a new way to see the product through their eyes.