Monday, June 11, 2007
beta means hacker slop
Beta means hacker slop.
Dumb-ass, inelegant coders piecing it together in a test environment, then unleashing it, without code and API testing.
Beta means wannabe wanker, inflicting garbage on the web, losing trust, destroying credibility.
Beta means you don't know what the fuck you are doing.
Beta means "Go away, maybe come back in a few years, when it actually half-way works".
Beta means screw the early adaptors.
Your "BETA" offering is screaming: "Look at the Free Laborers, those masochistic beta testers and innovation-junkies. They're smart. Let them finalize our product, by finding and recommending fixes for its many flaws."
Beta means you're too stupid, lazy, or cheap to conduct user observation tests and do usability analysis.
I test products in alpha, beta and public release versions. Many public release 1.0s and 2.0s are really still in the baby alpha stage of Good Idea, Lame Execution.
If you hire a usability analyst to test your API, forms, and functionalities you'll gain more customers and brand loyalty in the long run.
Venture Capitalists (VCs) should hire usability analysts to do user observation tests on Web 2.0 products and sites, prior to any discussions of investment potential.
Main problems I'm seeing lately (and these are basic, not advanced or power user complaints!):
(1) can't complete register or login process, due to problem with pw/username or Submit not working
(2) you can upload photos or mp3s, but have a limit, and cannot delete any already uploaded
(3) you can enter text for a profile or other page, but subsequent editing fails due to Save Changes not working.
(4) difficult to get invites to distribute to friends
(5) time-consuming to delete addresses from email address book when importing them to an Invite Your Friends functionality (solution: self scrolling ticker tape widget that you simply zap the unwanted addresses off with keyboard command or mouse)
(6) the priority functionality (upload mp3s or contribute new link) is difficult to perform, generally due to the convoluted navigation to even get to the page that displays the desired function!