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Localisation testing – Our international crowd and the role they play in the world of testing

by | Jan 22, 2016 | QA, How To, Crowdtesting, Testing Reality, Usability & UX | 0 comments

Testbirds’ crowd is distributed all over the globe – from Andorra to Zimbabwe, even in places like Timor Leste or Mayotte. More than 100,000 testers, located in a total of 175 countries, are currently registered on our Nest. Our platform is easy to access for everyone, all you need is a computer, smartphone or tablet as well as a working internet connection and the curiosity to test all kinds of software applications.

In former blogposts we introduced testers from China or Italy to you, but this blog post intends to portray the opportunities created from having access to such an international community. I would like to tell you more about localisation testing, details about the method and how international testers can be a part of delivering high quality software applications to every country on the globe. As every application has its own specific target group, we can provide international clients with exactly the testers needed to guarantee valuable results.

Localisation testing

This very specific testing service is performed by our worldwide crowd. It examines whether the translated content shown on websites or apps makes sense to the target group and if there are any layout or functionality problems due to different lengths of texts or foreign letters. It’s a mix of functional and usability testing and best performed before going live.

As all international businesses need an international online presence, the easiest example would be the website of a worldwide established group. When translating a website, there are lots of challenges to face. When it comes to usability, the most obvious is of course the translation – it has to be clearly understandable for the target group in the corresponding country. Depending on the industry, there is technical or scientific vocabulary that might be harder to translate.

Also there are other language-related aspects that vary from country to country, for example different ways on how to address clients or advertise products and services. In addition, it gets really challenging if there is another script – imagine a website in Arabic or Chinese letters. Not only is it difficult to translate these languages but it is equally challenging to keep an appealing layout when text lengths change enormously or the writing goes from right to left instead of the other way around. Bad localisation jobs not only negatively affect the user experience, but also can scar a company’s image.

The next problems we face are functional issues. The content translations are often based in files instead of being tested on a specific device. Also devices that are common in Germany might be very rare in China, where a completely different brand dominates the market. To overcome such difficulties, I present you with another important aspect of localisation testing: Having a native speaker in your tester group is not the only important factor to consider. For example, it’s easy to find a native Russian speaker in Germany and have him check the translated content. The much harder issue for a German based testing lab is to get access to testers who are located in Russia. This way, not only the language can be tested, but also the device compatibility and performance under foreign network providers.

Okay, let’s take a look at this in practice. One of Germany’s biggest international radio broadcasters had their news app tested by our crowd last summer. The test scope was quite extensive. They wanted to perform a localisation test in five different languages:

German, English, Chinese, Russian and Arabic

For each language seven testers were needed who would perform the test on their own Android smartphones and tablets. As I mentioned earlier, our crowd is 100,000 men and women strong and represents 175 countries. Therefore inviting seven testers with the appropriate native language skills and the required devices was not an unusual task for our Birdmasters. In fact, the whole test was performed pretty quickly. The testing phase itself was only 48 hours, allowing testers from every time zone sufficient time to download the app and examine it for usability and functionality issues. The test results revealed how important this kind of test is when entering an international market: A total of 180 bugs has been found, 7 of those critical and 27 rated a high degree of severity. Although the content was professionally translated, 18 translation and spelling problems have been found. The client was very happy with the result as the localisation test helped him to apply the finishing touches to the app and optimize it for the corresponding markets.

As you see, even in the era of world-wide networking, language diversity continues to make a big difference. Although the universal internet language might be English, it’s important to adapt to national markets when it comes to business. Our crowd on the other hand works without borders. Although there are some local factors, such as differences in time and currency, which make projects more complex, everyone can take part. It’s ridiculously easy, as a crowdtester you can work from the most remote place on Earth as long as there’s an internet connection. Wherever you might find yourself right now, become a part of our crowd to take software quality to the next level and find some bugs. Testbirds says:

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Testbirds specialises in the testing of software such as apps, websites and Internet of Things applications by using innovative technologies and solutions. Under the slogan, “Testing Reality”, the company offers various testing methods to its clients looking to optimise the user-friendliness and functionality of their digital products. With over 250,000 registered testers located in 193 countries, Testbirds is one of the world’s leading crowdtesting providers. In addition, the IT service provider utilises cloud based technologies to support customers in the optimisation of their digital products. The combination of the two testing methods delivers a unique and extensive portfolio that takes the quality of software to the next level. Testbirds was founded in 2011 by Philipp Benkler, Georg Hansbauer and Markus Steinhauser. Today, the company has over 100 employees. Other than its headquarters in Munich, there are now offices in Amsterdam, London and Stockholm, franchises in Hungary and Russia and sales partners in Italy.

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