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Motivational Factors in Crowdtesting


Motivational Factors in Crowdtesting

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Markus Steinhauser
| Linkedin
| Co-Founder & COO

People become part of our crowdtesting community for different reasons, depending on their interests and possible rewards. In order to both create the best possible circumstances for high-quality results and to foster tester activity, we asked our community what motivates them to contribute to crowdtesting. The following is a summary of the results.In general, scholars distinguish between motivation that comes from within (intrinsic) or from an external source (extrinsic). For crowdtesting, the monetary reward can be considered the main extrinsic motivator. However, there are also intrinsic factors at work, such as altruism and autonomy. From previous exchanges with the Testbirds crowd, we know that the opportunity to contribute towards a better product/software or the possibility to work flexibly are considered important factors for many people as well.Thus, the survey focused on twelve motivational factors (compare table below), comprising 29 individual questions in total.Motivational Factors in CrowdtestingAltogether, 505 people participated. On average, they were 29 years old, comprising 64% men and 35.6% women between 14 and 72 years. The majority of the participants are located in Europe. Although a high number of participants work in the IT industry professionally (41,2%), there is no significant association between previous testing experience and the number of tests they have participated in.

All testers mainly driven by money

The results indicate that all testers are driven by monetary rewards, regardless of their background. Typically, testers are paid a fix amount of money for completing a test as well as a variable amount for each bug they find. Testers who have participated in more than five tests tend to rate the monetary aspect slightly higher than those with only one test completed. As is the case with test participation, the effects of previous affiliations with the IT industry on the motivational factors are only marginal.A total of six individual factors were found to impact the likelihood that people participate in tests for Testbirds. Three of them were extrinsic motivational factors all focusing on earning money, which also had the strongest predictive ability. The other motivational factors included benefiting others who will ultimately use the application (altruism), being able to choose whether to participate in a test or not (autonomy), and advance own interests (individual advancement).In summary, the motivational factors that drive testers to contribute to crowdtesting, in order of their predictive ability, are to…1. Make money2. Benefit others who will ultimately use the application3. Be able to choose whether to participate in a test or not4. Advance their own interests


The testers in this sample are not willing to contribute to crowdtesting in the absence of monetary rewards. Research shows that extrinsic rewards like money can have an undermining effect on intrinsic factors, which has to be taken into account. From the beginning, it has been a common practice in the crowdtesting industry to pay testers for their work. However, highlighting the contribution testers make, enabling them to advance themselves outside of testing projects and allowing them to work flexibly are likely to increase motivation even more.Examples of this could be the implementation e-learning components to actively accumulate knowledge or showing how the test results were used to improve the application.Interestingly, there was almost no significant difference between testers with previous experience in the IT industry and those without. This supports the basic concept of crowdtesting to utilize consumers as well as professionals in order to test software. While consumers can provide valuable feedback, professionals come into action mainly for functional testing. Although the results for this particular sample of testers cannot be generalized to the entire community, it gives an indication how important both extrinsic and intrinsic incentives can be and that both should be made available to the crowd.

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About the author

Markus fails miserably at losing his southwestern accent. He handles all internal and external communications as well as the expansion of the Testbirds crowd.



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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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