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The Power of the Crowd in Emergency Services Technology


The Power of the Crowd in Emergency Services Technology

A Pro-Bono Bugability Test

In an emergency, every second matters. That’s why some Emergency Services Apps draw on citizens for help with providing real-time updates and support in emergencies through their smartphones. Last month, Testbirds invited some of our Crowdtesters to perform a pro-bono BugAbility test for CrowdGuard– an emergency service in Germany that alerts locals and the police when someone nearby needs help.

Marc, Tina and Marta share their experiences of testing Crowd Guard’s emergency alarm system app as our Guest Bloggers this month.


You recently tested an emergency alarm system app where you simulated an emergency call. How would you describe your experience?

Marc: “Since the app is designed to help people in real-life dangerous situations, I wanted to make sure that I did not miss anything and that my feedback would help to improve the app.”
Marta: “I was interested in how the developers achieved a balance between allowing users to make an emergency call very easily while still creating “safeguards” to ensure calls are not made accidentally. I had not used (or seen) anything similar.”

What motivated you to take part in a pro-bono test?

Marc: “I liked the benefit of the app for the people. The app will be available for free, that’s why I wanted to support the app’s development.”
Tina: “I really liked the idea of testing an emergency alarm system app, which I think can be tremendously useful for everyone.”
Marta: “I am a very curious person and often my curiosity is the reason for testing new technologies. In this particular case I found the cause also important – I was impressed that a company is creating a non-profit app trying to ensure the security of its users. In view of that I could, of course, dedicate some of my time to it, too.”

Do you think that receiving feedback from real people is important for developing this kind of app? Why or why not?

Marc: “In general software should be tested by potential end customers because they have a completely different look on it as any internal worker (developer, product manager).”
Tina: “For this case it is not only important, it is vital to have feedback from real people who use the app. To see how easily people can handle the app and how quickly it works.”
Marta: “Receiving feedback from real people is crucial. We can have many hypotheses but unfortunately we can never really predict what people need. Sometimes, even when asked, people are not able to define their needs adequately.”

What did you enjoy about this test?

Marc: “Helping an NPO (Non-Profit Organisation).”
Tina: “I really appreciated how quickly everything worked and how simple the app’s design was to understand.”
Marta: “I liked that the test was really simple and kept to the needed information and functionality of the system. It was interesting to get to know such a functionality and to know how to react in a critical situation.”

Frederic Meyer-ScharenbergFrederic, Managing Director and the CrowdGuard Development Team in Germany:
“Testbirds delivered really valuable results in a highly structured way. We were able to find out which devices were experiencing critical bugs. We got great UX and UI feedback and several great ideas on which features to add or adapt. Testing the app professionally has saved us lots of time developing in the wrong direction and taught us how to collect actionable feedback from users.”



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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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