What is Crowdtesting?

In crowdtesting, a large group of volunteers test software via the Internet. Applications are tested for weaknesses and faults before they go on the market. It is used to test user friendliness as well, also known as UX research. Therefore, any issues or possible improvements can be reported quickly to the creator. Historically, “crowdtesting” is a very young term. It emerged from the term crowdsourcing which was coined in 2006 by Jeff Howe and Mark Robinson to describe the outsourcing of partial tasks from companies to a group of volunteers.

Instead of a company having an in-house team testing their apps, they use a temporary, outsourced, crowd. Being able to utilise a large team on-demand like this means that the company can get results much faster than using traditional methods. This fresh and modern approach cancels issues caused by more outdated methods. By having real users testing their products a company will get a genuine customer-based approach.


Benefits of Crowdtesting

As previously mentioned, crowdsourcing makes the process of testing much faster than using an in-house team alone. This is because there are simply more people and they can be from all around the globe and therefore work at any time during the day and night. Testing in-house means hiring and training staff whereas the crowd will be ready and waiting to work. Flexibility is also a beneficial factor, for example, a company may be using in-house but find that there are more bugs than they realise. If the clock is against them then they can scale up by utilising a crowd and make fixes easily.

The larger the workforce the more likely they are to pick up on quality issues. Sometimes an in-house team can be so familiar with a product or app that it’s easy for them to overlook bugs or issues. Using the crowd with unbiased eyes means they will spot things others miss. Modern technology means that apps need to be tested on a variety of devices. Thinking outside of PCs and phones, there are tablets, watches, TVs, health monitors and more. Alongside this are many different operating systems as well. It’s not always possible or easy for a company to have all these devices to hand to test. A large crowd however will be able to cover all these bases. This diversity also comes in handy when testing in various regions and languages is required.

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Obstacles and Issues

Like all processes, there will be some possible disadvantages or situations where crowdtesting may be hard. When hiring a crowd there is always going to be the concern of confidentiality. With a large crowd, this can be hard to enforce. For apps that require a very high level of security, it may be best to keep testing in-house. If a company wants to hire a crow then they will have to take on all aspects of looking after that crowd. This involves training them, checking their suitability, paying them, handling any grievances and more. You’ll have to assign a project manager and ensure they oversee the crowd to your liking. Keeping all workers updated and handling any language barriers or time zones can prove tricky as well.

One of the best ways to diminish these kinds of issues is to hire a crowd via a managed service like clickworker.com. This means you won’t have to worry about training, vetting, NDAs, payment etc. All of this will be handled for you and you won’t have to deal with any direct communication with the crowd either. Of course, there will always be occasions where a crowd isn’t suitable but when the crowd is desirable clickworker can provide for you.

Processes and Specifics

As previously mentioned, using a company like clickworker for UX experience feedback or other specific sites for bug testing is going to be one of the best options. One of the first things a company needs to do is explain exactly what is required of the crowd, without direction they will be confused. Crowdsourcing companies often ask workers to fill in profiles, this is so that only certain workers get to work on certain projects. Specific project assessments can also be set for those workers and only those who pass can actually work on a project. This weeds out the workers who aren’t suitable. Clear instructions and thoroughly explained processes will help things to run smoothly. Communication is key here.

How Testing Works

Workers will test products and apps and identify any issues or bugs in real time. These will then be fed back to the company they work under or to the client if hired by them directly. Most of the time testers will use their own devices to look for bugs etc although some may use an emulator. This may be provided or something they have already. Some clients provide testing platforms, here the workers will process tests provided that can measure functionality, usability, compatibility and more. Specific bug-tracking software can also be used.

Who Uses Crowdtesting?

Unsurprisingly many many companies small and large use crowdtesting. From huge tech companies to smaller shops and app developers, they can all benefit from crowdtesting. Some may only want a small, local crowd and others will want thousands of testers from all over the globe. The demand will be dependent on the size of the company, the product and, of course, their budget. Software products are one of the main things that workers will find themselves testing. Other products could be websites, games, chatbots, virtual assistants and more.


Uber crowdtests their app on both the customer and driver side. This was done to ensure compatibility, check for bugs, and to maintain the high standard that they promise to deliver. Benefit Cosmetics uses the crowd to test their websites not just for functionality but to ensure that they can reach every market in the world and in every language. Western Union used crowdsourcing when they realised that people didn’t want to just go to their stores to make money transfers. The creation of their app meant heavy testing was required. They did this via a managed service to ensure that transactions were safe, secure, accurate and met cutomer’s needs. This was really important for those customers in less developed countries.