When real-world testing is the only option

gpsNecessity is the mother of invention – and despite our advocacy – it’s how many brands are introduced to the benefits and mechanics of in-the-wild testing.

A great example of this can be found with, well, just about any app that leverages location-based functionality. Literally, every single one. Don’t believe us? Let’s pick one at random…

How about SocialRadar? Launched last month, this app already has around 100,000 downloads, a promising Applause Score and some good press for good measure.

This application was built to help you easily meet people with similar interests in specific geographic areas – from several feet away to several thousand miles. Created by Michael Chasen, the developer of the educational website Blackboard, this app is not meant to be a dating service, but instead, is supposed to add another dimension to your social network by introducing you to people that you may not have met via Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, etc.

Without knowing Chasen or his dev team, we can say with a high degree of confidence that the following questions and concerns arose during the launch process:

  • How does the app respond when quickly switching towers (i.e in the car)?
  • What about different levels of connectivity like WiFi, 3G, 4G?
  • How does the app behave when new distance parameters are set?
  • Is the app matching people based solely on location, interests or both?
  • How does the app function between the different operating systems?

These are the types of questions that can only be answered (confidently, anyway) with real-world testing. And this just covers the mobile app aspect of the equation. Word on the street is that a Google Glass app is also underway, but that’s a subject for another day.

Anyway, if you’re having trouble finding friends, it might not be your fault. Your developer might have neglected to test the application under real-world conditions.

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