Bitcoin apps need real-world user testing to find out how well they really work. But for small, independent developer teams, that can be hard to do. Recently, an international group calling itself “BSV App Testers” emerged with a promise to do just that, developers need only pay for their services if they believe it’s been valuable.
Hello Bitcoin BSV. We are here to help your apps and projects. We are passionate users of all bitcoin (BSV) apps, and we are determined to help bitcoin and your project work.
We want to test. We have many hours each day to test, and a team who understand using bitcoin.
— BSV APP TESTERS – Find bugs, improve UI (@AppTestBSV) April 27, 2020
We contacted BSV App Testers via Twitter with some questions. The group does not have a website or email address, and are taking enquiries only via social media. There are currently five team members who, according to the responses, are experienced ordinary users based in various regions of the world who happen to be fascinated with Bitcoin SV (BSV).
“We are offering the service that this space needs. We are not coders or technical at all. We are the every day users that many of these Bitcoin apps are in fact targeting, if Bitcoin is to succeed. The only background we have in app testing, is a fascination with Bitcoin BSV apps. We are only interested in Bitcoin BSV apps and spend hours each day, every day playing around.”
The group tests only Bitcoin BSV apps and accept payment only in BSV, saying, “absolutely no sh*tcoins please, this includes USD/EUR/GBP etc, pardon our French!”
Notably, they do not have a set price for their UX testing service, and developers can choose to pay depending on the value they feel they’ve received.
“Proof of work is a concept we adhere to and intend to uphold. This may seem strange but we prefer to work for no price, and allow the app developer to pay us if they feel they have received value, after we have reported our findings. So the price is up to the app developer. If no value has been received, why should they pay? If value has been received, we anticipate Bitcoiners will act honestly.”
Thanks for the question. We believe in proof of work. No money will pass hands until the owners of the app we have tested are satisfied with ours. At this point, they will decide how much they would like to pay us, and what they believe is a fair amount in terms of value added.
— BSV APP TESTERS – Find bugs, improve UI (@AppTestBSV) April 28, 2020
The group’s choice to focus on BSV is very obvious, they said. “With 0.8 businesses starting on average per day—ask yourself where the action is within the space. The BSV space would appear to have an engine like a Ferrari, and this makes us very excited indeed. Those who miss this only have themselves to blame—in the meantime we shall be testing apps, Bitcoin apps.”
Get testers to test and report back privately, rather than on social media
User experience, or UX, testing is an essential component in developing any new app. This is particularly the case in the Bitcoin and digital asset world, where real money is at stake if things go wrong. There are other issues too, such as user-friendliness and unforeseen bugs that only crop up in particular circumstances. The BSV App Testers promise to go over new apps “with our fine tooth comb” to find any possible issues.
The service would be most useful to independent or small development teams who don’t have the resources to do the extensive testing required to produce a perfectly-functional app. The alternative is to discover bugs the hard way, through user reports and support queries that often happen in public on Twitter or Twetch—something developers would prefer to avoid where possible.
The team mentioned Baemail as a great BSV app example. The pay-to-send email platform is developed by “Deggen,” aka Darren Kellenschwiler, who works mainly independently.
“Take one of our favourites, Baemail for example. We have been watching Deggen work, and it looks as if he is working autonomously. He is a representation of what’s going on out there. Can he do 15 hour days then spend 12 hour shifts testing? We have a lot of free time, coupled with massive passion for bitcoin and its success. There is a phenomenal amount of work being done—by people like Deggen, and we want to reach out.”
That said, the BSV App Testers said they’ve been impressed by the quality standards of BSV apps so far.
“The level of professionalism is outstanding—but when you look around there is a human element to the space, and as time goes by, great characters are being revealed. The types of people destined to achieve big things.”
As an anonymous group, BSV App Testers will still need to build trust and a following in the BSV industry. Proof-of-work is indeed important, and a bad actor promising similar services could use their following to threaten devs with bad reports unless they paid large sums of money. We have no reason to suspect the BSV App Testers have any ill intentions, but in all cases trust and reputation must be earned. This will likely spread by word-of-mouth and not necessarily on public forums, as developers usually prefer to keep UX testing reports confidential.
Like Unwriter, they hope to build a reputation while remaining publicly unnamed, saying proof-of-work and reputation are more important than identity in this space.
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