Beta = Bugs
Recently when testing a new finished Flash file on the Internet, someone encountered a problem with their browser. I had tried it in all of mine and it worked fine, so what was the problem? Apparently Internet Explorer 8 had been downloaded and it was the beta version. Generally with a beta you still expect the majority of things to work fine, but of course in this case one of the things that didn’t work was the one thing we were checking. Luckily, there is a non-beta version out now and everything should work fine, pending some more review.
Beta tests are very useful and by no means should they be done away with. When you program or design something, you don’t always actually know how users are all going to use it or what things they will try. There are too many variables. With a beta test you can release your product to the masses to let them help you find all the remaining bugs that they come across. There is no good way to achieve this mass testing effect with your comparatively small team.
Here we test everything we make a lot for both form and function. Programming projects obviously need to be thoroughly tested, but other things such as Flash animations, copywriting, and video editing all get tested and proofed as well in all aspects. By the time any project is done, at least a quarter of this company has laid eyes on it. Lots of eyes also means lots of opinions and this brings on many meeting of the brain trust to find the best solution.