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We’re looking for current PhotoMerchant customers to volunteer their time to help test and shape the next version of our photography website and e-commerce publishing software. If you’d like to take a look under the hood and be a part of history, simply fill out the Alpha/Beta Testing Program Survey. We’ll let you know in the next week if you’ve been successful.
As a tester you will be asked to complete a series of specific tasks using the software in it’s current state of development (e.g. “Create a new gallery of images and make them available for sale on your website”). You will then attempt to complete the assigned task to the best of your ability and to provide us with feedback on any roadblocks you encountered, to share with us what didn’t make sense or to offer improvements that would make the process easier. Effectively, your role as tester is to find things that are broken and to help shape how the application can be easier to use.
Alpha testing will commence between Monday 19th November 2012 and November 30th November 2012. Beta testing will commence in early December 2012 and will last for as long as is necessary to finalise the application for public release.
We will give you login details to a demonstration version of the new application as well as a list of the tasks you need to complete. You may also be required to install some local software that will allow us to watch how you are interacting with the website and to hear your vocal feedback as you work your way through the tasks. To be an effective tester all you will need is:
… and all of this can be done from the comfort of your home or studio. As an approved tester you will get access to the Private Alpha and Beta discussion on the PhotoMerchant Forum. You will be encouraged to share your stories and experiences with the other testers and to test each others websites out.
To be a tester you don’t need to be very good with computers – in fact, it’s more useful to us to know how non-technical users interact with the application.
When software is developed, it usually goes through a couple of final rounds of testing before it gets released Public for general use.
The Private Alpha phase is usually quite buggy and contains incomplete functionality. Anything that is created or uploaded during this phase will likely be deleted. If you would like to be an Alpha tester, you will have an opportunity to make suggestions that could affect the final public release. You will need to be able to commit at least 10 hours of your time over the course of 10 days and be willing to share your experience via our private forum and alpha help desk.
The Private Beta phase is generally much closer to the final release of the software. Certain features and functionality may still be in development, but any content that is created or uploaded will be effectively “live” for you and your customers to experience. Because the software is in beta, there is a chance that functionality and features will change before the final public launch of the software. Part of becoming a “private beta” user means that you will get early access to the new functionality but there is a slight risk that you may encounter some issues along the way.
Once the software has been thoroughly tested and vetted, we will make the new version available to all existing PhotoMerchant customers. At present we have no fixed timeline for the launch of PhotoMerchant Version 2.0 and nor can we confirm the exact plans and features that will be available. Users who are successfully accepted into the Alpha and Beta programs will get an immediate insight into the available features.
To apply to become a tester, head on over to the Alpha/Beta Testing Program Survey and answer ten simple questions. We are looking for a diverse mix of skills, technology and photographic disciplines so please do not be offended if you are not selected. The public release is just around the corner…
Join the conversation thread below or in the dedicated PMV2 forum and we will aim to answer your questions as best we can.