Last week we looked at user experience. And having things go wrong is never a good user experience. But as much as tech can help, it can also create problems if things are not done properly. That is one of the many reasons that testing everything you do is important.
Testing is something that usually left to the last minute if it gets done at all, but it is one of the most important things you can do.
What do I mean by testing?
According to the Oxford dictionary, testing is to “take measures to test the quality, performance or reliability of (something)”. Testing means trying something out before you release it. You can test your program or other products by pretending you are the student or by having other people run through the program as a tester.
Why is it important?
Testing is important because it helps you to make sure that what you are releasing to the public is working properly. It helps you to avoid frustrated clients and support calls. Launching a new program can be stressful enough without having unexpected things go wrong.
You see, tech is finicky, especially if you are trying to put several pieces together. It's usually not the tech that is the problem, but the implementation. Tech usually does exactly what you tell it to, so you are mostly testing to make sure that you told it to do the right things.
How do you test
Think of your program as a puzzle with many pieces. Each individual piece of the puzzle should be tested and you should also test how the pieces fit together.
You will want to go through the entire process to make sure everything works the way you expect. Think about how the program user sees the process and test each step to make sure it is happening the way you expect it to.
It can be difficult to put yourself in the position of the program user, especially with something you have worked on for a long time. You may want to get someone else to go through parts of the process and to let you know if everything makes sense. Or you can use the beta launch to test the process as well.
There are more examples of how you can test things in the next section.
What are some things you should test?
Email automations and campaigns
If you have automated emails scheduled to go out, then you’ll want to test the automations to make sure they go out when you expect. You’ll also want to check links and images in the emails. This applies to emails in the program and in the sales funnels.
Add yourself as a user, preferably using the sign up forms or pages available to your users. For complicated automations, you may want to check these by changing the timing to make things go out faster just for you.
Email is one of the most complicated parts of your business, but sometimes it is impossible to test everything. Sometimes the way your email platform is set up doesn’t allow for easy testing, and sometimes because there are just too many options to consider.
Program videos/ audio
You’ll want to make sure that the program videos play for people in the program. You’ll also want to check the sound and video quality. The same thing applies to the audio component of your programs.
Also check to see that users who are not logged into the program can't access the videos.
Once someone has signed up for your program is the program access easy? If access is instant and automatic make sure this works properly.
Put your user hat on and check out how easy it is to navigate from one topic to the next.
If you are integrating multiple tools together check to make sure that this part is working properly.
This is something that might be hard to test until you do a beta launch of your program. You’ll want to make sure that not only is the client getting everything they need from you to get started, but that you are getting everything that is needed from the client.
Since this is where your client’s experience might start make sure that your you’ve tested all the links on your sales page, and how it looks on different size screens.
If you are using a discovery call process to sign clients up check that the booking software you use is sending out notifications, integrating with video software and has the correct time slots.
Any part of your sales funnel leading up to your program should also be tested including email sequences, webinars, and free offers.
Checkout pages and payment processors
You’ll want to make sure that checkout pages are working properly. Check that prices are correct, coupon codes work and that you receive the payment. You can test checkout pages by setting the price to $1 or using a coupon code to reduce the price.
If you are using a payment processor like PayPal or Stripe you’ll also want to test that this is set up correctly and that you have it integrated so you can accept payments.
Upsells can be included on your checkout page go through the same process to make sure that the user receives what they purchase.
Anything that you customize means something else that can go wrong, so test, test, test.
Last but not least is mobile functionality. We tend to develop many of out programs and sales material on a desktop computer, but increasingly people are using mobile devices like tablets and phones to access programs. This is especially true if there is an exercise component to your program. So check out everything I mentioned above on a mobile device.
A beta program is when you get a small group of people into your program and run it through for the first time. You usually offer the program at a significant discount from the regular price.
The beta program allows you to test the content and delivery of the program to make sure that your clients are getting results and are not confused or overwhelmed by your offer.
Many people run a beta program using a simpler method of delivery such as email or a Facebook group but that doesn’t allow you to test the final program delivery method. But it does let you focus on one thing at a time. Getting the content and client interaction down before you worry about a program platform does have it’s advantages.
Does testing solve everything?
I wish it did but it's unlikely you’ll catch every issue with testing. Platforms change, bugs do exist and you likely won’t test for every possibility. But doing at least some testing will help to reduce the issues that the user sees.
Testing is a way to ensure that your clients have a good experience in your programs. A good experience means happy customers and also makes it less likely you will have to deal with support issues.