Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

First Steps on the Platform

No, but it helps. Your profile is your ticket to new test invitations. For example, we could be looking for people with certain hobbies for one of our tests. The more information you provide, the greater your chances are of receiving an invitation.

All tester information shared with us is strictly confidential and for internal use only. We will never share your personal details with any third parties, without your explicit permission to do so. Your test and bug reports will be anonymized (no names or contact details etc. will be shared). Our clients only receive anonymized statistics (e.g. “50% of participants have a pet”). Your real name and address are only needed to create your payout receipt. If you don't fill out your correct name and address, we cannot transfer your payments to you. The actual payment information such as PayPal name or bank account number can be entered and changed during each payout request.

After registering, you can immediately edit your profile. The completion percentage is displayed on your profile. Don't forget to click Save, so the information isn't lost.

You can edit your profile by clicking Profile in the right top corner.

 

Additional keywords: Privacy, Data Security

One word: NO! Registrations made with this kind of e-mail addresses will be deleted. We trust you to do a great job when you're testing. And you can trust us to be careful with your personal information. Trust is what the Testbirds Community is all about!

Different tests require different devices, depending on the software and our client’s demands. It's important that you specify all devices (e.g. PC and browser, Smartphone, Tablet, etc.) you want to test with. Only then can we invite you to specific tests.

You can add your testing devices on this pagehttps://nest.testbirds.com/device/index.html​ This "Devices" section is also available in the left-side menu, when you are logged in on our platform.

 Here's an example how you would add your smartphone:

  • On the above mentioned "Devices" page, click "Add Smartphone".
  • In the alphabetical list of manufacturers, find "Samsung", then your model, for example "S7 edge".
  • Under "OS Version" choose your operating system version, e.g. "Android 6.0.1".
  • All the other fields (Antivirus, Network Provider,...) are not required. If you are unsure, you can skip them for now, but if you add them, you'll have better chances for future tests.

Other device types like PCs, tablets and other device types can be added similarly.

To update:

  • On the above mentioned "Devices" page, click "Update" next to the listing of your device.
  • Change the information where applicable.

There is a very useful website, which will give you a lot of information about your device at one glance: https://www.whatismybrowser.com/

 

What is my device model?

  • Do you still have the box that the device came in or the manual? All the details should be in there.
  • The model name is sometimes displayed when you switch on the device.
  • Look for menu options such as “Settings”, “Options”, “About device”, “Preferences”
  • If you find a product code (that is not the model name), try searching online for it
  • GSM Arena (http://www.gsmarena.com) has a huge database and options like “Phone finder” and “Tablet finder” to help you find your model.

 

 

What is my operating system?

 

Desktop devices

Microsoft Windows: Try key combinations such as:

  • Windows Button  and Pause Button OR
  • Windows Button and R. In the window that opens, type “msinfo32”

Apple Mac OS: First click on the black Apple symbol and then “About This Mac” (pane).

 

Android

Depending on your individual device and Android version, this can vary a lot. Here’s an example on how to find it on a Samsung Galaxy S 4:

  • Open “Settings”
  • Tap on "Options" tab
  • Scroll down to device information
  • Look for the information under “Android Version”

Most likely, it is something similar on your phone/tablet. In any case, look for areas such as: Settings, Options, About Phone, Software Info…

 

iOS

Different versions may vary a bit. Here is how it works on iOS 8.2:

  • Open “Settings”
  • Press “General”
  • Press “About”
  • Look for the information under “Version”

 

What is my browser?

Open https://www.whatismybrowser.com. It will tell you what browser you are currently using.

 

The entry test is the starting point for all new members of our community. Its aim is for you to get to know the typical testing process under real circumstances and be able to ask questions before things get serious. It is a practice test where you can familiarize yourself with the platform and practice tasks that you’d do in a real test. The entry test will only appear in your “Open Tasks” section after you’ve registered at least one device. The entry test can only be completed once. Since it's just a tutorial, we can't give you the normal payment for the entry test, but if you pass it, you will get a welcome bonus worth 5 Euros which you can redeem after passing other tests. Similarly, there is a one-time Experience Point bonus of 15 EPs for passing the entry test. Please use the entry test to practice submitting Bugs too, even though there is no additional money or points bonus for Bugs in the entry test.

 

To take part in paid tests, the following steps are necessary:

  1. Fill in your profile as thoroughly as possible
  2. Register your devices
  3. Successfully complete one entry test

Depending on the test requirements, we are looking for Birds with different profiles and devices. If your profile fits the criteria, you’ll be invited by us via e-mail. You can find more information pertaining to your specific test in the test overview of the invitation.

Then, you can decide if you want to participate or not.

Testing phases

Testing is divided into 3 different phases: Sign Up, Testing, and Review phase.

  • Sign Up phase: During this phase, you can still sign up for a test if the test isn’t full yet. However, you can’t start the test just yet.
  • Testing phase: Now you will get access data and all the other necessary information so you can start testing. You have until the end of the testing phase to submit your report and/or Bugs. Usually, the testing phase lasts one or two days.
  • Review phase: It may happen that your report or Bug was missing some information or wasn’t thorough enough. In that case, your Birdmaster will ask you to review it. This is done during the review phase. You can’t sign up or test during the review phase.

Test types

You may be asked to participate in one or all of these 3 test types:

Bug Test: In this test type, you will be asked to “hunt” for Bugs (technical errors). You are paid for every Bug you find, and payment varies depending on the severity of the Bug.

Usability Test: In this type of test, clients aren’t as interested in Bugs as they are in the ease of use of their product. As a tester, you will provide feedback in the form of ratings and texts to help the client improve their product. You receive a fixed payment, when your report gets approved. You cannot submit Bugs in this kind of test.

BugAbility Test: This test type is a combination of a Bug and Usability test. You will be asked to find Bugs and evaluate the usability of the product. You receive a fixed payment for the test report, and extra payment for every Bug found.

After the test

Once your work has been approved, we take the results of all testers and present them to our clients. Clients can read your test reports and Bugs, but never have access to your personal details. Please be mindful of your spelling and remember that once you’ve submitted your work, it cannot be edited anymore.  

As a Bird you receive points for different actions that reflect your experience as a tester. When you are newly "hatched", you get one-time points for your first steps. By successfully completing tests and finding bugs you can increase your points. The amount of experience points you get depends on the quality of what you submit. If the Birdmasters need you to revise your reports and Bugs, they have to give you fewer EPs. So being thorough pays off, if you want to be among the Top Birds.

 One-time Experience Points:                       

 Action

 EPs

 Registering your first device

 5

 Completing your Basic Profile

 10

 Successfully completing the entry test

 15

 Becoming one of our "Birds of the Month"

 50

 

 

 Recurring Experience Points:

 Test Reports

 EPs

 Accepted without any revisions

 40

 One revision

 20

 Multiple revisions

 10

 More than 3 revisions or not submitted in time

 0

 

 

 Recurring Experience Points:

 Bugs

 EPs

 Accepted without any revisions

 10

 One revision

 5

 Several revisions or not submitted in time

 0

 

 

 Other Experience Points:                        

 Bird School Quizzes

 EPs

 Passed on 1st attempt

 30

 Passed on 2nd attempt

 25

 Passed on 3rd attempt

 20

 Passed after more than 4 attempts

 15

 

* Points for Bird School Quizzes may vary depending on the difficulty

Community Points are a way to reward our testers for a variety of non-testing related tasks. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Recruiting testers
  • Writing a guest blog post,
  • Participating in a test after being queued as a back-up tester,
  • Being selected as Bird of the Month (Special Accomplishment Category),
  • or simply by being a great tester and making our day.

    In general, testers can earn CPs by contributing positively to the Testbirds community. Unlike Experience Points, these points are not competitive and won’t be displayed to other testers on the Dashboard. The only aspect of CPs that is somewhat competitive is “tester recruiting”. You can see the top recruiters on your Dashboard in the table titled “Top 10 Bird Recruiters and You”. You can recruit your friends and earn CPs by creating your own tracking link and sharing it. 

 

Community Points: Achievements and Values

 Action

 CPs

 Uploading your first profile picture*  5

 Recruiting new testers

 

   Regular Recruiting 

 10

   Special Recruiting

 40-80

 Made-my-Day

 5-20

 Guest Blog Post

 40

 Participating after the Queue

 10

 Bird of the Month (Special Accomplishment)

 50

 Other Achievements

 5-100

 

Regular Recruiting can be done by any one of our testers, and it simply involves referring someone to our Nest by using your personal referral link. We will then award the CPs within the following days.

Special Recruiting is when we ask testers to recruit people with specific criteria. For example, if we need testers in the Maldives who go scuba diving regularly, we would ask our testers to help recruit this unique group of people for us. By recruiting this “special” target group, our testers can earn additional points for “Special Recruiting”.

*Newly introduced. April 12th 2017. Testers who already had a profile picture can trigger the points by uploading it again.

General Questions

It may take some time before you receive your next invitation. There may be times when you get invited often, and there may be other times when you don't receive an invitation for weeks or months. We invite testers based on devices and demographics requested by clients (i.e. location, job position, language skills, hobbies etc.). Only testers who fit the profile can be invited. For this reason we recommend that you completely fill out both your basic and advanced profile. If you don't receive an invitation for a long time, don't get discouraged. Please don’t send us e-mails asking for new invitations; there is nothing we can do. New projects often come up unexpectedly and we might soon need your profile for an upcoming test! 

Attention! 

If you aren't invited for several weeks, this doesn't mean your work wasn't good. If something is wrong or needs to be improved, our Birdmasters will tell you openly. After all, software testing is a learning process.

You can find out for yourself by checking out our blog where we feature some noteworthy testers. If you're interested in testing and technology, and would like to make some extra money with a fun activity, then Testbirds is the place for you. 

That's great! In that case, you can use your personal Tester Referral link and share it with your friends, wherever you'd like (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, your blog, etc.). The "Refer Friends" option is available in the left side menu in the "Community" section. We'll award you with Community Points for referring new friends to Testbirds. The Top 10 Bird Recruiters will be featured on the dashboard. If you need to further details and explanations regarding your earned Community Points, you can simply click on the heart symbole next to your notifications.

Please note, Community Points are currently not be awarded in real time. We'd kindly ask for your patience.

It’s possible that your email provider has marked our emails as spam. Please check your Spam and Trash folders for our emails. If you find them there, we recommend adding noreply@testbirds.de to your “Safe Sender” list, or creating a filter which never sends emails from noreply@testbirds.de to the Spam folder. If you didn’t find the emails in these folders, please contact us at birdmaster@testbirds.com so we can assist you. 

We are sad that you’re considering deleting your account! What’s wrong? Please contact our Crowd Team first, so we can find a solution together.

Please be aware that deletions cannot be undone, all your personal information will be deleted, and your work will be assigned to the user “Anonymous”. Therefore, if you have a balance of 10 Euros or more, make sure to request a payout before deleting your account.

In case you just want to take a break, you can activate the “Silent Mode” in your settings. Then, you will not get invited anymore until you deactivate it again.

Maybe you’ll be invited to the most exciting test next week. Do you really want to miss out?

If you still want to delete your account:

  • First make sure you are logged in to https://nest.testbirds.com
  • Click on the top right corner, where your username is
  • Then go to “Settings”
  • You’ll find the “Delete Account” option at the very bottom right side. (This is also where you can activate the Silent Mode)
  • On the next page confirm the deletion

No. Due to the non-disclosure section in our Terms & Conditions you are prohibited from sharing information about tests.

As invitations are sent to you according to your devices and profile, there is no point in sharing your account, because we only want the real person on the profile to test. People you know must create their own tester accounts (here is how you can earn Community Points by recruiting them). Maybe you’ll still get invited to the same test.

If both you and your friend are invited for a test, please also do not perform the test together. We need your individual opinions in completely separate test reports. By testing collaboratively, you might influence each other, so only one report can be accepted.

 

No. All the information about you should be in one account, so that we can invite you for the maximum of suitable tests. By creating more than one account, you could be invited to the same test twice. This is considered cheating and will result in the deletion of your accounts. We also reserve the right to take legal action against the creators of multiple accounts.

Additional Keywords: Double Account

  • App

Short for Application. Program for users; at Testbirds as well as in common language this refers to little programs and additional functions for smartphones and tablet/slate computers.

  • Browser

Software program, that can read, download, save and display documents on the World Wide Web. Common browsers are Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Opera or Safari.

  • BOTM

Bird of the Month. Every month we present Birds (testers) with special accomplishments in a Hall of Fame on the main page of our platform.

  • Bug

Technical error, fault in the programming.

  • Bug Approval

Bugs that one tester found are verified on the devices/systems of other testers. This way we can see if Bugs appear in general or only on specific system constellations

  • Cloud

Saving and keeping files online on servers instead of your computer at home or an external device, making data available to you 24/7 from anywhere in the world.

  • Community

Users of platforms, portals, discussion boards and social networks, that meet online. At Testbirds the community is made up of the testers (Birds) that register on the platform (Nest).

  • Crowdsourcing

Working on tasks by using the knowledge and experience of the global online community (collective/swarm intelligence).

  • Crowdtesting

Testing software (e.g. apps and web services) by using the knowledge and experience of the global online community (collective/swarm intelligence).

  • Dashboard

Testbirds main page, where you have an overview of the most important information.

  • Explorative Testing

Testing with the help of specific use cases and free exploration.

  • UI

User Interface: The part of software that is visible to the common user.

  • Usability

User-friendliness, usefulness for fulfilling the wants of a user.

For anything related to being a tester, please log in and use the contact form in the “Help” section on the left. If you don’t have a tester account, you can also contact our tester support team via e-mail: birdmaster@testbirds.com.

If, for some reason, you would like to contact one of our experienced testers, feel free to reach out to Marcus via helperbirds@gmail.com. Please keep in mind that Helperbirds are individuals who volunteered for this task. They do not have access to internal information like the content of testing projects.

Questions about Testing

You will always be notified about test invitations via e-mail. These include a link to the test overview (see step 2).

These are the steps to follow in the Nest when you receive an invitation:

  1. On the main page, in the section Open Tasks you'll see an overview of recent tests you’ve been invited to* 
  2. By clicking on the green test name, you'll see the test overview with detailed information (e.g. requirements, payout, deadlines, etc.). You have to read all the tabs of the overview before you can join the test.
  3. Below the description you'll see the slot(s) available to you. Click on the button next to the device name to sign up for the test.
  4. If all the regular places on the test have already been taken, you might get a place as a back up tester.

If you sign up and then unexpectedly cannot participate, you must inform the Birdmaster immediately. The best way to do this is to message your Birdmaster using the “Message to the Birdmaster” comment box. If this isn’t available you can inform us via E-Mail at: birdmaster@testbirds.de

*To take part in paid tests you first need to have completed the entry test (see What is the entry test?).

If you're invited to a test, you should only sign up if you are absolutely certain that you'll be available in the mentioned time span. In case something really urgent comes up, you must inform the Birdmaster immediately. The best way to do this is to message your Birdmaster using the “Message to the Birdmaster” comment box or inform us via E-Mail at: birdmaster@testbirds.de

If Birds repeatedly register for tests and then don't take part after all, we're forced to (temporarily) exclude unreliable Birds from future tests or in the worst case, delete these accounts.

After you registered for a test and the test phase has started, you're ready to go! We recommend that you write the test report while you are testing, so you don't forget any of your steps.

This is how you get to the report:

  1. Just click on the corresponding test on your Dashboard.
  2. Read all the instructions in the test overview page again.
  3. Further down on the page, click on “Start Testing” and then on the next page on “Edit” to open the report.

You will usually see these fields in a test report:

Use Cases: Please record all steps taken during the whole test and write them in the use cases. The points from the test description should be reflected here. Tell us what you clicked on, one after another. Use bullet points and make a connection to the uploaded screenshots you're referring to.

​​Positive Feedback: What did you like during the test? Was there something especially user-friendly? Was the design or navigation appealing?

Negative Feedback: What did you dislike during the test? Was the navigation complicated? Some hard to read text? Please don't write about technical issues here, they should be submitted separately as Bugs.

Questions: Answer the questions (in written form or by giving a star rating). These are not part of every test. Written questions are “qualitative”, because the answers show qualities. Rating questions are “quantitative” because these quantify the feedback in numbers.

Screenshots / Screencasts: You should upload screenshots to document your testing procedure (cf. How many screenshots do I need to make?). In some cases, you will be asked to add screencasts (videos).  You can only upload screenshots of common image file types. No Word files please!

Message to the Birdmaster: This is the box on the right-hand side where you can communicate with your Birdmaster. Have a question or concern about the test? Message us here and we’ll get back to you as fast as we can!

After you’ve finished the test report, don't forget to hit “Save” and then “Submit”. We recommend that you save your test report every now and then while you are filling it out, especially if you want to submit a Bug before you've finished your report.

Here's an example of a test report by one of our Birds of the Month. The report is about the test of an airline website. For a real test this complex you would get about 15 Euros. Keep in mind that for the entry test report you will receive a welcome bonus payment of 5 Euros, which can be withdrawn after reaching a minimum account balance of 10 Euros.

 

Use Case 1: You want to book a vacation. Find a flight departing from London to a destination of your choice. List your steps.

  1. I want to visit my grandma in the United States, in Denver. I will now try to find a flight on the website, departing from London. I will bring my 3 children with me of which one is still an infant.
  2. I'm adding all the options mentioned above via the dropdowns "From", "To", "Travellers". I also include the departure and return dates and the flight class.
  3. I'm ready and click the "search" button ( See screenshot 1)
  4. Searching for flights takes some time and there is a "Searching..." Animation, indicating that the site is busy (searching took around 9 seconds).
  5. Searching is finished. I can now see exactly when an airplane arrives and leaves from my destination, including the costs and remaining seats on each flight. (screenshot 3)

 

Rating Question: It was easy to search for a flight.

Strongly Agree

 

Use Case 2: Now, you want to research some destinations. Navigate back to the main page and find the “Destinations” tab (in mobile: use hamburger menu). Select a destination that interests you from the list. Show your choice by uploading one screenshot.

 

Use Case 3: Finally, you want to find out what films are played on flights of this airline. Did you find the list of in-flight films? List your steps.

  1. I click on the company logo to return to the main page.
  2. Of all the menu options, "Information" is the one that sounds most suitable. I click it and it loads immediately.
  3. The section "Service on board" seemed to fit best. However, the fork and the knife image on the other hand did make me think it was not the section I needed. But I clicked 'Entertainment' as a subcategory under service on board nevertheless (see screenshot 2).
  4. It turns out I made the right choice: On the following page all the information I could possibly need was displayed. Every single film is listed there and I was even able to select certain genres.

 

 

 

Use Case 4: Explore any other section of the website that interests you (e.g. Holidays, Stopover, Frequent Flyer, etc). What section did you explore? List your steps.

  1. My grandmother lives far away from the airport and is too old to pick us up. I have my three children with me and I have no idea how to get to my grandmother as all the public transport facilities are far away from her as well. So I want to rent a car. Naturally, I clicked the "Cars" button from the main menu.
  2. That leads me to a similar "Booking" module as when searching for a flight earlier (see screenshot 5). I entered the relevant information and clicked search.
  3. The results show me diffferent cars to choose from (see screenshot 6)
  4. I then clicked on the menu option "Frequent Flyer".
  5. On the next page I clicked on the image "Upgrade for Points", which took me to a calculator (see screenshot 3).
  6. I calculated how many points I would need for a first class trip from Frankfurt to Orlando: 204,000 (see screenshot 4).

 

 

Open Question 1: Which features/elements of the website did you like? Why (consider details and examples)?

  1. What I liked the most was the amount of information I got while booking flights, looking for destinations and booking a car, and the way it was presented. Extremely clear and well ordered information.
  2. The loading times were usually short (~1 second), see exception in next question.
  3. The website looks really professional. It represented itself orderly through a structure of tables and tiles. The animations, e.g. for loading are colourful and clear.

 

Open Question 2: What did you dislike about the website?

  1. I did not like the loading speed when looking for a destination. It was 40 seconds and that's too long. What made it worse was that there was no animation in this case showing that the search was still ongoing. I tried it two more times and had the same experience again.
  2. It wasn't clear how to return to the homepage. You have to click the logo but that wasn't obvious from the beginning. I accidentally clicked it, and that's how I got to know it could redirect you to the homepage.
  3. I didn't like that there was a pop up asking me to subscribe to the newsletter. It appeared suddenly (I think it was time triggered) and it bothered me that I had to look for the small "x" to close it. This seems redundant, since the option to "get the latest offers" is part of the footer of most of the pages on the website anyway.

 

Open Question 3: If you were responsible for the website, would you change something? If yes, what would you change and why would you change it?

I would definitely try to improve the loading speed for slower sections, as I personally think that is the largest pitfall of the website. People might actually cancel looking for a destination due to the long loading time.

 

Screenshots:

 

   

 

  

It’s important to distinguish between saving and submitting. When you click Save, the current state of your report/Bug is saved. But only if you click Submit will the content be sent to the Birdmaster for review.

Before you submit your report/Bug, you should be able to answer “Yes” to the following questions:

  • Did I use correct spelling and grammar? Am I sure that my report/Bug can be understood by someone else, like a Birdmaster or a client?
  • Is my report/Bug form complete (i.e. all the fields are filled out, my steps are listed in numbers/bullets, etc.)?
  • Did I upload the necessary files (i.e. screeshots, screencasts)?

Then, you can click Submit. Once you have submitted your report, it’s not possible to make changes. 

After we’ve received your test report (or Bug), it is processed by a Birdmaster, who decides if your submission is:

Accepted: This means you’ve done a good job. Well done!

Needs Review: Your test report has some flaws and can’t be accepted. You have the opportunity to rework your test report.

 Declined: This usually doesn’t happen, unless you submit the report too late or it was repeatedly incomplete

You will be notified about every change of your status. If your report is sent back, the Birdmaster will mention what’s still missing before the report can be accepted. In this case, please revise your report and submit it again (see How do I write a test report?) 

Bugs are errors in the software, i.e. programming faults. If something is not working the way it should, testers speak of Bugs. These problems have their root in technical implementation. If a function is not working or displayed incorrectly, even though it was implemented, there is a Bug.

On the other hand, it is a usability problem, if working functions are in an unexpected place or they would be very useful, but are missing completely. Using the software becomes difficult or even impossible. Usability problems make using the program tedious and uncomfortable. They should be mentioned in your test report as "Negative Feedback", not as Bugs. So if there are functions that you find important, but which aren’t included in the software, it’s not a Bug but a usability problem.

Example 1: The text is too small

It’s a Bug if: There’s an option in the menu of the app to change the text size. After pressing the button nothing happens.

It’s a Usability problem if: The text size of the app is very small, but there is no option in the app to change it.

 

Example 2: You can’t put an appointment in the calendar

It’s a Bug if: The appointment you entered isn’t saved.

It’s a Usability problem if: The text field to enter the appointment is too small.

When you come across a Bug during a test, you should report it. In Bug Tests we supply you with a special form for submitting Bugs and you will get paid extra for every new Bug you find! But even if this test doesn’t include Bugs, feel free to mention them in a message to your Birdmaster.

Bugs are submitted separately from test reports. Always save your current test report before you submit a new Bug!

This is how you submit a Bug:

  1. In the test overview page, find the Add Bug button in the footer
  2. Click on it, and you’ll be taken to the Update Bug Report page
  3. Fill in all the required fields (see below). 
  4. ALWAYS document the Bug by adding a screenshot! In some cases screencasts are even better to show a problem
  5. Save and submit

These are the fields you usually need to fill out:

Title: Bugs should always be named using our standard format. Birdmasters have to check all submitted Bugs and evaluate them. They should be able to understand, just from reading the title, what your Bug is about. To make it clear where the Bug is, you should first enter the name of the section where the Bug happened (e.g. "Shopping cart" or "Left navigation frame"), followed by a "-". In the second part of the title give a short description of the problem (e.g. "Order button doesn't work" or "Error message")

Example titles:

  • Contact us form – Send button doesn’t work when clicked on
  • About us page – Employee photos don’t load

Bug Category: These are terms supplied by us which you need to use to categorize Bugs. Choose the category that best describes your Bug. 

Examples for the most common categories:

  • Display error: a photo doesn’t load, a button is overlapping some text
  • Malfunction: a link doesn’t respond when clicked on, a button leads to the wrong action
  • Spelling/grammar issue: a page with grammatical errors in the website/app
  • Audio issue: a video plays but there’s no sound
  • Other: any Bug that doesn’t fit into the other given categories

Occurrence: How frequently does the Bug appear? Once, sometimes or always? To find out, try to reproduce the Bug if it makes sense. This doesn't apply for spelling errors.

Severity: This scale goes from low (usually spelling mistake) to medium (display problems) to high (non-functional content) and finally, critical (e.g. browser crash). Choose a severity degree that makes sense to you. If you need help, here is a guideline on attributing Bug severity. A Birdmaster will review your Bug and make revisions (possibly affecting your points and payments) if necessary.

Steps that led to the Bug: Here you should describe exactly which steps led to the Bug, click by click. If the description is not comprehensible, the Birdmaster might ask you to rewrite it. As in test reports, the steps should be numbered or listed with bullets.

Expected Result: What should’ve happened?

Actual Result: What actually happened?

Screenshots/screencast: For describing Bugs it is absolutely vital that you use screenshots (see How do I make screenshots?). If it's a severe error or it can't be shown with a screenshot, you should add a so-called screencast (cf. How do I make a screencast?). If an app crashes, you should add crashlogs (see How do I record crashlogs?). Ask yourself: Would I understand what happened in this Bug if I hadn’t seen it? If the answer is no, then you probably need to add a screencast!

Bugs that are not in this format will not be accepted. After you entered all this information, don't forget to save and submit the Bug!

It happens that another Bird found the same Bug as you did, but they submitted it earlier. Unfortunately, we can't accept the same Bug twice, so you should look at the list of Bugs that were already submitted. To find the submitted Bugs list, go to the Test Overview page and find the section titled “Your Reports and Bugs”. You’ll find the “Bugs submitted by other testers” tab under the title.

It does not matter to us how you make the screenshot, as long as only the relevant part of the screen is visible. This means that usually the entire browser window (including the URL) or the entire app should be visible. It can be helpful if you highlight the interesting area on the screenshot, e.g. with MS Paint or a different image editing program. Unfortunately Android, unlike iOS, does not have a common key combination for making screenshots.

Desktop

 Windows   Use the “Snipping Tool” or press the button "Print Screen”-Button and paste it into an image program like Paint
 Mac OS  ⌘ + Shift + 4

 

Smartphones

 iOS   Press the “Home” and “Power” buttons at the same time
 Android 4.0 and above, Option 1*  Press the “Volume Down” and “Power” buttons at the same time
 Android 4.0 and above, Option 2*  Press the “Home” and “Power” buttons at the same time
 Android 2.3 and below  Press the “Home” and “Power” buttons at the same time
 Windows Phone 8  Press and hold the "Windows" button, then press the "Power" button
 Windows Phone 8.1  Press and hold the "Volume up" and "Power" buttons
 Windows 10 Mobile  Press and hold the "Volume up" and "Power" buttons

*Depending on your phone type, there are two different ways to make screenshots with Android 4.0 and above.

These shortcuts may vary by smartphone model. If these don’t work for you, look up your model online to see if there are other shortcuts. Easy Screenshot is an app that takes screenshots on your smartphone, and can be downloaded for free from the Google Play store. 

Important: Always try to create a connection in the text to the screenshot you are referring to! And please only upload screenshots in the formats png, gif, jpg or jpeg

The number of screenshots you should submit depends on whether a test report or a Bug is concerned. You will usually not be able to submit if you have not added enough screenshots.

Test-Report:   For the test report, so-called "alibi-screenshots" are required. We need to see that you covered all relevant parts of the test. In these screenshots you can show the positive/negative aspects you mentioned in your report. In the test description, we will often tell you the minimum amount of screenshots required for that test.            

Bug: Screenshots are vitally important in order for us to understand which steps led to the Bug and reproduce it. When in doubt, it's better to make more screenshots than too few. In case of malfunctions, a screencast can usually show the problem better.

Important:

  • Always try to create a connection in the text to the screenshot you are referring to! And please only upload screenshots in the formats png, gif, jpg or jpeg!
  • Please make sure that the screenshot shows the complete window. This also includes the URL of the test website.

Screencasts record all screen activities in a video. Screencasts can be useful to document certain kinds of Bugs. Especially when it comes to malfunctions (like buttons that don't work) doing a screencast very important. In some tests, screencasts are even mandatory (we’ll mention this in the test description). Remember that our Nest supports the following video formats: flv, mov, ogv, f4v, mp4, avi or wmv. The format .swf is not allowed. The maximum video file upload size is 500 MB.

Some free screencast programs for PCs:

For Windows and Mac                    

Screencast-o-matic

Jing 

Jing only saves screencasts to .swf format, which isn’t supported by our platform. However, you can use Free SWF to AVI Converter to convert it to a format we support. 

 

For Mac only

QuickTime Player (see “Record your screen”)

 

Linux

Depending on your distribution Kazam might work. But there are many other good applications out there.

 

Some free screencast programs for smartphones/tablets:

None of the following programs require you to root your phone. Some of these may require a PC to which you'll mirror your mobile display and then use one of the PC screen recorders mentioned above.

 

Android

AZ Screen Recorder (Android version 5.0 and above)

Vysor (4.1 and above; mirrors device to your computer and records sound using PC microphone: great for remote usability videos!)

Mobizen (for versions 4.2 and above)  

liteCam Android (for Android 4.1 and above; USB debugging mode must be enabled)

Recordable (2.3 and above)

More options on this list.

 

iOS

use QuickTime Player on your computer and connect with the mobile device (see. "Record a movie")

iTools

AirServer (free trial version)

 

Windows Phone

Project My Screen App

or try these instructions

 

Only if your device doesn't support screencast software at all, should you use an external camera to record a video of the screen.

 

Crash logs help developers to diagnose and repair Bugs that make the software crash. There are different ways to get such a crash report depending on your devices.

iOS: iPhones and iPads save crash logs automatically. These can be found after synchronization under the following paths on your PC:

Operating System                 Path

Mac OS X                                ~/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/MobileDevice/

Windows XP                            C:\Documents and Settings\\Application Data\Apple Computer\Logs\CrashReporter\MobileDevice\

Windows Vista or 7                   C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\Logs\CrashReporter\MobileDevice\

 

The folders are often hidden, so it's best to copy the file path and replace USERNAME as well as DEVICE_NAME with the names you use.

Android - On Android versions below 4.1.x Jelly Bean you can record crash logs with this app: aLogcat.

For Android versions 4.1 and above, rooting your phone may be necessary. For other ways to get crashlogs from your Android device, check out this link.

What to do

Set the section "Preferences/Level" to "Error"

Delete the log and restart it

Minimize aLogcat

Replicate the crash

Return to aLogcat and save the log

 Windows 8 - The crash log is saved automatically here

What to do

Please see: How to Find Crash Logs on Windows 8

During a test you should use the “Message to Birdmaster” field on the right side of the test. If you don’t have this option available or your enquiry is more general, you can send an e-mail via the contact form, which is on the left hand side under “Help”. If you have trouble using these options, you can also send an e-mail to birdmaster@testbirds.de.

If, for some reason, you would like to contact one of our experienced testers, feel free to reach out to Marcus via helperbirds@gmail.com. Please keep in mind that Helperbirds are individuals who volunteered for this task. They do not have access to internal information like the content of testing projects.

Bug Approval is when we ask you to re-test Bugs that other Birds found, but on your own device. This way, we know if the Bug happens on only specific devices (e.g. happens on iPhones but not on Samsungs) or on all devices. A Bug Approval is not always part of the test. If it is, we will write it in the test description.

It’s important to remember that Bug Approval happens after the Review Phase has ended (see What is the Procedure for Testing?). So after you have finished your report and Bugs, and everything has been approved by us, then you will start the Bug Approval process. In this process, you will see every Bug submitted by other testers and will look for it on your device. Then, you need to answer whether the Bug appears on your device as well or not. You have three choices: Yes, No and Yes, but differently. In any case, you will ALWAYS have to add a screenshot (unless the Bug cannot be shown with an image). You only have to add an explanation text, if the Bug appears in a different way.

If you are invited to a test requiring Bug Approval, you will find more information about the process in the test description. 

We try to send out most invitations at a time that will be convenient for most testers. However, to avoid unnecessary rejections of testers, our system automatically only invites a few people at different points in time until all places have been taken.

It works like this for example:

We need 30 testers, so the system invites 50. Out of those, 15 accept the invitation within the first two hours, and 15 are still missing. Then after a while, the system invites another 30 people, which leads to another 10 people signing up. However, 5 are still missing. This continues until we have enough testers or the sign up phase has ended and we will have to invite even more people because time is running out. We think this system is better than inviting all testers that fit the criteria right in the beginning, because that would mean disappointing a lot more people.

So if you get invitations shortly before the test is full, this means that there was probably only one spot left on the test and someone else took it before you.

Usually between 1 – 2 working days, since Birdmasters don’t usually work on weekends. If it takes a little longer sometimes, don't worry! Maybe there are just a lot of other submissions that we need to look at. If you have submitted your report/Bug correctly, then we’ll definitely see it.

It depends on the test. If in the Add Bug form, "spelling error" is available as a category then you can report spelling errors. Sometimes, the client doesn't want these to be reported as Bugs. In this case, your Birdmaster will let you know in the Test Description and you can report these in the Negative Feedback section of your test report.

If there are several errors in a single text, please submit the entire text as one Bug -- not a new Bug for every error.

In the entry test, spelling errors can be submitted as Bugs.

Here are two examples of good bug reports from our Entry Tests. The layout is different in the actual Bug form, but the fields are the same. If you want to know how to report a bug, please take a look at this FAQ entry: How do I report a Bug?

Example 1

Bug Title: Find Location - Lower case "g" is cut-off in the shop locator search bar
Bug Category: Display Error
Severity: Low
Occurrence: Always

Steps that led to the Bug:

  1. Clicked on the shop locator icon in the top right corner
  2. Searched for the following post-code: 021316
  3. Pressed Enter

Expected Result:
The result shows New Barag Youki, Hulun Buir... without any UI issues

Actual Result:
The location names that contain a lower case "g" are cut-off. The same applies for "q".

Screenshot:


Example 2

Bug Title: Flavours Page - Cinnamon Buns tab not showing the results
Bug Category: Malfunction
Severity: Medium
Occurrence: Always

Steps that led to the Bug:

  1. ​Go to Flavours Tab
  2. Click on "Our Flavours" from the dropdown list
  3. Click on the "Cinnamon Buns" tab under the page title

Expected Result:
Information about Cinnamon Buns Ice Cream displayed.

Actual Result:
Getting redirected to the main landing page.

Screenshot Screencast (Press to play)

 

Even though the terms are often used similarly, use cases and test cases are very different (see table below). Both terms refer to forms of “tasks” that you have to do during testing. We use them to make sure you cover everything the client wants to have tested.
 

                                                           Use Cases                                             Test Cases
 “Open” task: Something that a regular user might want to do.   Specific task: one exact action.
 Made up of several sub-tasks (e.g. clicks, actions) that the users have to find by themselves and do one after the other. They are not spelled out in the use case.   There is only one way of doing the test case.
 Has to be answered in form of a text, listing step by step how you proceeded.

  If the task is successful, you just have to choose “OK”. Otherwise choose “Not OK” and you may be asked to submit a Bug report.

 Example Use Case: “Find a pair of brown shoes on the website”.

 This task could be completed by typing “brown shoes” in the search OR clicking the category  “shoes” and looking for brown ones OR using a filter function (each made up of different sub-tasks).

  Example Test Case: “Click on the ‘Shoes’ button”.

  There is usually no room for interpretation: one button and one way of clicking (clicks are by default left-clicks).

 

About Use Cases

We know, it can sometimes feel a bit boring to write down all the steps you took, especially if they seem obvious. But they are not always that obvious to others; and how you write your answers is exciting to read for Testbirds and its clients! It is interesting to see how you approach the task and sometimes this can already be useful feedback in itself, because the client might think that people use the product differently.

Please remember to:
-- List ALL your actions, step-by-step in a bullet point list.
-- Don't include any feedback in your answer to the use case. There are usually other sections of the test report asking about what you liked/disliked.
-- Write down WHERE you clicked - ensure that you include any: tab headers, page names, hyperlink labels, article titles, button names or image/textbox labels etc.
-- Describe your actions: e.g. clicked on, scrolled to, hovered over, selected, tapped, opened, typed etc.

Example Use Case (“Task”): Find out what is on the menu at a Ben and Jerry's Scoop Shop.

(A good answer would be something like:)

1. I hovered over Scoop Shops on the top navigation bar. A sub-menu opened.
2. Clicked on Your Local Scoop Shop
3. Scrolled down to where it says Scoop Shop Menu and found 3 menus listed there: Sundaes, Shakes, and Flavours
4. Clicked on "Flavours" to see what ice cream flavours they sell at their shops
5. Selected Peanut Butter Cup and read the ingredients and nutrition facts

Your feedback is the most important part of your test report. Our clients pay you, because they want to know how you feel about their product and why.

Depending on the questions we ask you in the test report, you can give feedback about navigation, design, amount of information, overall impression or other aspects of the product tested.

Questions could be for example:

  • What do you like about the application? Why do you like these aspects?
  • What do you like or dislike about the sign-up process in this app? Where did you have problems?
  • If you were in charge of building this website, what would you do differently?
  • How would you describe your experience of watching videos on this site, and why? Please also comment on the content quality of the videos.
     

Common Mistake no. 1 when writing feedback

Not enough explanation for feedback  e.g. "I liked the website, it was user-friendly and looks good." You need to give a specific reason to explain WHY you think the site is "user-friendly" and/or provide an example of a feature/element which supports this point.

A better answer would be:
"The website is easy to navigate - the navigation header is divided into clear categories, ensuring it doesn't take too many clicks to reach the information you're looking for. The tab names were easy to understand, e.g. "Flavours", so the user could easily reach the desired information..."

 

Common Mistake no. 2

Focusing only on your personal opinion (when it’s not part of the question) e.g. "I disliked the use of red, because I do not personally like the colour red."

This kind of feedback is often not constructive because if the developer were to change the colour of the site to, say, blue, other users could equally complain because they don’t like blue. There'd be no end! If red also is part of the company’s corporate design, it’s unlikely they will change it soon. On the other hand, if the majority of testers doesn’t like red, there might be a point in mentioning it, so the designer can reduce the amount of red. So we recommend giving feedback based on objective facts and only adding personal opinions rarely and on top.

A better answer would be:
"It was a strain to read any text on the landing page, due to the red background. There is not enough contrast between the font colour (bright red) and background colour (dark red), so information is missed. Further to this, the lack of distinction between the colour of hyperlinks and normal text made it hard to notice links. I personally don’t like the colour of the large blue header."   

 

Here are some of our "top tips" for inducing Bugs. Please use common sense when submitting Bugs, e.g. a website will of course not work while you are offline.

In general

  • Try to cover all different kinds of functions the software has to offer (unless they are mentioned as “out of scope”).
  • Scan every page from top to bottom to make sure you don’t miss out on anything.
  • Look for “special” content types like videos, slide shows, streams, maps. These tend to be especially prone to Bugs.
  • Save progress, close software/log out. Was everything saved correctly?
  • Use multiple filters and observe whether the results make sense.
  • Take different paths, don't only navigate one way, i.e. pretend you changed your mind, go back, try something different than before.
  • Try anything that a user might do.
     

In apps

  • Change from portrait to landscape mode
  • Minimize app and use a different application (e.g. music player, browser)
  • Turn Wi-Fi and data connection on/off
  • Activate Airplane Mode, GPS and Bluetooth
  • Receive a call and text message while using the app
  • Play music (downloaded, streamed and via the radio) on the device while testing
  • Switch your device off and back on again
  • Use Tethering
  • Go to an area with bad signal, e.g. the basement
  • If GPS is part of the functionalities, change your location

Payments and Legal Stuff

Payment for different test types

Entry Test: This "Qualification Test" is rewarded with a welcome “bonus” of 5 Euros which can only be retrieved once you have a total balance of 10 Euros.

Usability Tests: You will receive a fixed payment for these kinds of tests. A payout can be requested after your report has been “approved” by our Birdmasters. Depending on the complexity of the test, the payment could be 10 Euros, 50 Euros or more.

Bug Tests: In these tests you will be paid per unique Bug that you find. Payment usually varies between 1 Euro for low severity Bugs and 5 Euros for critical Bugs. So, the more Bugs you find, the more money you can make!

Combinations of Test Report and Bugs: These combine fixed and variable payments and are often called “BugAbility” Tests.

Rule of thumb for your earnings: if you work at a normal speed you are usually going to 10 Euros or more per hour.

Testbirds works with the currency Euro (€), but don’t worry you’ll still be able to use your payment in your local currency. The payment value which is displayed in your local currency is based on a recent exchange rate but please keep in mind that it is only an estimate of what you will receive. The real payment amount, however, will depend on the exchange rate on the day of the payment as well as on PayPal or your bank (e.g. if they charge a conversion fee), because we always transfer money in Euros.

If you live in a country that’s part of the Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA) we can pay you directly to your bank account (via IBAN/SWIFT) or PayPal. Countries in the SEPA are mostly in the EU and EEA; you can check if you’re in the SEPA here. Many of our testers are using a service called "Wirecard Bank" or payoneers Global Payments Service to get an IBAN account outside the SEPA. 

If you can't receive money via an IBAN, we will pay you via PayPal. In some countries (e.g. Nigeria, Turkey, Ukraine, Macedonia, Montenegro) PayPal is restricted: you can pay with it, but you can't receive money. In those cases, don't hesitate to contact us once you have earned money testing and want to request a payment to discuss additional options. Please be aware that when you are using PayPal, you have to pay a fee to PayPal as the receiver of the payment. This is deducted directly by PayPal.

Once you have an account balance equivalent to 10€, you can request a payout in the Nest. For security reasons, there is a buffer of 48 hours, i.e. only amounts that are approved more than two days ago will be considered for a payout and you can do a new payout only once every 48 hours.

All the necessary information (e.g. payment details, PayPal address, tax number, if necessary) can only be entered when you make a withdrawal. The information given in the payout section will be saved for future payouts, but you can also change it prior to each disbursement.

After requesting a payout, you can download your credit voucher as a PDF document from the "Payments" section. However, for this, your complete contact information, such as name and address, must be made available. Only if this is the case, can your payment be made.

Even though our system will try to adapt the displayed payments to your local currency, you will sometimes see payments specified in euros (€). The amounts in your local currency are only an indicator, using a recent exchange rate. The actual amount you receive corresponds to a fixed amount in Euros: We always send money in Euros and the conversion rate will depend on your bank or the PayPal exchange rate. Some banks may charge a fee for converting Euros. We have no influence on conversion rates.

Payday is in the middle and at the end of each month. If you request a payment before the 26th of the month, you will usually get it in the first week of the next month latest. Or even faster. Bank transfers can take a few days longer than PayPal. It is therefore not usual, if payments take 20 days sometimes.

We don’t want to collect your payment information before there is something to pay you for.

Therefore, you can only enter or change your payment information (e.g. IBAN, PayPal) when you request a new payout. To do so, you need to have reached the payout minimum of 10 Euros (or your currency equivalent).

Whenever you request a payment, make sure that your payment details are still correct. If they aren’t, create a new payout method.

This applies only for residents of SEPA countries*: An IBAN (International Bank Account Number) is your bank account number turned into an internationally recognized format. Your BIC (Bank Identifier Code) is the international version of your sort code. Your IBAN and BIC can be found on paper bank statements or in your online banking platform. There are also a number of trustworthy IBAN converters available online. More information can be found here: http://www.business.hsbc.co.uk/1/2/international-business/iban-bic

*If your country doesn't have IBAN and BIC, you can sign up on payoneer.com and request a European card. The "Global Payment Service" section will then list your IBAN and BIC. 

If you don’t have an IBAN and BIC, you can still get paid through PayPal.

Another option would be to sign up for payoneer’s Global Payment Service. This gives you an IBAN and BIC even if you don’t live within the SEPA.

Some points to keep in mind:

  • payoneer has charges, e.g. for withdrawing money at an ATM
  • You need to sign up for a Euro account with payoneer, the default is dollars
  • To verify your account with payoneer, you need to provide proof of identification (e.g. passport, driver’s license)
  • It can take 3-4 weeks until your card is delivered

Possibly. Please check your contract of employment, whether you have to inform your employer about your freelance occupation at Testbirds and which amounts of payment and weekly hours are still okay.

Yes! We welcome testers of all ages. However, for legal reasons we require that testers under the age of 18 complete and sign our Parent/Guardian consent form and upload it to our platform in the "Profile" section (PDF format only). You can download the form here