The Big Change You Can Make in Your Product Testing to Get Ahead of the Competition with Exceptional Product Experiences

The word “community” signifies people coming together in a familiar way, often with a shared purpose. For example, there’s a big difference between the experience you would have at a neighborhood gathering with your actual neighbors versus a group of strangers you’ve never met.

We encourage you to think of your organization’s product testing process in a similar way – your product development process will get far more benefit from a community of testers than a generic panel.

What’s the Big Difference Between Generic Panels and a Community?

Product user communities aren’t like a rainbow, only occurring under the right conditions. These communities are comprised of every day individuals who also happen to be highly representative of your target customer.

If you want to know how your hiking boot will perform under the conditions in which your actual customers will use it, the simple fact is you will benefit more from product testers who are your specific target customers than a generic group of people not representative of your target audience.

Whether you’re looking to test a product designed for elite runners or casual joggers, professional cyclists or bike-commuters, a more targeted audience can provide the most relevant and reliable feedback for your specific product.

Why a Generic Panel Alone Won’t Cut it for Quality Product Testing

Product research and testing is such a critical phase in the development process that requires high quality, detailed and relevant feedback so you can make changes to your product that will ensure its success in the market.

So, who do you currently use to test your products?

Entrusting your product testing to a generic panel is like asking your doctor what’s wrong with your car because they make professional diagnoses and they drive.

The end user has to like your final product in order for your product to be successful. Even better, you want them to love it. Every time you leverage a generic panel for product testing instead of a community of actual users, you’re infusing your product with feedback that may be missing the mark.

The Clear Benefits of Leveraging a Community For Your Product Testing

There are several overarching benefits of engaging a community of relevant product testers instead of more generic panels.

  1. Your Product Testing Community Plays in Your Space. A huge benefit of using a community of product testers is that it supplies you with people who have the specific backgrounds, interests and lifestyles that match your product’s purpose. After all, wouldn’t you rather test your ultra-wicking base layer with someone who loves winter hiking rather than someone who loves collecting cozy cold-weather clothing, even though both of them might have shopped at an outdoor equipment store recently? Testing with a generic or rented panel can be a significant waste of time and resources, and can invalidate your results.
  1. Your Product Testing Community Can Bring Your Product Into Their Lives. Beyond the backgrounds and interests of your community of users, another great benefit is that they can test in their natural environment; i.e. in their kitchen, at the jobsite, on a hike, or on the playing field–wherever use of your product is most applicable and appropriate. Allowing your product testers to incorporate your product into their normal, everyday lives and activities enables them to give genuine, accurate feedback about how well the product met their expectations.
  1. Your Product Testers Know What They’re Doing. Because these product testers have elected to be part of a community and feedback process, you get the peace of mind that they all not only will provide useful, valuable information, but that they are comfortable and engaged with the feedback process, and won’t fatigue during longer or highly-specific product surveys.
  1. You’ll Get the Full Story. If you’re leveraging a purpose-built product development and testing platform like MESH01 for your product research and field testing, you’ll not only be able to leverage a community of real users, but you’ll get their complete feedback story. Participants in a generic user survey or a rented panel can answer the specific questions you ask, but there’s often much more to the story. Using a community of actual users through a purpose-built product testing platform takes advantage of numerous feedback channels, including images, videos, activity logs, performance zone heat-mapping, mark-ups and more; deeper details than a generic survey or panel can elicit.

Product Testing Isn’t Optional, So Make it Count

In today’s customer climate, demands and expectations for quality and an exceptional user experience are higher than ever. There is little room for failures, so testing is a must.

A testing-informed product development process drastically increases the chances you’ll meet your customers’ already-high expectations, and you can knock it out of the park with a testing process that leverages a true community of real users.

Get relevant, reliable insights you can act on immediately and effectively by using a community of users that occupy a product development platform purpose-built for product testing. You’ll get the best information possible about your product from users who already play in your space and are part of a pre-formed product testing community.

Make your product testing count so your customers can count on your product.

Learn more about the purpose-built product testing platform and community at