Beta Tester Orientation

published: Monday, Jan 7th, 2013 | category: Beta | author:

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Important Notice!

The link shortening service was retired on March 1, 2014. Information on this page may be outdated or inaccurate.

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Guinea pig auto mechanic in garage

A guinea pig mechanic will explain all the details [source]

So you’re here because you want to beta test. It’s so good to see you!

You’ve probably already had a chance to review last week’s beta tester introduction, so let’s get right down to business.

This post will include all the important details that you need to know about the Beta Testing process, including three important Ws:

  • Who: what is and who runs this site
  • What: what (and when) is beta testing
  • Why: why is beta testing important

Who Is is a free URL shortening service. When you use the URL shortener to shorten links from our participating shops, money will raised for guinea pigs all around the world! began several months ago with one simple goal: to build an easy and fun way to raise money for guinea pig rescues. After enlisting a small group of friends to help with programming and code development, went live October 2012.

You can learn more about by visiting About.

Are You Registered

All future Beta Tester emails will be sent directly to the email address that you used to sign up here. If you haven’t already done so, please register to ensure that you will be included in all future beta tester communications.

What is beta testing

The beta test period is from January 1, 2013 until February 28, 2013. Nice and simple, eh?

Beta Testing is a period during which a service is tested by actual users (you!) to fix any minor design or product flaws.

While beta testing is typically conducted by an unaffiliated, third party, is run by a very small group of volunteers who can’t necessarily afford to pay for a development firm to assist with our beta testing phase. So we’re administering this in-house; it keeps the costs low and the headaches to a minimum!

To participate in this test phase, you (the beta tester) are asked to:

  1. Use as your primary URL shortening service during the January through February testing period
  2. Use regularly, shortening at least 2 short links per week
  3. Review website copy and content, with a focus on identifying inconsistent or unclear information
  4. Take part in two 5 to 10 minute surveys in January and February 2013
  5. Respond to staff correspondence (including questions about your surveys answers) as soon as possible

Take special notice of item #1! Beta testers are asked to use as their primary URL shortener. This means our beta testers will need to conduct their “shorten-before-sharing” tasks using the URL shortener.

Beta Tester Spotlight

A special thanks to our friends, and fellow beta testers, the Cali Cavy Collective for mentioning @wheekit on Twitter last week!

Need to Know

During the beta tester phase, all features and abilities of will remain intact and fully functional. This means that all short URLs and short URL analytics will continue to work during and after the Beta Test period. Your short links are safe with us!


Each survey will take approximately 5 to 10 minutes to complete and will ask for your opinions on ease of use, common issues, and potential “buggy” product behavior.

A link to each Beta Tester survey will sent directly to the email address you provided when you signed-up to become a beta tester. Please contact us immediately if your email address has changed since you first registered.

Surveys will be sent on or around the following dates:

  • January 24
  • February 22
Screen shot of Survey Monkey survey template

“Excuse me, do you have a minute to answer a few questions?”

Why is beta testing important

Beta testing comes as the last, and most important, step in creating a more perfect way to shorten links and raise money for guinea pigs. Without your honest opinions and unbiased feedback, how else could a service be built whose primary goal is to help others? can do no good if just our small staff is the only one using it.

Beta testing goals

Simply put, beta testing will help us create a that is easier and more practical to use. In fact, we firmly believe that if we are to improve and make it work harder, better, and faster as it earns money, then we must get feedback from bloggers and social media messengers just like you. Your input, the valuable feedback that you provide, is the only thing that can help make come to life for guinea pigs in need.

The beta test period has three main goals:

  1. Identify specific areas where improvement is needed: design, functionality, messaging, and copy (website “text”)
  2. Improve user experience by gathering information related to usability of design, clarity of message, and URL shortening features
  3. Ideas for how to more effectively communicate the value of on and off this website

It is imperative that, during the beta tester process, you remain as honest and “unfiltered” as you can be. Get out your red pen, take notes if you must, and let us know what you really think. Honest opinions are valued; sooth-saying will be unproductive for us both.

Quick How To References

Need some help using Refer to a helpful guide below or consult How It Works.

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About Brian

Brian Balla is a professional web designer and WordPress blogger from Portland, Oregon. Included among Brian's varied interests are reading, social media, web analytics, and amateur gardener (zone 8B).

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