Spotted: mobile software testing using both mass releases and lab work

A hybrid mass participation approach to mobile software trials

Alistair Morrison, Donald McMillan, Stuart Reeves, Scott Sherwood, Matthew Chalmers

User trials of mobile applications have followed a steady march out of the lab, and progressively further ''into the wild', recently involving ''app store'-style releases of software to the general public. Yet from our experiences on these mass participation systems and a survey of the literature, we identify a number of reported difficulties. We propose a hybrid methodology that aims to address these, by combining a global software release with a concurrent local trial. A phone-based game, created to explore the uptake and use of ad hoc peer-to-peer networking, was evaluated using this new hybrid trial method, combining a small-scale local trial (11 users) with a ''mass participation' trial (over 10,000 users).