Each of my premium patterns and tutorials are put through a testing phase prior to publication. This is a very important step. I do my best to make this process open to anyone who wants to test, however, there are obvious limitations. One of which is simply…not everyone who applies to test can be selected to test purely due to the number of spaces open to testers vs the number of applicants.
How Does the Process Work?
In short, when a pattern is basically ready to be introduced to the public a “call for testers” is announced. Currently, that announcement is made in my newsletter and in my Facebook group. If you wish to be considered to be a tester for the particular pattern, then you fill out the application, which is a Google Form. The application includes the pertinent information for testing, such as the deadline and requirements.
Once the application is closed, then I select testers.
How Do You Select Testers?
Selecting testers isn’t a random process. I need to make sure I get a group of testers who can meet a spectrum of aspects. I look for testers from all skill levels so the group of testers range from beginners to advanced sewists. I also look for those who have never sewn a Rustic Horseshoe pattern in addition to those who are seasoned makers of Rustic Horseshoe designs.
It is important to have people who have previously tested for Rustic Horseshoe. These individuals know how my process works and I know I can depend on them to complete the requirements. In the name of full transparency…yes, there is a small group of individuals who will always be selected to test if they apply. These individuals have been testing for me for years.
As we all know, I can’t select everyone who applies. So, how do I choose? Believe me…I have a hard time choosing! I would love to let everyone test, but that would be a huge task to manage as well as not the best business decision. I first choose those individuals mentioned above…the ones who have been testing for me for quite some time. Then, I look at those who applied the last 2-3 testing cycles and didn’t get selected. I also look at who did get selected during the last 2-3 testing cycles. I try to give everyone a chance to test at some point.
After looking at those aspects, I also make sure I have a few people who completely hand sew the project included in the group. Then I look at those who have never sewn a Rustic Horseshoe design and those who have never tested for me and make sure I have some of them in the mix as well.
Then, for the sake of randomness…I draw a few. It always pains me to tell someone they weren’t selected. I hope everyone understands and will apply again in the future.
Just a quick tip…if you don’t follow instructions on the application you will automatically not be chosen. For example, if I ask for both a first and last name and you only provide either a first or last name or even just a single letter, you will be tossed out of the application pool on my first pass through the applications.
What Are the Requirements?
- Fill out the application (this is on a pattern by pattern basis)
- Meet the deadline
- Provide constructive feedback
- Provide at least one well-lit image
- A public review is very helpful and appreciated, but not required
- Follow my copyright
- You may not sell any finished items you make during the testing period…but you may once the pattern is published
- A special group is set up on Facebook which really makes the testing process that much more cohesive. It isn’t required to be in the group…but highly recommended
- You select and provide your own materials, notions, etc
How Do You Apply the Feedback from Testers?
I appreciate the time each tester takes to make the item as well as read the tutorial. If there is a video tutorial to accompany the pattern, testers don’t get this video until after they have completed testing to ensure the written tutorial can stand on its own.
Some suggestions are incorporated into the tutorial and some suggestions simply cannot be. One reason for this is the suggestion may be too time intensive to go through the process of incorporating it and it isn’t a necessary change. Space in the tutorial is also considered. While these are PDF patterns, they are also published in print for quilt shops to sell, so, final page count must be considered.
Some suggestions are just personal preference and I simply cannot make everyone happy. It certainly doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate all constructive suggestions.
What Do Testers Receive for Testing?
I appreciate the time and talent that go into testing a pattern and the invaluable service it provides. While it isn’t a lot, this is what testers receive upon completing the testing process:
- Final copy of the PDF pattern and tutorial
- A coupon to purchase any PDF pattern and tutorial from my website OR choose from the archived PDF patterns and even the completely discontinued PDF patterns. The coupon is good for a year, so you can save it for a future pattern.
- If a video tutorial was made to accompany the pattern, that is also provided
- Featured on the blog page dedicated to that specific design, in the Testers’ Gallery
- As a bonus…those who leave a public review by the deadline provided will be entered into a drawing to win a prize! Usually a $25 gift certificate to Etsy or Amazon.