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your coffee machine in AR

TestingSaaS partnered with SpotOn, CMS for AR and VR

TestingSaaS partnered with SpotOn, CMS for AR and VR 1526 1026 Cordny

As a content marketeer I work a lot with Content Management Systems, also known as a CMS.

A lot of these CMS are online available and therefore can be tested very easily. Take for example WordPress. If I find a bug I can share it with the WordPress community very quickly and actions can be taken.

Did you know TestingSaaS partnered with SpotOn to test and market their CMS for Augmented and Virtual Reality?

In my last blog I already discussed this when reporting about Adobe Aero.

Content delivered via AR/VR is going to be booming in 2020.

My mission in 2020 is to test the AR/VR Content Management Systems and monitor their quality.

And make first class content of course for my clients.

Do you want to join me in my mission?

logo Adobe Aero - building AR without coding

Introducing Adobe Aero

Introducing Adobe Aero 406 316 Cordny

Last week, November 4, 2019, Adobe launched its AR Authoring app, Adobe Aero. Awesome, what is it and what can you do with it?

AR is getting more noticed by the big tech companies. One of these is Adobe.

Adobe first demoed its Aero AR authoring app last year at the Adobe Max event, and recently, November 4th, it launched it to the public.

What is Adobe Aero?

Adobe Aero is Adobe’s answer to designing AR without coding.

Aero is the first tool that allows designers to build and share immersive experiences in AR—without any coding skills.

If it’s the first AR no coding-tool, I wonder. But that’s another blog.

I already mentioned it is freely available to the public.  As long as you have iOS, a free mobile iOS app for phones and tablets is available.

But before going to public a private betatesting program was set up. During this beta, Adobe received participation from thousands of users within the creative community. Adobe also launched the Adobe AR Residency program to collaborate with the creative community for building the best tool available.

So, what features were developed during this betatest?

  • Intuitive authoring – No coding necessary. all steps done via easy-to-follow instructions
  • Animation – Objects can be placed by using your hands and device. This combined with triggers gives a great animation.
  • Assets at your fingertips – Hundreds of free starter assets available right in the app, including the option to import a broad set of 2D/3D file format (vector graphics, Adobe Photoshop files, OBJ, FBX, Collada, glTF, etc.)
  • Easy publishing and sharing – sharing your AR product directly on social media or sending the experience to others via the Aero app.

What can you do with it?

Developing AR without coding brings Media to the next level. Media artists are no longer dependent on programmers to do the coding for them. Now they have a platform for this.

Digital is no longer confined to a single screen – it’s permeating throughout physical spaces and the real world.

Artists can also add interactive experiences by drawing the path of motion for an object to follow.

It’s the next step for Adobe. From Photoshop for graphic design to Aero for the Augmented Reality space.

The era of Augmented Reality CMS has begun. There are more examples of AR CMS on the market. Remember, this is just the beginning.

TestingSaaS will monitor this evolution and keep you updated.

smart speaker with voice assistance

3 user adoption challenges for voice assistants

3 user adoption challenges for voice assistants 1500 2000 Cordny

Smart speakers are trendy in 2019. Especially smart speakers with virtual voice assistants are booming.

But what challenges do the manufacturers of these smart speakers face with user adoption of its virtual voice assistants?

This blog will discuss 3 of these challenges.

Remember the Eighties Hit series The Knight Rider where The Hoff could communicate with his car by voice?

This is not science fiction anymore.

Smart speakers with built-in virtual voice assistents are booming and it is now possible to instruct your smart speaker to enable specific activities like playing your Spotify list, ordering food or groceries or read out loud the daily news and weather. How convenient is that?

However, some challenges have to be addressed to enable user adoption for voice assistance.

Installation and Customer Experience of a Voice Assistant

Building a smart speaker with voice assistance is not easy in this crowded consumer market.

is it not already there? Does the consumer really need it?

Do you have to be a whizz kid to install it and afterwards? How many times do I really use it?

Just a few of the questions a manufacturer has to ask himself before putting the product on the market.

If he can’t answer these questions there is a real big chance the consumer won’t like the product and it can become a financial disaster.

Voice Assistants and Brand independence

Great, you have a couple of smart devices in your home and, for convenience, you expect them to communicate together.

Not every person wants all devices from a specific brand, say Samsung, but also from Google Home or Amazon Alexa.

If you want a great user adoption you have to ensure your device is compatible, also with voice assistance.

Voice Assistants and User Privacy

Data and user privacy is an important field a voice assistant manufacturer has to deal with.

Online clicking is different than voice data, Why?

First, voice is biometric and can be used to identify a person, like a finger print or a retina scan. Next to this, it can also identify a person’s mood or even his mental state.

This is quite different than to know which button this person clicked.

Also the environment the smart speaker is in, should be taken in account. These are personal, intimate surroundings, your own home. Remember the recent disturbing news of smart devices listening unnoticed.

The user needs to know he is safe and his privacy is not violated, otherwise user adoption is certainly a bridge too far.


WeChat shake, also a succes in Europe?

A look at WeChat shake

A look at WeChat shake 301 167 Cordny

As you know, I am testing WeChat at the moment. One of its features I am curious about is the WeChat shake functionality.

What value can this give to the user and is there a business case?

I will discuss this in this article.

What is WeChat shake?

When this feature is selected, just shake your phone. You will be connected to someone else in the world who is shaking his/her phone at the same time. Then you can choose to ignore or respond to this user.

The value

WeChat shake can be a great way to meet new people while using your phone. This can help user feel less lonely.

But is there also a commercial use case?

duplicating the Chinese digital ecosystem in Europe

In China WeChat shake is very popular and not only because it helps against loneliness.

There is also a commercial benefit. In shops where the WeChat shake-logo is present, customers with the WeChat app can shake their phone and then get the offers/coupons from this store on their phone. This is already present and used a lot in far away China, but also will be implemented in Europe.

It seems this feature of WeChat is based on iBeacon-solution, but I am not sure yet, because recent online documentation is scarce on this part. So this will be a future research project.

Let’s see how this implementation of WeChat shake will continue in Europe and if the Chinese tourists will use it.

To be continued ….

A/B testing mistakes

A/B Testing Mistakes Any Seasoned Marketer Should Avoid

A/B Testing Mistakes Any Seasoned Marketer Should Avoid 2250 1500 Cordny

A TestingSaaS guestblog on A/B testing by Ilan Nass, Chief Strategist Taktical Digital

Facebook is a valuable marketing tool. With approximately 2.38 billion active monthly users, the platform gives you access to many potential leads.

But if you think Facebook Ads are something you can set and forget, think again. To get results you desire for a sane amount of ad spend, you need to study your results and optimize accordingly. There are a lot of metrics to track when it comes to creating ad campaigns that slice through the noise. Once you’ve decided on a smart metric, it’s time to design an A/B test. This simply involves testing multiple versions of an ad or campaign to determine which is most effective. The following points will help you better understand how to go about this process on Facebook.

What Not to Do

Before exploring how to properly A/B test, it’s important to brush up on mistakes you should avoid. They include:

  • Testing too much content at the same time: If you test too many ads or pieces of content at once, it will be difficult for you to confidently identify which content yielded results, and which failed.
  • Testing minor changes: When A/B testing ads, they should be different enough that you can glean genuine insights from their performance. Simply changing one line in an ad isn’t enough to help you understand what does and doesn’t work.
  • Not providing equal opportunities: You need to design your test so that both ads involved have the same opportunity for success. For instance, if one had a higher budget or was targeting a stronger audience, it might outperform the other, despite not truly being any better.

Instead, follow these tips to A/B test effectively:

Only Test a Single Element

Again, it’s important that your ads be noticeably different when A/B testing on Facebook. That doesn’t mean you should make every element different. You’re better off changing one element when generating multiple versions of the same ad. Change the ad copy, or the image, or the audience, etc. While the changes need to be substantial enough to make a difference, they do need to be restricted to a single element.

Don’t Test Merely Two Ads

The name “A/B testing” implies testing only two versions of a given ad at a time. In some instances, this may be appropriate, but you can often get more valuable insights if you test three to five versions of an ad. When doing so, you may want to make the ads significantly different.

For example, maybe you’re running an ad promoting a product. One ad may feature an image in which the product is foregrounded, with accompanying text explaining its features and benefits. Another ad may include minimal text, with an image that shows the product in action. Yet another might include substantial text in the image, with the product itself taking up less space. This gives you three ads that are different enough from each other to offer valuable information.

Don’t Draw Conclusions Right Away

You need to give your ads a sufficient amount of time to reach users before drawing any conclusions. For example, if you ran an ad asking people to sign up for your email newsletter, with one slightly outperforming the other after a week has elapsed, you might assume that ad is stronger. Although this may be true, it’s smarter to wait two or three weeks to start analyzing data. The more data you have, the more confident you can be in your insights.
Keep in mind that A/B testing does require you to invest some time and money. However, in the long run, the value is worth the investment. Knowing what types of Facebook ads resonate with users is key to optimizing your return-on-investment.

Do you also want to guestblog on TestingSaaS?

Contact me now and let’s start blogging.

Testing WeChat

Testing WeChat outside China

Testing WeChat outside China 512 250 Cordny

Testing the messaging-app WeChat outside China is not easy.

This article shows my experiences with WeChat while I use it in the Netherlands.

What is WeChat?

WeChat (Wēixìn; literally: ‘micro-message’) is a Chinese multi-purpose messaging, social media and mobile paymentapp developed by Tencent. In China it is known as Wēixìn (‘micro-message’).

It was first released in 2011, and became one of the world’s largest standalone mobile apps in 2018, with over 1 billion monthly active users.

That’s a lot of users and that’s why I am interested in this app. Why is it used that much? Ok, there are a lot of Chinese people, but is that the main reason?

Can I, as a non-Chinese, download it on my iPhone and use it in the Netherlands?

Downloading WeChat

WeChat is freely available in the Apple App Store and can be downloaded from there on your iPhone.

Onboarding WeChat

Onboarding is very easy when you use the following steps

Here is the list of these steps:

  • Register your account
  • Add your friends
  • Basic usage WeChat

The steps are pretty straightforward. Mind you, it is a Chinese app, don’t get discouraged by seeing Chinese characters.

My experiences with testing WeChat

I downloaded the WeChat 7.0.5 version on my iPhone 7 with software version 12.4.

Adding friends was not hard. You can look in your mobile contacts who use WeChat, and afterwards you can add them. You can also ask for help by chatting with the WeChat Team.

Group chatting is also a feature. And you can search and manage your contacts by using tags, which is handy when you have personal and business contacts like me.

An interesting feature for me to test is the WeChat Pay, which is the Chinese competitor of Alipay. It seems I have to do additional steps to enable this within WeChat. That’s for another time. There are more than enough other features to test.

One of these features, which could be of value is the Discover tab. With the Discover tab I have access to Moments, a QR code scanner, Shake, People Nearby and a Search-facility for moments, articles and official accounts. It seems you can also have access to WeChat Games, but I did not have this feature.

Let’s investigate the items of the Discover tab.

WeChat – Moments

Moments is the social feed of your friends updates. Here you can place photos or videos, including a cover photo. All photos can be retrieved from the iPhone photo album, or you can take a picture or video. With every photo/video you can add a remark, location (you get a list of nearby places), mention a WeChat comment or share it with your WeChat contacts. Because WeChat is a social app, you can also like or comment a photo.

Funny thing is, when opening your iPhone photo album, Chinese characters are shown in your photo titles.

WeChat – Scan

With the feature Scan you can scan a QR code and even align Chinese/English text and make a photo of this – the translate function.

Both features I tried and it works well, although I can not be sure the English text is translated in correct Chinese.

WeChat – Shake

When this feature is selected, just shake your phone. You will be connected to someone else in the world who is shaking his/her phone at the same time. Then you can choose to ignore or respond to this user.

I tried it and it works. Crazy feature, because you never know who is also shaking.

WeChat – Search

Regarding the Search-facility, this seems interesting, because the search results show a lot of Chinese characters. It is surely curated by WeChat. But that’s for another investigation, another article.

WeChat – People Nearby

With this feature you can browse and connect to WeChat users nearby. I have to dig in deeper to see what I can do with this.

Wrap-Up

This article showed you my first experience with testing WeChat.

WeChat is truly a multi-purpose messaging app and I will certainly test more of its features.

I only have to work on my Chinese characters, because there are a lot of them in this app. Or should I use the WeChat translate function?

Stay tuned for more TestingSaaS testing WeChat articles.

A screeshot of the test automation tool for chatbots Botium, which is the Selenium for chatbots

Testing a chatbot with Botium

Testing a chatbot with Botium 1250 596 Cordny

As promised in my previous blog, I am going to share my knowledge on how to test a chatbot.

Manually testing a chatbot is laborious and takes a lot of time. But are there any chatbot test automation tools? Yes, there are. Meet Botium.

Botium – an introduction

To solve the problem of manually testing a chatbot Botium was created. It is an open source testing tool which bills itself as the “Selenium for Chatbots” . Botium allows testers to automate the testing of chatbot behavior using APIs. Tests can be executed in seconds, and they are easily repeatable with every software update.

Botium even provides a total management toolbox with predefined test environments and test sets with thousands of instant runnable tests.

Botium – how to test a chatbot

Sauce Labs offers a cloud based Selenium Server which can connect with Botium. Together with Sauce Labs I wrote a blog describing new testing tools like Botium, which are making it easy to execute automated tests for AIOps applications like chatbots.

Botium was the first tool I used for automating my chatbot tests and it is now an important member of my software testing tool stack.

In the Sauce Labs blog I discuss the following steps using Botium:

  1. Connect to Chatbot
  2. Select Test Sets
  3. Select Test Environments

This Sauce Labs blog is a great starting point to learn and use Botium.

Mind you, in this blog I do not explain how to connect the Sauce Labs Selenium Server with Botium. That is another how-to which you can find in the Further Reading section below.

Wrap Up

New testing tools like Botium are helping to address the challenges of testing chatbots by making it easy to execute automated tests for chatbot applications. As Chatbots grow in importance, automated testing solutions will remain critical for ensuring that Chatbots actually do what their designers intend.

Further Reading

http://www.botium.at/

https://saucelabs.com/blog/you-cant-have-aiops-without-automated-testing

https://github.com/codeforequity-at/botium-connector-webdriverio/blob/master/README.md

testing a chatbot

chatbot testing

chatbot testing 1749 1140 Cordny

Testing chatbots is one of the things I like to do in my pastime. And it is not hard to do. When you have a Facebook account you can use the Facebook Messenger. And what about WhatsApp or WeChat? Also, a lot of companies use chatbots to talk to their customers online.

Sharing my chatbots knowledge

During the testing my knowledge about the chatbots increased. Having this knowledge is nice, but why not share this knowledge? Sharing is caring! A lot of information can be found online, but it is scattered and not always complete. Or even completely wrong. Not every chatbot uses artifical intelligence for instance.

That’s why I am going to give away some free stuff. I will take you in my journey of testing chatbots and share my experiences. This shared content can be commercial or technical, but always with a sharing message in mind. For me it is all about educating my readers on chatbots.

What can you expect?

Sharing knowledge about chatbots sounds good, but what knowledge will be shared?

Expect the coming months answers to the following questions:

  1. Chatbot product comparison (WeChat vs. WhatsApp etc.)
  2. Deepdive in a chatbot product (Google DialogFlow, Azure Information Bot, etc.)
  3. Where are chatbots applied?
  4. What kind of chatbots are there?
  5. What kind of chatbot frameworks are there? (Watermelon, ManyChat etc.)
  6. Chatbot framework comparison
  7. Deepdive in a chatbot framework

Answers to these questions will be blogged monthly on TestingSaaS.

Remember this post? Well, now you know what TestingSaaS aka The Marco Polo of SaaS will do the coming months.

Do you want to know more?

Chatbot documentation is not the only service TestingSaaS delivers.

Do you need a manual for your (SaaS) software, a blog, a whitepaper or even an FAQ?

Feel free to contact TestingSaaS here and let’s talk!

The new silk road as intended by China's Belt and Road Initiative

The Chinese ecommerce and the new Silk Road

The Chinese ecommerce and the new Silk Road 386 230 Cordny

Chinese ecommerce is booming. Ecommerce platforms like Alibaba.com (B2B) and Taobao Marketplace (C2C) are serious competitors of eBay and Amazon. But it has to keep a keen eye on its domestic competitors like Tencent and JD.com. That’s why it is interesting to see Alibaba is becoming the exclusive distributor of Salesforce in China. But first, why is TestingSaaS interested in Chinese ecommerce?

China and the ancient Silk Road

As you maybe have read in an earlier post, I am a huge fan of ancient explorers, especially the adventures of Marco Polo and his Silk Road and China adventures. When the Chinese president Xi Jinping announced in september 2013 he wanted to initiate a new Silk Road I got intrigued. I am no trader, but interested in how China was going to do this challenging endeavour.

One Belt One Road

To build a new Silk Road you have to design a new infrastructure. China wants to do this on land by roads and train rails , but also by sea. This initiative is called One Belt One Road, in 2016 wisely renamed Belt and Road Initiative, because it is not one transportroute. There are many, like the ancient Silk Roads.

Why the New Silk Road?

The Eurasian countries were the main part of the ancient Silk Road, They were the corridor between Europe and China. But, because the New Silk Road is also maritime, China partners also with sea-bordering countries like Sri Lanka, Turkey, but also the Netherlands.

That not only changes the geopolitical landscape – China gets more power – it also has financial effects. Through its investment banks, China provides loans to its partner countries in the New Silk Road. What happens when the project is not profitable and the partner country ends up with a long term loan, a loan-trap? Interesting, but not the subject of this blogpost, so we will carry on.

China’s ecommerce and the New Silk Road

Through ecommerce customers can buy goods via the internet. These goods have to be shipped and delivered. By the New Silk Road, Chinese and Western ecommerce companies can deliver the goods by roads, rails or by sea. Mind you, the Belt and Road Initiative is initiated by China, so their interests will be their priority, but that does not mean western companies can not profit. Let me illustrate this with Alibaba.com, China’s wholesale B2B trading platform.

The New Silk Road connects Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba to the West

This summer I read Jack Ma’s biography. (It’s an Amazon Link 😉 ) Jack Ma is co-founder of the Alibaba Group, a Chinese multinational conglomerate holding company specializing in e-commerce, retail, Internet, and technology. One of its companies is Alibaba.com, China’s largest integrated international online wholesale marketplace. And not only for Chinese brands, but also western. Brands like Philips, Apple but also Adidas, Burberry and many more.

Why are these western companies interested? Well, it’s all about the money.

Not only is China a highly populated country with a lot of consumers. Jack Ma knows this and wants to enable the Chinese to buy goods easier through ecommerce. Next to that he also made a traditional Chinese Day, Singles Day, every 11th november, a spectacular consumer event, with a lot of international celebrities, getting a boost from China’s expanding middle class and a massive online population.

In its 10th year, the annual Singles’ Day event got 213.5 billion yuan ($30.7 billion) in merchandise sales. That is a lot and that is why the western companies like Philips etc. are very interested in working with Alibaba.

Why Salesforce and Alibaba?

Alibaba recently became the exclusive seller of Salesforce’s cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) software suite in the Greater China region. It is a win-win situation for both sides.

Salesforce will definitely increase its revenue in the Asia-Pacific region by partnering with Alibaba. China is a highly populated country, with a booming increase in ecommerce companies and all these companies need a solid CRM solution in the cloud.

Alibaba will also benefit, because it does not have a CRM solution of its own for Small and Medium sized businesses. Salesforce will fill this gap. Next to that, Alibaba’s biggest Chinese competitor, Tencent, owns WeChat, a messaging solution with pay capabilities. It is an all-in-one e-commerce and CRM platform for companies. With Salesforce, Alibaba can make a fist against Tencent.

Ecommerce: The Silk road journey continues

Observing the Chinese ecommerce ambitions (Alibaba, Tencent, JD.com etc.) I see the New Silk Road, initiated with the Bet and Road Initiative, is playing a big role. By creating an international solid infrastructure (sea and land) China will create a new Silk Road, but now for modern products.

How is this going to affect the Western ecommerce? Time will tell.

Shoe dog, a TestingSaaS review

Shoe Dog – a must read for SaaS entrepreneurs

Shoe Dog – a must read for SaaS entrepreneurs 1399 2153 Cordny

A quote from Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE, Phil Knight, Scribner, 2016

“So that morning in 1962 I told myself: Let everyone else call your idea crazy . . . just keep going. Don’t stop. Don’t even think about stopping until you get there, and don’t give much thought to where “there” is. Whatever comes, just don’t stop.” 

‘Shoe Dog’ is a great book for entrepreneurs.

It shows how Phil Knight, together with other running geeks – remember Apple- started Nike with its forerunner Blue Ribbon Sports.

And it is not always rainbow and sunshine, it is brutally tough, financially and personally.

Why did I want to read ‘Shoe Dog’?

The last years I follow a lot of podcasts about entrepreneurship.

One of these from Ryan Serhant mentioned ‘Shoe Dog’ as a must read and I thought ‘Why not?’

Well, it was not a mistake. Why? Let me explain.

Why is this book also relevant to SaaS entrepreneurs?

From marketing to founders, to managing and product, this book will help you understand what it really takes to build a successful solution. Here it is a shoe, but it also could be a SaaS app. And it also shows, next to your product, you need your marketing. The product does not sell itself.

Next to that, it is not only technology you sell, you sell a service and there should be a need for that service.

As an athlete Mr. Knight saw this need and took action. Against all odds, but always iterating, with the customer experience always upfront. That’s what SaaS entrepreneurs also must do. 

What do I like about this book?

It’s a boy’s book about starting a business you are passionate about.  

Full of entrepreneurial adventures.

Everybody is against it, you hold on against all odds, and at the end you ‘win’.

But still, there are personals costs, like not having all the time for your children and at the end losing one. That’s tough, that’s a life lesson, it’s not only business. Family and friends count!

Therefore it is also a ‘coming of age’ book where Mr. Knight describes his life and at the end looks back at it. It’s not only glory, it’s not only misery.

Mr. Knight never brags, he shows how he did business and it was never easy.

As a starting business- and middle-aged man (😉) I recognize a lot of things I also did in my younger years. However, I also learned that I still can do a lot.

Next to the starting a business part, I also like it because it  an insight in Japanese business and culture. It shows how an American started a million dollar business with japanese partners, just 15 years after World War 2. That requires courage and stamina.

And even after Nike and Onitsuka’s business relationship ended bitterly Mr. Knight’s admiration for Japan continues.

What do I not like about this book?

I’m not a runner myself, so I had to get used to Mister Knight’s fascination for running. 

But hey, I am reading a book written by Nike’s founder. Then you have to get used to the running virus. 

Maybe I even start running myself this year. It is a solo sport, you run against yourself. 

As an entrepreneur, that sounds very familiar.

At the end Mr. Knight mentions Nike, since the seventies, has been accused of using sweatshops to produce footwear and later on, apparel. He counter argues it, stating Nike has made improvements and it is way better than when the Nike factories started in Asia.

For me, as a person, it was not necessary to have this in this book. But, because it are his memoirs, and Nike is Mr. Knight’s founding baby (as TestingSaaS is mine), I can imagine why he mentions it. Nobody likes to have his baby criticized.

What I learned from ‘Shoe Dog’?

It is all about passion, but if you do not persist and work with the right people, your dream, to work with your passion, will not come true. It is not only rainbow and sunshine.

You will have to do things you do not want to do, like long negotiations, setbacks, paying taxes (even if you don’t have to) and keep a constant eye on your finances. 

Founding a business is one thing, maintaining  a business is a whole other ballgame.

But still, keep the passion and do not get tangled in daily hassles.

Otherwise you get burned out. And that experience I do not want to have anymore.

Final remark about ‘Shoe Dog’

‘Shoe Dog’ is a great entrepreneurial ‘coming of age’ book.

It gives an insight in how an ambitious guy from Oregon started a shoe business and became one of the sneaker giants.

And I envy Mr. Knight. Not because of his success. No, because he still had one person who could see his struggles and success, while doing what he likes best.  

There is one person who is not here to see me doing what I like and even make money.

I wish my dad saw me now.

Who dares wins!