I listened recently to a couple (not so recent) episodes of the Startup Success Podcast where the topic was “crowdsourced” testing. In episode 20 Bob Walsh and Patrick Foley interviewed Dave Garr and Darrell Benatar, founders of UserTesting.com. In episode 22 they interviewed Matt Johnston from uTest. These are both interesting services that facilitate a kind of hands on testing that would otherwise be too expensive for smaller (not so well funded) companies, whether they’re startups or not.
This also got me thinking about translation and internationalization. Since these services enlist testers from around the globe they could provide testing of translated versions of an application. There are crowdsourced translation services as well. It seems to me that combining such a service with a separate user testing service that puts the translation in front of many more eyes of native speakers could result in higher quality translated versions of an application. In the case where an application is built on a (non-web) platform that these services do not support, it might be worth mocking up menus and forms as web pages simply to make use of crowsourced translation and testing services.
At this point I’m just thinking out loud. This is not something I have a use for today but I wanted to make a note here for future reference. If anyone reading this (not that I think anyone actually reads the Blue Cog Blog) has experience in this area I’d like to hear about it.