Adding time component to milestones, and time zone support
We'll soon add a time component to the current date-based system whose time component defaults to midnight UTC+1. This update will include time zone support with automatic daylight saving adjustments.
More detailed test instructions
Improved customisation of tests to include tester instructions and other details which you'd like your testers to know about and remember.
Blog on running pattern tests, for designers
A fortnightly (transitioning to weekly) blog that focuses on the designers running pattern tests. Intented to be the go-to resource to navigate the various aspects of pattern testing and identify best practices.
This blog is influenced by a first-hand experience in running many, many pattern tests. More importantly, it's backed by lots of qualitative and quantitative data we are constantly gathering as part of our work here at Pattern Orchard. Some of it we gather ourselves by measuring and observing, and some we receive directly from designers from all around the world. We put it together, analyse it, and share our learnings through this blog.
Test hub for testers
A central touchpoint for each test. One single link from which potential testers can apply, and current testers can access test resources and submit their feedback.
All action points and important test/tester information at your fingertips.
Download test feedback
Feedback for each test will be downloadable in various formats.
Historical tester performance
You'll be able to keep notes on individual testers' performance on each test to help you evaluate applicants in future tests. This will be supplemented by the system, which will automatically keep and display a record of testers' historical performance based on various metrics and data points.
UI and UX improvementsOngoing
Pattern Orchard's interface and user experience is being constantly updated and improved. While Pattern Orchard is in private Alpha, a lot of new functionality is being constantly added, with frequent changes being made to the exisiting feature set. So while it is premature to optimise the layout and interactivity of the system, we are constantly making improvements as we go along. The user experience will be a core focus as we move out of Alpha over the coming months.
Yarn requirements for a test will be prominently available at application stage and in the test hub page. Testers will be able to check whether their choice of yarn is a suitable substitute at the click of a button.You'll have the option to require them to specify their choice of yarn early on, which will be automatically checked for suitability. Besides helping to avoid late-stage surprises, this will provide insight into each tester's progress and flag anyone you might need to follow up on.
Knowledge Base and help articles for designersOngoing
We're building a library of how-to guides, general tips, FAQs, and more. Although we've focused on creating an intuitive tool, we're aware that every new system needs getting used to, especially with an interface that is still in flux. This is not an issue for your testers as we've made sure that they have a clean, simple, low-friction experience.
Test groups for each pattern variantPlanned
Tester groups can be picked for specific pattern variants rather than the whole test. This will allow you to better monitor the status and progress of each pattern variant being tested.
Custom test milestonesPlanned
Ability to add custom checkpoints and milestones throughout the pattern test period (eg. tester progress check-in.)
You can instruct Pattern Orchard to automatically send out messages to testers on your behalf. This includes test calls, tester acceptance/rejection notifications, test start/end messages, etc... All of which will be customisable via templates, and can be personalised to each individual tester.
Apply your visual brand (and more) to all public-facing pages. All automated communications can be issued through your email servers/domains instead of our own, for a seamless integration into your processes. This will also come with even more possibilities for customisation of various aspects of Pattern Orchard.
As part of testers' historical records, Pattern Orchard will automatically rate every tester's performance for each test depending on a number of metrics and data points (such as quality and timeliness of feedback, etc...). You'll be able to override this rating with your own. Ratings will be further aggregated into a single collective rating per tester. You'll have a better insight into the composition of your community of testers and can make informed decisions when assembiling a new test group in future tests.
Social media integrationsPlanned
Automated (customisable) posts can be made to your social media profiles, such as issuing a public test call. Responses will be monitored automatically and actionable directly from your test page.
Chat rooms for each pattern test and/or your tester pool communityPlanned
Created specifically for pattern testing purposes, these would be more than just a basic group-DM thread, without the complexities and unnecessary bells and whistles of popular 3rd party community chat apps (like Slack or Discord) which tend to discourage less tech-savvy testers.
For example: Yarn substitution calculators, automated pattern term conversion between UK & US terms, etc... Besides being convenient for testers, these tools are intended to reduce tester mistakes, further increase the accuracy and validity of your test results, and reduce tester attrition.
Location-based customisations such as date formats.
Prompts and remindersPlanned
Helps you keep track of pending tasks, what you need to do next, and by when.
Feedback grace periodPlanned
Customisable length of time to allow feedback submissions after test ends. This will be considered "late" feedback by the system. It will allow you to still receive feedback from testers who may have just missed the deadline (for whatever reason) whilst providing more insight into your testers. This will be integrated into automated tester ratings once these are developed.
Discovery platformUnder consideration
Helps designers and testers find each other without all the noise of mass social media, ensuring the right designer-tester fit.