Buglance | Advantages and disadvantages of crowdsourced testing

Advantages and disadvantages of crowdsourced testing

Advantages and disadvantages of crowdsourced testing
Software testing is usually defined as an activity to check whether the produced software (or hardware) meets the specified requirements. Some define it in a more specific way - as an activity to develop defect-free software. A product description or a technical specification almost always envisions the end product, with the unquestionably correct implementation. Thus, bugs are usually not anticipated, and only found after some time has passed, and some code has been written down. Realistically though, 100% bug-free software is pretty much impossible to achieve. Especially now that most teams work in Agile and/or iterative ways, more and more features are added on a frequent basis. Whether to meet client needs or to retain a competitive edge, applications get more complicated day by day.
Ula Rustamova
Ula RustamovaSoftware Engineer

Why is (crowd) testing important?

Inevitably, every product gets tested. Any credible source you read on high-quality implementations will tell you how important it is to test your application. Equally important is the choice of strategy, planning, and, finally, the tools for achieving the ultimate goal of bug-free software.

Choosing the right strategy can save your resources and precious development time. In most cases, software developers or engineers end up testing the software themselves. That might happen, even when you have a testing or QA team available within reach of your office floor.

If you plan accordingly, you might save up the majority of the time your tech team should otherwise spend on development.

Testing can bring up not only errors, gaps, and missing requirements. It also can highlight how previously implemented features are performing after you have added new ones. Depending on the type of testing you do, you can also identify the issues with latency, gaps, and errors within content in your software, compatibility, and dependencies within your application.

Sounds amazing, doesn't it?

There’s a catch - testing can be done in so many ways that it can easily become very daunting.

In the end, it all comes down to choices and the best fit for your circumstances.

What type would suit your application best? What is the best way to go about it? And what if you don’t have the resources to outsource all of your testings?

We have outlined 5 top ways to test your application. Although it is not an exhaustive list, it can give you a hint and a push in the right direction.

Crowdtesting is one of the outlined testing strategies. In short, crowdtesting is exactly what it sounds like - crowdsourced testing. Usually, crowdtesting is easiest to access through existing platforms, as they have thousands, if not dozens of thousands of testers already enrolled and ready to get testing.

If you are considering crowdtesting as the strategy (or one of them) for your software, but still are unsure about your choice - you have come to the right place!

This article is going to give main advantages and disadvantages of crowdtesting. The goal is that, depending on your software, you will be able to identify whether the pros provided by crowdtesting can be of extreme help. And maybe, the disadvantages will showcase that this strategy is not the best for you.

Without further do, here is the list!

Advantage 1: You get huge human diversity with crowdsourced testing

By definition, crowdsourced testing is accessing the power of crowds in testing software. If the crowdtesting platform is an established one, you would have access to thousands of testers within several clicks.

Learn more about the advantages of crowdsourced testing over in-house testing.

Crowdtesting is only possible due to connectivity and the mighty Internet. As it happens with crowdsourcing in any industry, the crowd is spread all around the world.

People with different backgrounds and expertise can be a great source of fresh and real user perspective. This way, you can easily avoid the biased opinions in-house testers and developers usually have. These diverse groups of people can point out things that you and your team probably would have never even thought of.

Another kind of diversity crowdtesting brings is geographical diversity. This can be beneficial due to several reasons.

First, the Internet and its speed are not spread out equally. Users in some parts of the world might not enjoy your application with fancy features that take a long time to load. For others, some protocols or implementation specifics might raise legal and regulatory restrictions.

Crowds can help avoid these frustrations by pinpointing them before you launch your application to the wider world.

Second - translation and content. If you are planning to launch your application on several continents and languages, you might not even know that the wording you are using is correct or not. Crowdtesting can give you access to native speakers and tell you where exactly your message is not conveying what was intended.

Advantage 2: You can test your product on any device and anywhere

Any developer knows this dreadful case: a user reports a bug that neither testers nor developers can catch and replicate. “It works just fine!” they say.

After much investigation, turns out a specific type of device, from a specific brand and of a specific model has an issue that all other devices do not have.

In reality, you can have only so many devices for in-house testing. One could say, virtual environments could be an alternative. However, can you imagine how many environments you need to set up for the thousands of devices on the market? How long would it take to set up only a few?

With crowdtesting, you don’t even need to try! The variety of environments is given. Crowdtesting platforms offer a large number of testers, which can test your software on thousands of unique mobile or web environments.

In fact, in Buglance, out of 10,000+ devices offered, you can even specify the devices you would like to test your application on. By narrowing down the devices, you can tackle existing issues or complement the in-house devices you are using for testing.

Environment diversity is not restricted only to devices. Let’s say your software is a web-based one; this diversity is not of much interest to you. Then, for example, testing the compatibility of browsers and their different versions can definitely save your team a lot of time and headache.

Advantage 3: You can make your testing process more efficient and scalable

Before we dive into how and why crowdtesting makes processes more efficient and scalable, let’s talk about why you would want to scale or make things more efficient in the first place.

It has been estimated that in 2019, on average, 23% of an organization’s annual IT budget goes towards quality assurance and testing.

Learn more about the proportion of budget allocated to quality assurance and testing as a percentage of IT spend.

Granted these organizations are of larger size, the situation in small to medium-sized start-ups might come far from this estimation.

In smaller companies, developer teams are usually the ones to code and tests the software all at the same time.

Statistically, in single-component applications, around 20% of all development hours go to testing. For a two-component application, this time increases to around 30%.

Only rarely enterprise-level applications, or any commonly used application consists of three or fewer components. And most likely, the application has a graphical user interface, which complicates things further.

Indeed, an application with a graphical user interface (GUI) would take up to 35% of your time. And for those working on a distributed application with a graphical user interface, this number reaches the scary 50%.

Not only the testing in more complicated systems is significant, but it is also much much harder.

Another thing to note - developer hours are extremely important and usually quite expensive. In the ideal world, you would deliver the perfect product on time! The reality is much harsher, and in fact, much slower and costlier.

This is where crowdtesting can come to help once again and be of great help if you are short on time and/or resources. With access to a large testing community, you can scale your testing very quickly. And most importantly, they can roll their sleeves and focus on coding up the product. In the meantime, the bugs and issue reports will quickly and nicely knock on your dashboard, without you even trying.

Request a demo for access to 40 000+ real user testing community from 150+ countries

Even more so, if you are in need of urgent testing, you can get bug reports quite literally within hours of submitting your application.

However, note that how quickly you are going to get the bug reports will largely depend on the platform you are using for crowdtesting, too.

Crowdtesting gives you amazing capabilities when it comes to parallelization. On some platforms, you would be given a choice on testing types. Thus, making it possible to test multiple things at the same time.

In Buglance, you can set up tests on, for instance, exploratory testing, functional testing and usability testing all at the same time!

Advantage 4: Crowdsourced testing helps you to save your budget

We established (and you are already probably hyper-aware of this) that your tech team’s time is precious and, also, quite expensive.

Technically, depending on the type of application you are working on, you can save up to 20-50% of your product development budget. Let’s also not forget the damage that untested or failed products can do to the company’s reputation and, eventually, to the revenue.

If you are to go with automated testing, the numbers might look slightly different.

When outsourcing the testing, you can spend somewhere from $500 on a monthly basis to thousands, if not dozens of thousands on annual coverage.

Moreover, outsourcing testing requires much time to set up. While these solutions can provide exhaustive testing in some areas, you will be required to provide multiple technical documents. And complete many set up stages... And most likely, sign contracts and deal with bureaucracy… And so on, so forth.

With crowdtesting, however, your overall budget can be reduced quite heavily. Accessing an enormous community of testers for a price less than a developer’s monthly pay is a bargain. The setup process is normally easy to complete and can come in handy when on a time constraint.

Disadvantages of crowdsourced testing

Looking at the given points above, it is easy to convince oneself that crowdsourced testing is the solution to all your testing issues. However, it would be delusional to think that the coin of crowdtesting does not have the flip side.

Considering the disadvantages of crowdtesting might be even more important. In the modern, fast-paced development environment, the least desirable thing would be to waste your time and resources on something that might not be the best fit.

Disadvantage 1: Quality may be overlooked in crowdsourced testing

If confidentiality is potentially the most dangerous disadvantage, the issue of ‘bug quantity’ is the most commonly mentioned.

The users of some crowdtesting platforms can sometimes observe that the complexity of reported bugs is usually quite low, and quality is compromised.

This is most common in on-demand crowdtesting companies. It can usually happen if you are submitting an application that has both simple and complicated bugs, where you might find that most of the submitted bugs tend to be the easy-to-find errors despite being reported as complex ones.

In on-demand crowdtesting methodology, bug hunters or testers get paid more for finding more complex defects; those take up much more time and effort.

It is one of the reasons why crowdtesting paired with in-house testing techniques can form a perfect duo. You can outsource quick errors in large quantities to the crowds, while in-house testers can take a deep dive into complicated scenarios.

In addition, you can still benefit from crowdtesting companies while ensuring the quality level, as long as you are provided with alternative options other than “pay-as-you-go.”

Disadvantage 2: Managing and tracking can get out of control

The very fact of a large number of people testing your application can sometimes lead to difficulties in their management. Especially if your application was not tested prior to publishing on the platform to eliminate the most obvious bugs.

In cases when you are utilizing several types of testing at the same time, you can imagine how quickly bug reports can pile up.

If the platform you are using for crowdtesting is not validating the bug reports properly, you might have to communicate to the testers. And since the testers are scattered all around the world, communication can get complicated really quickly. Hence, time zones and language barriers can stand in the way of smooth operations.

Choosing a crowdtesting platform that provides support for these issues and manages bug reports internally can be a great help.

Check how to get validated bug reports fast and manage them efficiently.

Disadvantage 3: Finding the best fit may become an issue in crowdsourced testing

The list of possible testing types is very extensive. Some testing is categorized by the technology tested - security testing, user interface (UI) testing, etc. Another testing is divided by the nature of the development work - for instance, iterative or regression testing.

Due to the nature of crowdtesting, not all testing types are suitable for the crowds to complete. Hence, it is important to identify the types of testing you would like to outsource to the crowds, and be careful with the choice.

The exploratory nature of crowdtesting can make it hard when ensuring the product performs well as a whole.

We have listed 7 testing types that work best with crowdsourced solutions.

A good tip is also to identify what it would mean to have a fully tested product. What qualities would you like to have by the end of testing? What features are the most crucial to test? This way, you would have measurable ways to tell whether you have achieved the completeness of testing or not.

Disadvantage 4: Confidentiality is not always guaranteed

In some cases, there might be concerns due to the sharing of your application with the community of testers. If there are features of the application that are extremely sensitive, and you do not want to share it with the outside world immediately, you might want to hold crowdtesting for some time.

Usually, confidentiality is not a big concern, since teams are taking extreme care of such sensitivities beforehand. They test them with in-house testers or sign a contract with the crowdtesting platform to make sure these issues stay in check.

If any sort of intellectual property document is on its way but hasn’t been published yet - you might want to hold the crowdtesting endeavor until you have it secured.

Another case when you might want to take some precautions is when you are planning to launch a disruptive feature that would keep your competitive edge. In this case, it is a good idea to launch the crowdtesting not too far away from the launch and try getting support from the crowdtesting platform itself.


Whatever software you are producing, testing is not only important but inevitable. While there are many ways to go about it, it is important to consider your resources and priorities when choosing one or more suitable testing types for yourself.

Crowdtesting has been growing in popularity, and the advantages mentioned here are definitely on the list of its reasons for increasing fame. However, crowdtesting as a tool is only useful if the right conditions are met. Hence, the pros and cons, as well as potential problems were given here, can hopefully point you in the right direction and help avoid wasting time and resources.

If you think that crowdtesting is the strategy you would like to utilize, Buglance provides the most comprehensive software testing solutions with a massive testing community of real users from all over the world. Not only it gives you all the listed benefits, but there are many strategies in place to prevent and fight the potential problems.

For example, Buglance provides a platform to easily manage the testing (and testers), and efficiently marks repeated bugs for you to focus on the unique ones. Therefore, you will not be receiving invalid bugs.

To get more detailed information on affordable pricing rates and what more do we offer, request a demo today.