I tried out the Yarnpond website for my test knitting and found it was amazing! I think you should use it too, and here's why.
It is easy to navigate. You have all you need on the left hand side, your tests and pool of testers, messages and your profile.
The site has nothing extra or unnecessary jammed into it and there is no flickering or disturbing ads!
The layout is very clean and easy to read which IMHO is very rare now days.
I love that the site is designed to do one thing only and it does it very good!
First you sign up as a knitter or crocheter whit your own name, forum name, e-mail and timezone. That’s all! You may add an avatar if you wish 🙂 You do this regardless if your a designer looking for testers or a knitter/crocheter looking to tests knit or test crochet.
It’s really important that the signing up is as easy as possible for the testers. Now days we need to sign up for everything and it is a drag. I’m really glad they made it easy, it really impacts the way people join!
After you signed up you may add your designer profile. The site asks you to give your designer name and real name, where you’re from and where you can be found on the web.
You can write your own introduction or just import your Ravelry designer or personal intro.
You get to choose if your test knit pools are open or closed.
If you have an open pool, any knitter or crocheter can add them self to it at any time. I chose this one because it seemed like the easier and less work for me way to go.
If you have a closed pool then testers can apply to join your pool, but you must approve them before they become members.
You can have test open to “Members” when only members of your pool can apply, this is great when you want to test with a limited group of people, someone you know from before or any other criteria you have for your pool.
If the test is open to “Public” then anyone with a Yarn Pond account can apply, this is great when you need new or more testers.
It's really important that the signing up is as easy as possible for the testers. Now days we need to sign up for everything and it is a drag. I'm really glad they made it easy, it really impacts the way people join!
You don't need to have a check list, just answer the questions and like a miracle everything is done for you!
Starting a test
Did I mention the site was easy to use? OMG!
To start a test just click tests on the left hand side and +new test on the right.
Next page has all the questions you need to answer when putting up a test anywhere, only now you don’t need to have a check list, just answer the questions and like a miracle everything is done for you!
This is why I wanted to tell you about the Yarnpond!
I have run one test so far and it’s been amazing!
Upon starting the test you get a neat short link to your test that you can then share and wait for it… They share your test on Instagram! This was a very welcomed and surprising bonus!
Set an application date and a start date, when the start date comes, yarnpond will prompt you to choose your testers and start the test.
This is a good method if:
you are expecting to get a lot of applicants
you are planning to pay your testers/sample makers and want to treat it more like a job application process
you want all your testers to get access to the pattern at the same time
you want a fine-grained view of how long the item takes to make.
Start the test right away and accept testers any time up to the deadline.
This is a good method if:
you are happy to keep accepting testers once other testers have started
you want your testers to be able to start immediately
you have a long test period for an item that’s fairly quick to make (so someone joining late will still finish on time)
I choose the later one for my first test, once again, easier and less hustle for me!
Distributing the pattern
That has always been a problem for me with tests. Now I just share my pattern from my google drive, or any other online source (pdf download will be available later!) or I can choose to e-mail the pattern to the testers, but once again I choose the easy way out 😀
They share my test on Instagram! This was a very welcomed and surprising bonus!
Questions and problems
When the testers have a question they go to the chat room and ask their question, you get noticed by e-mail and head on to answer or resolve the problem.
The good things just keep on coming! You can pick from 15 pre-written questions, all the usual questions you’d like to know after a test, modify them or come up with your own!
This is one thing I always forget to do, ask for final feedback! Now I don’t have to worry about that anymore!
Yes, it cost something, other wise you’d have to live with ads. I’m happy to pay for a clean layout (grhm…) !
Prizing vary from 5$ per test for a hobbyist to 25$ per month where you can run up to 10 tests at the same time. Check the current prizes here.
For my first test I picked the pay per test, just to see how it worked.
The site saves me a ton of time and brainpower! I don’t have to think about
getting all the testers to one place
what to tell them about the test (specs etc.)
how to get the pattern to testers
how to get an updated pattern to testers
how to keep the group together especially when running a secret test!
checking in all the time
how to get everyone to know about a problem in the pattern
how to get everyone to know that the problem has been fixed
asking the right feedback questions!