What Does Beta Mean?

What is “Beta”?

Beta is the testing phase, and it’s a time when content is locked in. This is slightly different when dealing with a living website, because as new content is created, the idea of locking-down content becomes more difficult to enforce.

In my case, I continue to do freelance writing and game design. In the last week I participated in a sketch group, wrote two op-ed pieces, and I continue to refine my thesis.

So, while the basic sections of the website are locked in, there will be usability adjustments between now and RTM. This means that if someone says “this toggle doesn’t function as well as a tab would” you may see a change. If there’s some sense that the information doesn’t flow, I will rethink the way I present that information.

Ultimately, there is still a lot of content to produce (especially in the case of the post mortems for each project). There is no expected RTM for the final site, as I continue to work on other projects and gesture toward the website when I’ve got the time.


Previous Update:

Up until now the website has been in a pre-alpha stage (this lasted about ten days). This essentially encompases all aspects of a project’s development in the pre-production and testing phase. This included proof of concept, design and layout tests, basic placeholders (for both pages and products).

For this portfolio site this included the management of images, videos, and other content. It also meant playing with and experimenting with the tech (I’m using the Divi theme from Elegant Themes, and while it’s a very robust and very easy system, there is always a learning curve with new tech).

The site’s alpha phase basically means that the shape and concept of the site has placeholder art and information. The basic function of the site exists. You can learn about the music, film, and publishing I’ve done over the last five years. During the Alpha phase I intend to fortify the flow of the website, make sure that all my links point to something useful, and begin to provide the supplementary commentary that shows not only production, but comprehension.

This starts with this box of information, right here. If you’re reading this, you already understand a little more about the way I think, the way I work, and the way I plan. I hope you’ll keep coming back to see my changes over the next week as I move toward Beta.

-Steven Kilpatrick