I'm working on a plan for a possible beta release of a site, and I'd
like to hear from others who have done the same. If you've worked on
a site that had a beta phase prior to a redesign or other major
change, how long did the beta last? Was there a predetermined
rationale for keeping the beta going for that length of time, or was
it more a matter of keeping the beta up until the new site was ready
My feeling is that there is no optimum length for a beta, and that
it's too context-dependent to come up with even a rule of thumb.
Obviously, it's possible to have a beta be too short-lived to tell
you anything valuable. But I'm wondering if others think it's
possible for betas to go on for too long--if the law of diminishing
returns kicks in at some point. (And then there's the case of Gmail,
with its apparently permanent beta--but I'm sure there's some
perfectly good reason for leaving it that way.)
All anecdotes, experiences, opinions, etc., greatly appreciated.