A friend of mine thought there was something wrong with her phone. The reason? Her WebXPRT score was a lot lower than the score we published on the WebXPRT Web site.
From the frequency with which she posts on Facebook, I guessed she had the Facebook app running on her phone. So I asked if she had installed any apps on her phone since she bought it. She said “a few,” and I suggested we try turning some of them off.
Sometimes “a few” means “a lot.”
Anyway, after we turned a bunch of the apps off, her score jumped to over 90 percent of the published score. That made her happy, but she wanted to know why the apps would affect her score because “it’s the same phone.” I asked if she would expect her car to get the same gas mileage if it were carrying a bunch of cinderblocks. “Of course not,” she said, quickly understanding the metaphor. Asking your phone to do other things during the test is going to put a drag on the system.
It’s important to remember that benchmarking can be a pretty specialized area. As the popularity of the XPRTs grows, they are being run more often by bright, well educated people who don’t understand benchmarking basics. For this reason, we’re putting a lot of effort into automating best practices where we can, and guiding people when necessary.
Have the XPRTs ever confused you? If so, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can use your input.