Friday, 30 September 2011

Beta and beyond

UPDATE: Please visit Making Pottermore even better for the most up-to-date information about Beta testing and when Pottermore will be open to everyone. For information about site developments and changes (for those in the Beta) please visit the Pottermore site updates page.

There are now one million people with access to Pottermore and everyone who registered through The Magical Quill challenge can access the site.

The Beta is enabling us to learn a lot about how people want to use Pottermore – and to understand the features they enjoy the most.

Since the launch of the Beta, we’ve seen really high levels of activity, and interaction with the site has been phenomenal. This affects how quickly we can give everyone access. As a result, we’ve decided to extend the Beta period beyond September and take a different approach to the way new users are brought onto the site.

From the end of October, registration will be opened to everyone and we’ll be giving access to registered users in phases. Access may be granted quickly, but please note it could also take some weeks or months, depending on demand.

We are also making a number of enhancements and simplifications to Pottermore, in order to make the site smoother and more enjoyable - so existing Beta users will likely experience some changes when new users begin to join.

Finally, the Pottermore Shop, which will sell the Harry Potter eBooks and digital audio books, will now open in the first half of 2012, in order to allow us to focus on our first priority: opening Pottermore to as many people as possible and making the experience as good as it can be.

I’ve only just received my Welcome email. How can I give you feedback if I’ve only had a few days to explore the site?

As many Beta users only received their Welcome email in the final week of September, we are extending the Beta period to get as much feedback from our early-access users as possible – and to ensure that the site will be ready when more people are enabled.

All Beta users will have the chance to take part in a Pottermore survey, and we’ll be using the responses provided to help us improve Pottermore for everyone.

What has Pottermore learned so far from Beta users?

They’ve been incredibly active, interacting with the site far more intensely and frequently than we thought they would. (You might be interested to know the site has already had 550 million page views!) We’ve been making modifications and improvements to accommodate the way Pottermore is being used, and we’ve also made the decision to stagger the process of giving new users access so that we can ensure that everyone on the site has the best possible experience.

As a Beta user, how am I helping to shape the Pottermore experience?

We’re tweaking different parts of the site based on how you’re interacting with it and the feedback you’re currently giving us. We’ll also be sending out a Beta survey to all Beta participants to help us decide which features to enhance and which to simplify.

The site isn't always available, or can be very slow. Why is this?

As with most new sites, we've been experiencing technical challenges as more people begin to use Pottermore. These are usually quickly resolved as they arise, but can affect site performance or availability for short periods. We will continue to let you know, here on the Insider, if the site is unavailable for an extended period of time. We'd like to thank you for your patience.

When will I be able to duel again?

This area of the site has proved to be even more popular than we anticipated and we want to make sure that it will be able cope with the large number of users we expect before turning it back on.

We know people are keen for Wizard’s Duel to return and we’ll let you know, via the Insider, the moment it’s available.

I’m not in the Beta. When will Pottermore be available to me?

We expect to open registration to everyone from the end of October. Registering means that you'll be able to create a Pottermore account and select a username. You won’t have immediate access to the site as we’ll be enabling people in phases.

Once you’ve registered, we’ll send you a Welcome email to let you know when your Pottermore account has been activated. This may arrive quickly but please note it could also take a number of weeks or months, depending on demand.

I've already submitted my email address to Pottermore. Does this mean I'm registered?

Not yet, but we'll be using the email address you submitted to let you know when Pottermore registration has begun.

When will the Pottermore Shop be open?

As our first priority is to get as many people onto the site as possible, we have decided to open the shop in the first half of 2012.

We will keep you updated with news about the Pottermore Shop here on the blog over the next few months.

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