Crowdtesting in the real world

Great digital experiences begin with understanding users’ expectations and perceptions – and their definition of quality


Digital properties are the gateway to a company’s brand and business. In fact, mobile apps, websites – desktop and mobile – and connected devices are the primary way many consumers interact with companies in today’s digital economy.

At a minimum, digital properties need to work as intended before they can deliver real customer value. That’s because, in the current digital landscape, the cost of switching brands is lower than ever; some would say switching costs no longer exist.

Think about the following scenario: an e-commerce shopping cart crashes while a consumer is checking out. Well, for that user, it’s goodbye retailer X and hello retailer Y, in just a matter of seconds.

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Add to this new reality the fact that digital users are more vocal than ever, with app stores and social media channels readily available to heap praise or share displeasure, and the importance of high-quality digital experiences is also higher than ever.

Modern sites and apps need real-world testing from solution providers that are everywhere users live, work and play

The bottom line: digital properties must work everywhere, on every device, the first time and every time. Anything less and even the biggest global brands risk losing out to the competition.

However, providing great digital experiences is harder than ever. Companies move faster, with frequent new versions, application updates and new features. Ever-increasing fragmentation, of devices, operating systems, carriers, locations and more, create a moving target that makes it difficult to ensure web and mobile apps are delivering a great experience every time for every user.

With all of this to account for, how can companies ensure quality? Traditional approaches to software testing slow down the pace of innovation and quick-fix automation solutions lack return on investment. The result is often an app or website that lags behind the business cycle or drives users away with a sub-par experience.

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The fact is today’s app economy requires a new, holistic approach that’s designed for modern digital. It requires testing solutions that match a company’s user base in terms of locations, devices, and software and use cases across their portfolio of digital properties.  Modern sites and apps need real-world testing from solution providers that are everywhere users live, work and play.

Applause, for example, works with companies ranging from burgeoning startups to the world’s biggest brands, including Google, Amazon and more, to test apps and digital properties in the wild with a community of more than 200,000 vetted quality assurance professionals from 200 countries and territories around the world. Applause can test any web or mobile application at any time and in any country.

In fact, as you read this, an Applause customer has 300 recurring testers from 20 different countries reporting bugs on their web application. That entire test project will take less than one day, so there is no delay in the development or launch schedule, and that customer will run another test cycle tomorrow to test the company’s latest build. A different customer has 20 testers all across London, checking to make sure an Android payment application is working at local shops and major retailers.

News UK is one company in a highly competitive market that realized they needed a crowd testing solution to complement their in-house testing and ensure their apps worked as well in the hands of users as they did in the test lab. By crowd testing their apps with real people all across the UK and Europe, they are consistently delivering high-quality digital experiences and readers keep coming back for more.

And it is not just the users who benefit from this approach. News UK was able to shorten their total testing time for mobile applications, while launching with greater confidence. Regression tests, which may have taken their internal testers 25 days to complete, can now be done in two days.

In today’s digital economy, users determine quality, and they live in the real world.  Understand their point of view, listen to them and you can launch great digital experiences that grow your customers’ loyalty – and your company’s top line.

Matt Johnston is the chief marketing and strategy officer for Applause. For more information, visit www.applause.com