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Embedding Speed & Quality in Applications & Delivery

By Andrew Simister | Director of Digital QA

INSIGHTS // Articles

14 Nov 2018

#CrowdTesting|#Mobile|#TestManagement

INSIGHTS // Articles

#CrowdTesting|#Mobile|#TestManagement

By Andrew Simister

14 Nov 2018

Consumers have become so reliant on their end-point of choice, in many cases a smartphone, that it has become their sole means of engaging with companies digitally. However, ensuring it is a smooth experience remains a challenge for many.

Embedding Speed & Quality in Applications & Delivery

At our recent “Evolving Your Delivery to Meet Customer Demands” event in Sydney, I discussed how to deliver first-class functionality, usability, speed and security in apps, and beat competitors to market through the right mix of skills, processes and tools in your app delivery. I also spoke about how customers expect businesses to provide products and/or services to any device or media they use to access at any time and any place, irrelevant of any conditions.

One just has to look at the numbers to see how reliant people have become on their smartphones and apps. Rather than give up their smartphone:

  • 30% would stop seeing their friends in person
  • 45% would put off going on vacation
  • 46% would give up a day off per week
  • 55% would forgo dining out for 12 months

These statistics set the scene for how crucial smartphones have become to us, particularly to our private and work lives. As for customers’ expectations, they want apps to be easy to learn and use:

  • 53% of users will uninstall a mobile app that crashes, freezes or has errors
  • 68% of users will leave a site if it has an unintuitive user interface
  • 80% will attempt to use a problematic mobile app 3 times or less

There’s also a growing market play towards accessibility, particularly in the public sector where it is often a legislative requirement. But the private sector is also realising it can appeal to another market segment:

  • 15% of the world’s population experience some form of disability
  • 4.3m Australians is living with some form of disability (1 in 5)
  • 300% growth in the size of the aging population is estimated by 2050
Usability and performance

We all know about the challenges of compatibility. There’s no slowdown to the number of devices coming out on an almost quarterly basis. Then there’s the constantly updated operating systems and browsers to consider.

The market may be fragmented yet expectations of users remain high. Regardless of how your products and/or services are accessed digitally, they want it to “just work” and be a seamless experience:

  • 80% will exit a session if content doesn’t display well on their device
  • 61% will not return to a mobile site after having trouble accessing it
  • 58% are frustrated by inconsistent user interfaces

You may have an intuitive application, but if it takes too long to load and/or run, that will only frustrate end-users. With all the choice available today, that just means they will go to a competitor. Consider that:

  • 47% of consumers expect a page to load in less than two seconds
  • 40% of people will abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load
  • 7% fewer conversions can be expected if response time is delayed by one second

Nowadays we’re accessing unprecedent amounts of corporate data via our smart devices. Even so, there’s an expectation that our data will be secure, whether we’re using a corporate or personal device. However, that isn’t always the case:

  • 100% of organisations experienced a mobile attack in 2017
  • 86% of websites have at least one serious vulnerability
  • $4m is the average cost of a data breach
Competition and quality

It doesn’t help that today’s marketplace is incredible challenging as well, meaning there are more opportunities for users to switch to the competition. Consider that:

  • 80% of time spent on a mobile is interacting with apps
  • 7 billion mobile applications are currently on the market
  • 178 billion mobile apps were downloaded in 2017

Our thirst for and reliance on apps has meant that we’re moving away from using legacy functions such as calling and SMS. With all of the choice available in today’s app stores, many of us are using our smartphone for everything excerpt calling.

And when there isn’t an app for us to perform a certain function, we feel confident that it will appear on the app store sooner or later. After all, more than 100,000 new apps appear on the Google Play store every quarter.

We may think we already have great processes, but the reality is that ensuring quality is quite difficult. And when quality fails, this will have an immediate impact on your brand. Consider that:

  • 44 per cent of in-app defects are still found by the user
  • 44 per cent of users will tell their friends about a bad online experience
  • 37 per cent of users think less of a brand if their mobile app has issues

End-users will think less of you if the mobile app experience is poor. They’ll also tell people about it, since 33 per cent of people are more likely to rate a disappointing experience with an app than satisfied users.

When that happens, it’s no longer a case of people telling their neighbours about the bad experience and that’s as far as it goes. It will more likely end up on to social media, where hundreds if not thousands of people will hear about it.

Customer-centric assurance

When it comes to ensuring quality for your digital products, we need to ensure that the customer is at the heart of everything that we do. We need to think about how it will be used and benefit end-users before we go into production.

Through our processes, we need to be looking at the end-user or customer experience. By interacting with actual people who use our product, we are able to gather valuable intelligence that can then be built into our product.

This is where focus groups can provide insight into whether we are hitting the mark. That’s better than going into production and finding out we aren’t.

Crowd control

There’s a lot of talk nowadays about crowd sourcing, or making use of a large audience with different devices in different parts of the world to support a short crowd-based engagement. The benefit of this is the ability to get quick feedback of your application before it goes into production.

We have recently launched our own Salesforce-based platform in order to deliver crowd-based testing and services. Contact us to find out how you can make use of our network of 1,000+ experienced, certified testers to test your app or website in real-world scenarios.

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