Applause’s State of Digital Quality in Europe 2023 report has arrived. This year’s report features the usual insights into European companies’ achievements, pain points and trends when it comes to intersectional digital quality, as well as some new additions like frameworks to help companies benchmark their progress.
The report evaluates experiences covering 14,000 individual mobile devices, 900 unique desktops and 500 OS versions to assess endless combinations of networks, browsers, payment instruments and integrations across 45 European countries.
Here are the key findings from this year’s report.
1. The pursuit of excellence is ongoing
Last year, Applause testers uncovered more than 115,000 defects in Europe, covering the areas of functional, localisation, accessibility, payments, customer journey and UX. Many of these bugs could have caused revenue losses and reputational damage had they made it into production. To release better digital experiences, companies must think about quality as an intersectional discipline and assess different components of an app or digital experience holistically, not just in isolation.
2. Coverage is key
While functional tests themselves are often not difficult, conducting the number of tests required in the necessary timeframe, across the spectrum of devices and OS configurations needed, poses a challenge for many QA and development teams. To succeed, companies must create test plans that concentrate on the device combinations their customer base uses most. For the first time, this year’s report sheds light on the most popular device combinations tested in Europe, which were:
Windows 10, Chrome
Windows 10 64-bit, Chrome
Windows 10, Firefox
Windows 11, Chrome
Windows 10 64-bit, Firefox
Mobile & Tablet
Samsung Galaxy S9, Android 10
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, Android 12
Samsung Galaxy S21 5G, Android 12
Samsung Galaxy S8, Android 9.0 (Pie)
Apple iPhone 11, iOS 15.5
3. There are four stages of digital quality maturity
This year’s report features some simple digital quality frameworks that companies may use to benchmark the structure, efficiency, effectiveness and scalability of their digital quality efforts across varying dimensions. Each testing area has a framework that splits digital quality into four stages: emergence, essentials, expansion and excellence. While cultures, processes and maturity levels are dynamic and there’s not always clear demarcation where one stage ends and another begins, an honest look at the status quo can reveal which efforts will deliver the greatest impact to digital quality.
4. Accessibility is a top priority
Applause’s 2023 global accessibility and inclusive design survey found that nearly one third of European respondents rated accessibility as a top priority for their organisation. More than half — 57% — reported that their company has a dedicated accessibility expert on staff. Often, this person is an internal evangelist who launches an accessibility programme in a grassroots, bottom-up effort — but they need executive support.
5. Bias in AI is still a problem
Training and testing the AI and machine learning engines that support greater personalisation requires large amounts of high-quality, specialised data that many businesses don’t have — and struggle to find. Applause’s AI and Voice survey found that 82% of European respondents have concerns about bias in AI that companies must address to maintain customers’ trust and loyalty. To combat bias in AI, companies must focus on curating the right datasets both in the product development stage and long after release.
Get your copy of the full State of Digital Quality in Europe 2023 report.