First impressions are a big deal. Careers, relationships and businesses often hinge on snap judgments. When it comes to digital experiences, first impressions make the difference between success and failure.
According to a study by Vanson Bourne, 85% of customers are unlikely to continue business with a company after a poor mobile experience. This illustrates the potential catastrophic consequences of a digital experience that is not up to par.
I recently contributed a chapter to The Digital Quality Handbook about how crowdsourcing is transforming the way businesses and customers interact. In the chapter, I give examples of how Applause customers use of crowdsourced testing (or “crowdtesting”) impacted their businesses, saving their wallets and reputations in the process.
What Is Crowdtesting?
Crowdtesting puts digital properties (such as mobile apps, websites, IoT and connected devices) into the hands of the testers that are representative of your customer demographic. Do you need women aged between 25 and 35 years old in middle America? Crowdtesting uses the power of the community to find exactly the right type of people to test your product. Crowdtesting creates a test environment that most closely mirrors the way digital properties will work on every device, in every location, with real people in real-world conditions.
Leaders in crowdtesting utilize two different approaches to provide businesses with a holistic view of digital experience. The first approach invites a community of experienced and vetted quality assurance professionals to find any software bugs that an internal team may have missed. The second approach assembles people who have no QA background, but instead focus on the intuitiveness of a solution. Applause’s community of testers includes more than 300,000 people across the globe, ensuring that companies can gain accurate insight globally or on a location-specific scale.
When my Applause cofounder Roy Solomon and I first thought of the idea that turned into Applause, the iPhone hadn’t yet been invented. We, quite naturally at the time, only thought of crowdtesting Web and desktop applications. Smartphones allowed us to expand these ideas as we soon realized that crowdtesting meshed perfectly with mobile apps.
The Continuous Evolution Of Crowdtesting
Crowdtesting as a concept has not remained stagnant. What first started with desktop and Web applications moved to mobile apps and was adapted to the emergence of the Internet of Things. All aspects of computing that touch the consumer can benefit from crowdtesting. The next era of development and interface such as bots, voice assistant platforms and artificial intelligence will be able to benefit from the wisdom of the crowd.
Manufacturers of traditional offline products such as refrigerators, coffee makers and even door locks now have to deliver stellar digital experiences in order to hold a competitive advantage. More and more devices are designed to connect to the Internet every day. Businesses have realized that crowdtesting is a surefire way to track software bugs, ensure top quality digital experiences and get feedback from real users. Remember, first impressions are a big deal.
Crowdtesting has consistently adapted to new advancements in technology and new ways of delivering digital experiences. I expect that trend will continue as virtual and augmented reality grow into more consumer-based technologies.
As the number of ways that people can experience a brand increases, so does the complexity of ensuring that all of those experiences are good ones. Crowdtesting can take the panic out of first impressions by ensuring that companies and products are ready for public consumption.