Applause State of Digital Quality Report Examines Real-world Testing Data, Analyzes Impact on Customer Satisfaction

Second annual report on more than 200,000 digital quality defects spanning all key industries, offers guidance and frameworks for improvement

  • Functional, visual, and content defects make up more than 90% of all bugs found.

  • For a second year, 65% of accessibility bugs identified were screen reader errors.

  • 80% of all payment bugs were “functional,” indicating that some part of the transaction couldn’t be completed as intended.

  • Missing or poor translations accounted for 73% of the localization errors – increasing over 8% from the previous year.

Applause, a world leader in testing and digital quality, today released its second annual State of Digital Quality report, a comprehensive examination of real-world testing data which identifies the most common flaws in digital experiences – digital banking, streaming media services, wearable devices, online shopping, voice-activated device usage, and more – and provides pathways for improvement.

The extensive report examines key aspects of digital quality, including accessibility, localization, and payments – areas which can greatly affect customer satisfaction and product usability. The report notes that failing to address flaws and friction points along the customer journey often results in costly problems like shopping cart abandonment, missed conversions, customer service complaints, poor customer satisfaction and negative ratings, all which affect a company’s bottom line.

“It’s interesting that in the second year of the report, we continue to observe companies challenged by the same types of defects and digital quality issues – especially pertaining to accessibility and localization. This is why testing all code – new and existing – for all digital customer journeys is so crucial. It only takes one defect to have a negative customer experience that impacts revenue,” said Luke Damian, Chief Growth Officer for Applause. “As new technologies and innovations continue to evolve, companies need to commit to getting it right the first time to remain competitive. That requires continued quality testing – from design through development, release and beyond,” he said.

This year’s report introduces digital quality frameworks that outline core capabilities and typical processes for organizations at different stages on the journey to excellence. The frameworks provide concrete guidance on how organizations can improve quality and efficiency across the organization. The report recommends several best practices for accelerating development, maturing testing organizations, and increasing digital quality.

Invest in consistent and comprehensive testing to ensure digital quality
Digital quality is an intersectional discipline. Functionality, localization, accessibility, payments, customer experience and UX bleed into one another. Testing must assess different components of an app or digital experience holistically, not just in isolation, to truly understand how customers engage with your brand. Companies that produce the most popular and highest-ranking apps across all categories invest in comprehensive functional testing to eliminate defects before they reach customers.

Make customer journey and UX top priorities
Ensuring a customer journey is frictionless and accessible across all touchpoints and payment methods can be complicated and challenging. Industry leaders are increasingly looking at UX and customer journeys to understand how they create differentiated experiences and engage customers for the long-term. Testing the customer journey with real people in real situations is key to understanding how digital experiences will fare with actual customers. And, moving from accessibility testing to inclusive design actually creates a better user experience for all customers.

Test using a wide variety of devices and network combinations
Because apps and websites often work differently across devices, networks, locations and operating systems, it is essential to test as many variations and real-world combinations of a digital property as possible. More traditional methods – like in-house or lab testing, often lack the resources to test these combinations effectively. Crowdtesting offers the flexibility, speed and resources to adequately test across thousands of variables, with the profiles and usage of actual customers.

Commit to a testing strategy, not just testing
While testing is crucial for uncovering defects, a solid testing strategy is essential for growth. Organizations that dedicate time to documenting test cases and test run results, test case management, and quality management create repeatable processes that can scale. Achieving excellence doesn’t mean the work is done. Ideally, as QA practices improve, testing can shift left and become more automated, earlier in the development cycle, when issues are easier and less expensive to fix.

The State of Digital Quality report is created from a representative sample from the company’s testing data spanning 70 industries and 159 countries, collected between January 1 and December 31, 2022. Testing involved nearly 3,500 payment sources and methods, 2,300 mobile device models, 2,200 smart TVs, and thousands of device/OS/browser combinations. Digital assets tested included websites, apps, IoT devices, mobile web and mobile apps in real-world scenarios.

Over the coming weeks, Applause will release additional State of Digital Quality reports focused on key industry vertical segments, including retail, media and telecommunications, finance, travel and hospitality, health and wellness, and B2B software.


Improving Digital Quality 2023 – blog post

Experts on the State of Digital Quality 2023 – webinar

About Applause

Applause is a world leader in testing and digital quality. Brands today win or lose customers through digital interactions, and Applause delivers authentic feedback on the quality of digital assets and experiences, provided by real users in real-world settings. Our disruptive approach harnesses the power of the Applause platform and leverages the uTest community of more than one million independent digital testers worldwide. Unlike traditional testing methods (including lab-based and offshoring), Applause responds with the speed, scale and flexibility that digital-focused brands require and expect. Applause provides insightful, actionable testing results that can directly inform go/no go release decisions, helping development teams build better and faster, and release with confidence. Digital-first brands rely on Applause as a best practice to deliver the digital experiences their customers love.

Learn more at