The State of Digital Quality report provides the industry’s most comprehensive examination of real-world test data

Applause report identifies barriers to digital quality, examines impact on brands and customer satisfaction, and suggests areas for improvement

The report covers functional, accessibility, localization, CX and payments testing

Brands rank crashes (75%) and functional bugs (61%) as extremely valuable

Poor and missing translations account for 67% of localization issues, while screen readers account for 66% of all accessibility bugs.

BOSTON, April 28, 2022–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Applause, the global leader in digital quality and testing, today released the State of Digital Quality Report, the most comprehensive examination of the industry’s test data. real world to identify the most common flaws in digital experiences – everything from voice-enabled devices and wearables to online shopping, digital banking and streaming media services – and determine how companies can prevent them from becoming make their way to production.

The State of Digital Quality report examines how organizations are balancing their developers’ desire to release quickly with their customers’ demand for high-quality experiences, sometimes with mixed results. The report clearly indicates that digital quality drives positive brand perception and impacts revenue. Bugs eat away at the foundation of product excellence, and every error, crash, and flawed user experience diminishes customer satisfaction, which ultimately erodes business results.

Applause’s in-depth report examines key aspects of digital quality, including accessibility and localization. The study found that screen readers account for 66% of all accessibility bugs, compared to keyboard navigation issues and insufficient color contrast which, combined, account for around 20% of all accessibility bugs. accessibility. Poor and missing translations account for 67% of localization-related bugs. Nearly half of brands (47%) considered currency and number formatting issues to be the most valuable localization bugs to identify.

Brands place a high value on testing because it eliminates bugs and significantly reduces potential negative business impact after release. Overall, brands ranked finding crashes (75%), functional bugs (61%), and lag and latency issues (53%) as extremely valuable. With 36% of users willing to quit an app after just one use and 63% willing to quit a brand due to a poor customer experience, ensuring digital assets and experiences work as intended is often the only difference between winners and losers in digital. quality.

“The report emphasizes that digital quality is a business issue, not just a technology issue. Brands that see digital quality as an opportunity for constant evolution, rather than a checkbox with each release, consistently win. Organizations that invest in innovative, intuitive user experiences and seamless customer journeys generate significant returns within months.These companies report increased market share, faster time to market, improved customer retention and satisfaction, increased average sales, and a host of other revenue-related benefits,” said Applause chief growth officer Luke Damian.

To create this report, Applause analyzed a representative sample of the company’s test data to identify the most common flaws in digital experiences and determine how organizations can prevent them from moving into production. This dataset spanned January 1 through December 31, 2021, 159 countries, 70+ industries, multiple test categories, 340,000+ bugs, 13,000 mobile devices, 1,000 unique desktops, and 500 system versions operating. The digital assets tested included websites, apps, IoT devices, mobile and mobile web apps in real-world scenarios. Applause has supplemented this fundamental data with insights from our digital and testing experts, gleaned while working with our customers to solve their toughest digital quality challenges.

Follow the leaders

The organizations that are seeing the benefits of customer retention and satisfaction are those that have turned left to embrace quality throughout the software development lifecycle. Rather than framing it as a final door to go through before release, these companies have made digital and quality testing an integral part of the development process. These leaders have found that improving quality consistently pays off in cost savings, faster deliveries, and increased customer satisfaction and retention. This becomes all the more important as a more complex generation of applications emerges to meet increasing user expectations for transparency and ease of use.

Digital Quality Best Practices

The report recommends some best practices to ensure digital quality and customer satisfaction.

Every digital experience requires comprehensive functional testing: Functional testing is the backbone of digital quality – a crucial and ongoing effort to create exceptional experiences. Companies that produce the most popular and top-ranked apps across all categories invest in thorough functional testing. To drive loyalty and avoid customer churn, companies must work to eliminate defects before they reach end users.

Accessibility is more than a legal checkbox: While many organizations recognize that neglecting accessibility (A11y) can put the business at risk legally, comprehensive digital accessibility has many benefits beyond mitigating risk. For example, voice functionality that serves people with reduced mobility can also be useful for a user who has their hands full, while closed captions on a video can be useful for viewers who are learning to read as well as for the hearing impaired.

Localization goes beyond translation: Done correctly, localization offers companies enormous potential to connect to new markets and grow. However, a poorly localized experience can cost a company its reputation. As brands expand into new markets, it is essential that products reflect local language and social norms to build credibility. Digital experiences that demonstrate cultural sensitivity and attention to local preferences enable brands to foster trust and accelerate customer adoption.

Customer journeys should be tracked seamlessly across devices and locations: Despite developers’ best efforts, apps and websites don’t always behave consistently across devices, networks, and operating systems. Small variations in how different devices, operating systems and browsers work can cause big differences in performance and functionality. It is therefore essential to test the devices chosen by customers. As different types of experiences and transactions rely on an increasing number of digital touchpoints, the right coverage becomes a critical variable in testing strategy.

Testing with real live payment instruments is essential to ensure that every customer can transact successfully: The availability of a variety of payment methods, digital wallets, cryptocurrency, and trends like buy now, pay later (BNPL) is making payment transactions more complex than ever. To ensure payment experiences work smoothly and seamlessly in a variety of scenarios, real-world testing with real people is crucial.

Over the coming weeks, Applause intends to release additional reports focused on the state of digital quality for key industry verticals, including retail, media and telecommunications, finance, travel and hospitality, health and fitness, and B2B software.


The State of Digital Quality in 2022: How Businesses Can Engage Customers – Webinar

The State of Digital Quality 2022 – blog post

About applause

Applause is the global leader in digital testing and quality. Today, brands win or lose customers through digital interactions, and only Applause can provide authentic feedback on the quality of digital assets and experiences, delivered by real users in real contexts. Our disruptive approach harnesses the power of the Applause platform and is backed by a trusted community of over one million digital experts worldwide. Unlike traditional testing methods (including lab and off-site), we respond with the speed, scale, and flexibility that digital-first brands demand and expect. Applause provides insightful and actionable test results that can directly inform go/no go release decisions, helping development teams build better and faster and release with confidence. Thousands of digitally-focused brands, including Ford, Google, Western Union and Dow Jones, make Applause a best practice for delivering the digital experiences their customers love.

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Jennifer Maguire
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