One Year In, Applause Labs Remains Committed to Innovation

Jonathan zaleskiJonathan Zaleski
minute read

Our R&D department is on the cutting edge of innovation to benefit Applause’s customers and testing community

It was just over a year ago in October 2019 that we officially announced Applause Labs, which formalized our long-standing commitment to innovation and investment in R&D, and bringing next-generation testing concepts to life.

As the head of Applause Labs, it’s been a busy year for my team — we’ve helped bring two prominent tools into the market that directly help our customers, the Applause Accessibility Tool and the Applause Quality Score. We also open-sourced the Applause Accessibility Tool over the summer.

It’s been a busy year for the Applause Labs team — we’ve helped bring two prominent tools into the market that directly help our customers, the Applause Accessibility Tool and the Applause Quality Score.

However, over the course of the past year, we haven’t been thinking solely about innovations that directly benefit our customers. We’re always on the hunt for ways to help our testing community, which ultimately will also benefit our customers. Applause Labs wants to make it easier for our community to test effectively, quickly and at scale, and enable testers to receive more relevant testing opportunities. This will lead to a stronger and more robust community, which benefits our customers.

Bringing geo-location features to our testers

Applause’s Customer Journey Testing solution is more in demand than ever in 2020. With COVID-19, retailers and restaurants around the world are reinventing themselves and offering new types of customer journeys, such as contactless payments and curbside pickup, to name just two. Applause’s Customer Journey Testing solution activates in-market testers to perform end-to-end testing of the journey, including digital and physical touchpoints, to identify points of friction.

(My colleague Carlton Retland recently spoke in a webinar about new and innovative customer journeys with guest speaker Forrester senior analyst Kelly Price — I’d recommend giving it a watch.)

As more companies seek Customer Journey Testing, we wanted to make it easier for testers who fit the demographics, including geography, to “raise their hands” for these testing opportunities. This is where we needed a geo-location data capability.

The release of our uTest mobile app earlier this year meant we could finally let users opt in to provide their geo-location data, enabling them to receive more personalized and geo-specific invitations to test cycles. Testers can more easily find testing opportunities in their area, and will receive more geo-specific invitations to participate in Customer Journey Testing.

As more companies seek Customer Journey Testing, we wanted to make it easier for testers who fit the demographics, including geography, to “raise their hands” for these testing opportunities.

We worked on creating this capability at Vista Equity Partners’ annual hackathon over the summer, where we wrote more than 2,000 lines of code. It required significant work for us on the backend to store, track, search and match local testers to projects with location requirements, and we had to consider all data privacy regulations, including GDPR and CCPA.

That being said, the Hackathon was a rewarding experience, and enabled us to get out of the grind of day-to-day work — and more importantly, it will pay off in the long run for our customers and testers.

Device-related innovations for our testers

Outside of geo-location capabilities, the Applause Labs team has been busy for the last year looking at other opportunities for innovation within our testing community.

One of those ideas is adding the ability to recommend devices for testers. Our testers receive opportunities based on their current devices, such as iPhones, Android, desktops, etc. — the more devices you own, the more likely you are to receive testing opportunities. The Applause Labs team started investigating a way to give our community insights into which devices will bring more value to Applause and our customers, and result in more testing opportunities for community members.

Another innovation we’re investigating centers on the idea of a device cloud, which would enable community members to conduct manual functional testing — including both exploratory testing and test case execution — without actually owning the physical device that’s being tested. For example, a tester could leverage the device cloud to validate that the UI looks appropriate for an app on an iPhone 12, even if they do not have access to the actual device.

Looking to Year Two of Applause Labs

As we enter the second year since Applause Labs was formally announced, we’re as committed as ever to innovation and contributing to the marketplace of ideas with unique and practical solutions. We’re eager to announce some exciting new developments in the coming months, so stay tuned for more.


In addition, if you have thoughts, ideas or suggestions for Applause Labs, we are open to hearing them and you can reach out here.

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