Why Fox Uses Crowdsourcing To Ensure A Seamless Digital Experience

A good user experience cuts through the noise

Ariff Sidi

Picture the scene: you just got home from work and realize that you didn’t see last night’s episode of a FOX hit series.

On the plus side, the episode is now streaming online so you can catch up on what you missed. The content starts, but (for no apparent reason) the stream begins cutting out and the quality is degraded. After a few seconds of trying to fix the issue, you decide to stop watching and switch to another show on a different network.

This is exactly the type of decision that Fox Broadcasting Company’s SVP Digital Products & Platforms Ariff Sidi wants to prevent.

With a limitless amount of content for people to consume across the Internet, FOX releases new digital content on an ongoing basis in order to increase session length, encourage repeat viewers and attract new market segments. This content needs to be not only easy for viewers to consume but also work seamlessly across different devices.

To ensure a high quality experience, FOX relies on Applause for digital testing under real-world conditions.

“A good user experience cuts through the noise, which is where the partnership with Applause is incredibly valuable,” said Sidi.

Although most of FOX’s outsourced developers perform quality assurance (QA), FOX utilizes Applause to independently validate new functionality and ensure quality. Prior to working with Applause, FOX had a reactive rather than proactive approach to QA testing.

“Applause has a different approach to the testing process that most developers don’t have,” said Neel Ketkar, VP of Product Management at FOX. “They’re able to crank through things on particular devices, across networks and carriers.”

Increased device coverage and reduced time to market is critical for FOX, which allows the company to release new products on a coordinated schedule. With time at a premium, FOX leverages the Applause community of more than 250,000 professional software testers across the globe to rapidly test new functionality across their platforms.

Test Automation Reduces Time To Market

FOX also utilizes Applause Test Automation to achieve broader test case coverage as well as reducing time to market for new functionality.

The majority of regression testing for the FOX website is automated. Applause fully develops new test cases and automation scripts, allowing developers to focus on where they (not surprisingly) bring the most value … developing. With many FOX product owners working in an automated environment for the first time, FOX views Applause as an extension of its internal team.

In order for customers to fully access FOX content, they need to pass through a “TV Everywhere” authentication system. Any issue arising from the authentication system is a point of failure for FOX as people are restricted from content, which could quickly lead to abandonment and lost revenue. Applause Test Automation allows FOX to validate the authentication process of more than 100 different providers to ensure their content is accessible from everywhere.

As viewership behavior continues to change, FOX is committed to providing the best user experience possible to retain and gain customers, no matter what device they’re using. By leveraging Applause Usability Testing, FOX is able to identify areas where FOX.com could be more intuitive for the user.

Since Applause came on board, the results have been dramatic. FOX has seen a reduction in P0 (show stoppers) and P1 (critical) defects by up to 50%. With a business so reliant on a quality user experience, the reduction of these bugs is critical for FOX’s continued success as an industry leader.

By partnering with Applause, FOX is committed to developing and releasing high quality products that attract and retain customers across web, mobile, and connected devices.

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Daniel Fidler
Former Blogger
Reading time: 5 min

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