How Australia Post is improving test-and-learn around customer products

Australia Post brings on Bugwolf real-world testing tool to help iron out customer issues with rapid product releases

In the race to get new products and services out to customers, compromise can be inevitable. But when those compromises impact usability and customer satisfaction, any advantage gained from rapid release can quickly be lost.

Australia Post believes it has found a way to operate a rapid release cycle while maintaining strong usability. Working in conjunction with Melbourne-based testing specialists, Bugwolf, the company has decreased its testing cycle times and improved usability by accessing a pool of vetted usability testers from around the world.

“Here at Post, we are very customer-centric and absolutely care about what the customer thinks of our products and services,” said Australia Post’s general manager for digital channels and innovation, Steve Maidment. “But in the development stage of a product it is really hard to get real-world testing.”

Bugwolf works by recruiting and vetting freelance usability testers globally, who are incentivised to use the services they are testing in real-world situations. While Maidment said Australia Post continues to use traditional lab-based scripted testing, Bugwold has enabled Post to pick up usability problems that might not other surface.

“With innovation or a new feature you are really trying to tease out the unknown, and the unknown can come in many forms,” Maidment said. “What’s great about Bugwolf is it allows us to actually do testing on the glass – so on a device – and allows us to get the testing done by real users in real situations.”

One example was uncovered in its testing of the Australia Post Apple Watch application, which has been designed so that users can open parcel lockers by having the locker scan a barcode on the Watch’s screen. Testing through Bugwolf, however, revealed that tilting the user’s wrist can turn off the display, rendering the barcode key ineffective.

“We were able to recruit people who had Watches on the day it was released, and test them in real world situations,” Maidment said. “That was one example. But there were a number of things that we picked up on. We would normally have to wait a few weeks for penetration to get out there before we got feedback, but with these guys we were able to get that feedback really quickly.

“Within 24 hours we had a number of things that were surfacing that were more an issue of behaviour rather than bugs that we hadn’t seen before.”

Read more: Apple Watch: A billboard for ads on the wrist?
Apple Watch: Must-have customer app or another gimmick?

Because Bugwolf’s testers are freelance and located across multiple timezones, they will work at night and across weekends, effectively compressing the testing timeframe and ensuring products and services come to market faster.

“We get a lot larger test coverage in a smaller amount of time that we would with traditional methods,” Maidment said.

Bugwolf founder, Ash Conway, said the idea for his company’s service is an evolution of crowdsourced software testing services. Currently, Bugwolf is operated as a managed service, but in the future customers will be able to use the company’s platform to access a vetted marketplace of testers directly to run their projects.

“The advantage of our model compared to others is the speed that at which we accelerate those test cycles,” Conway claimed. “So rather than taking weeks to get back to customers with their data, we are turning these things around within a couple of days, and there is a cost benefit.”

Gamification mechanics within the service also encourage testers to try out software and services in as many different situations and platform combinations as possible.

“We can get a lot more coverage over traditional models as well,” Conway said.

The company has been operating its current model for 18 months now, and has won several clients in the UK as well as Australia. Conway said the next stage is to expand Bugwolf’s presence in the UK and US markets, and is currently seeking capital.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Why 2017 will herald a resurgence of values-based marketing

It doesn’t take long for predictions to become predictable: The rise and rise of Facebook; advancements in analytics; the normalisation of chatbots; personalisation, programmatic, automation, authenticity… The prediction that’s missing from these lists is that in 2017 we will witness a resurgence of values-based marketing.

Jacqueline Burns

Founder, Market Expertise

Why customer experience driven growth is set to take off

Our overall brand perceptions are invariably shaped by our experiences. And loyal customer relationships can be severed in moments by a negative service interaction.

Consistency and conversation: How branding and advertising can work better together

Advertising and branding are two of the most visible outputs of marketing, which is why getting them right is so important. However, too often the line between branding and advertising becomes blurred. This means advertising activity can be out of sync with brand, resulting in poor results for both functions.

Dan Ratner

managing director, uberbrand

Someone needs a swift kick up the bum for such an idiotic idea.

random

​Why a degree is no longer enough to get you hired as a skilled marketer

Read more

The frequent flyer programs are the new profit machines for airlines all over the world, as they have morphed to be mass marketing machin...

Steve@iFLYflat

Velocity frequent flyers program strong performer in mixed half-year for Virgin

Read more

Hi Jennifer, thanks for sharing these info regarding the digital marketing trends.I've created a related video to this topic, would you m...

Fabio Carry

Predictions: 17 digital marketing trends for 2017

Read more

Great news. Marketing automation can be very useful for companies at various stages of development. With so many tools out there it's bet...

Ben

How HBF rolled out marketing automation in eight months

Read more

I read a report that the business sector in Australia as a whole have yet to fully harness and see the proactive change that predictive a...

Alex Martin

Report: Predictive analytics, IoT, machine learning battle it out for marketing dollars

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in