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 newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Social purpose: Oxygen for your brand health vitals

If trust is the new currency, then we’re in deep trouble. Here's why.

Carolyn Butler-Madden

Founder and CEO, Sunday Lunch

Customer experience disruption: Healthcare faces a bitter pill

Over the past decade, disruptors such as Amazon, Apple and Australia’s Atlassian have delivered technology enhanced customer experiences, which for the most part, have improved customers’ lives and delivered unparalleled growth. Can they do the same for healthcare?

Alex Allwood

Principal, All Work Together

How can a brand remain human in a digital world?

Some commentators estimate that by 2020, 85 per cent of buyer-seller interactions will happen online through social media and video*. That’s only two years away, and pertinent for any marketer.

James Kyd

Global head of brand strategy and marketing, Xero

I have a friend from LA, he went to Australia two years ago and said me that it was very cool, but very expensive. People don't earn enou...

Rental24hAustralia

Tourism Australia flexes brand awareness, sets sights on US traveller market

Read more

https://bit.ly/2qLgzmR Transform your life a proven digital blueprint

Okitoi Steven

How this banking group tackled a digital marketing transformation

Read more

Its great to hear that companies including JCDecaux, oOh!media, Omnicom and Posterscope Australia have all partnered with Seedooh inorder...

Blue Mushroom Infozone Pvt Ltd

Out of home advertising companies strive for greater metrics and transparency

Read more

Much ado about nothingAnother fluff piece around what it could possibly do rather than what it is doing

gve

How AMP is using AI to create effortless ‘experiences’

Read more

is it true that Consumer expectations are also changing as a result. If we trust someone with our data there is also an expectation that ...

Sunita Madan

Society will decide where digital marketing takes us next: Oracle

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in