“We wouldn’t have been able to get Class Projects launched without Testlio. And the impact has gone beyond that one product. We’ve had a tenfold improvement in our QA processes thanks to our partnership.”Jasmine Redd, Product Operations and QA Manager
HitRecord is a collaborative community for creators. Founded by actor and director Joseph Gordon-Levitt, over 1 million filmmakers, photographers, designers, writers, musicians, and more use HitRecord’s digital platform to create together. HitRecord projects have won multiple Emmy Awards, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and paid out over $3 million to creators. The company recently launched its first subscription product, Class Projects, to help members learn and master new skills while working on real projects.
Functional, usability, regression
Media and entertainment
HitRecord needed to launch their first paid product on an accelerated timeline with limited QA resources
HitRecord had an ambitious plan to build and launch Class Projects in just six months. As their first paid offering with a completely new type of user experience, it was a critical moment for the company.
“Launching smoothly was very important,” said Jasmine Redd, Product Operations and QA Manager at HitRecord. “We had Joe’s reputation to think about. We had third parties like Apple promoting this. Plus a lot of resources, blood, sweat, and tears went into this from the whole company.”
HitRecord’s team includes 15 developers and three product managers, but Jasmine is the only employee focused on QA. They often relied on other employees and users to provide product feedback and report bugs, which resulted in a high volume of feedback from different stakeholders. Jasmine would routinely spend four to six hours a day fielding issues from employees and users.
“I knew I’d be inundated with bugs when I opened up Slack,” she said. “My desk looked like Best Buy, I was switching between so many devices to retest everything, then all the different browsers and all the different user roles — it just got crazy some days. Releases would get pushed because I wasn’t able to get through all the new reports coming in.”
But pushing the release wasn’t an option for Class Projects. Neither was putting out a subpar product. The team realized they needed to revamp the QA process to make this launch a success.
HitRecord partnered with Testlio to develop a new approach to QA
Test runs per month
Testlio came in as a strategic partner to provide the capacity, coverage and expertise HitRecord needed to successfully launch Class Projects and establish a more efficient testing program moving forward.
Jasmine worked closely with her Testlio Engagement Manager, BJ Snyder, to create the right strategy for their specific needs. “We’re a company that’s very focused on collaboration, and that approach extends beyond our community to how we work internally as well. Testlio has that same collaborative spirit. BJ would make suggestions at just the right moment, adjust test cases and runs to maximize our hours, look at things from a new perspective to make additional improvements. She is just so knowledgeable and reliable – that’s invaluable in a startup environment.”
One of the first changes they implemented was turning the user and customer feedback channels from chaotic sounding boards into a valuable process for improving quality. Instead of Jasmine spending multiple hours a day fielding and reproducing bugs, BJ goes through the backlog on Fridays and assigns issues for weekend testing. The testers then respond to issue reporters with a status update to encourage them to continue providing feedback. This workflow means that Jasmine could evaluate issues in time for Monday deployments, then focus on product operations and QA strategy.
Leading up to the Class Projects launch, Testlio assembled a team of experienced testers to provide the bandwidth and depth needed for a seamless release of the new platform.
“The stress was high, but Testio went above and beyond,” said Jasmine. “BJ knew the product and the schedule like the back of her hand. The speed of the testing blew me away. Everyone took feedback in stride and we learned from each other. It was completely different from the experiences I’ve had with outsourced teams in the past.”
The result was a bug-free and on-time launch of Class Projects, as well as a comprehensive testing strategy and better quality processes to keep pace with HitRecord’s ambitious vision.
Class Projects launched on time with no major issues
- 30 hours per week saved with improved processes
- 0 P1 issues or delays for a critical launch
- 4 to 12 hour turnaround from issue reported to test results
“I love what Testlio is doing for testers and the entire quality industry. QA is a very serious job, it is a necessary part of building great products, and it has been a big part of my life personally. It is great working with a partner that recognizes and elevates that.”Jasmine Redd, Product Operations and QA Manager