Case Study:

How HeadSpin is helping Jam City provide better user experiences to mobile gamers around the world

Insights from HeadSpin allow Jam City to identify potential user experience issues and fix them prior to release

Jam City is a Los Angeles-based mobile game developer, known for top grossing mobile games like Cookie Jam and Panda Pop. Millions of players around the world enjoy the company’s gaming experiences each month.

THE CHALLENGE

Maintaining an engaged user base means that mobile gaming experiences must be seamless. Bad user experiences mean lost revenue. So, Jam City’s games must provide exceptional user experiences on release & every time. But, testing the users’ experience in diverse locations around the world proved to be a large challenge.

  • Not all regions are the same
    Regions like Malaysia and Egypt are diverse. Their different mobile environments offer unique challenges to building a consistent user experience. Testing on phones inside Jam City’s US headquarters just doesn’t go far enough. You need to test in many locations to get insights about real-life game performance on slower networks & lower-tier phones.
  • Testing carrier billing flows
    To make the user’s experience is as seamless as possible, many in-app purchases (e.g. more lives & extra levels) get charged to the user’s carrier bill. To ensure that these billing flows are seamless, these transactions must be tested on the carrier’s actual network.
  • Simulations ≠ real life
    Emulators and simulators testing on wifi networks aren’t accurate. They can’t depict actual user experiences in other parts of the world, where devices are often running on 3G (or even 2G) networks.
  • Testing via contractors proved to be ineffective
    Jam City attempted to use contractors to test user experience in regions where games were being deployed. But this strategy created more headaches. Managing testers in different time zones created a huge amount of extra work. Jam City needed actionable insights in real time.

THE RESULTS

  • “Insights provided by HeadSpin let Jam City understand and improve user experiences in key markets around the world.”

  • “HeadSpin allowed Jam City engineers to find and resolve user experience issues before release. This improved app reviews and reduced the number of versions created for each app.”

  • “HeadSpin ensured that charges for in-app purchases were being forwarded to carriers. This streamlined the user’s experience and increasing revenue.”

THE SOLUTION

HeadSpin provides an innovative testing platform that improves user experience around the world.

Test on real networks, using real devices

HeadSpin has 22,000 real, SIM-card equipped devices in more than 150 locations globally. This allowed Jam City to test the real-life performance of their apps anywhere in the world. Jam City no longer has to rely on simulations or tests conducted in another part of the world to determine whether a game will work. When Jam City wants to deploy a game into a new region, they can do so with confidence that their app will work smoothly.

Detailed understanding of performance

HeadSpin gives Jam City the power to conduct real-time tests themselves. Without the need to hire a group of third-party test contractors. HeadSpin enables you to get a thorough real-world understanding of your app performance. App engineers can diagnose performance and customer experience issues of critical user flows. Easily reproduce bugs with visibility into specific background issues causing the bugs. Identify the highest priority issues to fix — whether its with server, CDN, network, device, or application.

Seeing is believing

HeadSpin provides Jam City engineers with a powerful one-two punch. Firstly with detailed logs with critical insights about issues. Secondly with recorded UX sessions that help engineers understand all aspects of the user’s experience.

Improved user experience, improved revenue stream

Before HeadSpin, Testing these transactions relied on problematic SDK integrations. These integrations can be challenging in some locations, such as Orange’s network in Egypt, or Ex-Telecom’s network in Malaysia. But fortunately, there’s no need for complicated SDK integrations anymore. HeadSpin allowed Jam City to easily make changes so that in-app purchases get charged directly to the user’s carrier bill. Easy uncomplicated testing. Which leads to a more streamlined buying experience for the user (and extra revenue for Jam City).

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