Company Size


Company Location

Bellevue, WA

Testing Type

Functional, Exploratory

App Type

Web & Desktop

Testing Coverage


Sunrise Identity

Proactive Software Testing

It started out as a small screen-print company in 1976, but by 2003, Sunrise Identity had established a global presence in end-to-end branded merchandise solutions. Working with some of the world’s most successful brands, the company provides services around custom apparel, product design, direct import, distribution, fulfillment and others.

In late 2010, the company saw an increased demand for their web-based store services, prompting Technical Project Manager Tim Hogg to find an efficient method for increasing the company’s software testing capabilities. Would he hire more in-house testers? Contract with an off-shoring firm? Or would he leverage uTest, the world’s largest software testing community?

"With regular contractors, there’s always a lull," explained Tim, who manages a team of QA engineers. "But with uTest, there’s never any downtime. They don’t stop until we tell them to!"

This case study will demonstrate how uTest was able to provide Sunrise Identity with on-demand functional testing ahead of a major product launch. Along the way, we’ll include details on the uTest platform, project management and more.

Testing Challenges

As alluded to earlier, Sunrise builds and manages web-based stores for a wide range of clients. Involving their team of graphic designers, copywriters, customer services pros and other specialists, the stores are designed to help companies deliver their brands to the masses – but what if the stores don’t work as designed?

This was a possibility that Tim and his team could not afford to leave to chance. So when a colleague introduced him to uTest – and their global community of software testing professionals – Tim immediately realized the main benefit.

"When internal teams test software they have been staring at for months, they tend to overlook bugs that uTest finds. uTest is always able to provide a fresh perspective."
-- Tim Hogg, Technical Project Manager, Sunrise Identity

But a fresh perspective on what, exactly? With the help of his uTest project manager, Tim specified the exact features and functionality that needed to be tested through uTest’s online platform.

"Our project manager really understood what we were trying to do and who we needed to test for us," said Tim. "We even needed some of the testers to be Microsoft Certified Professionals, and he had no problem finding them. He really took care of everything."

Test Cycle Results

Less than three days after the initial setup, their first test cycle had been completed. In all, more than 25 testers participated in the project, resulting in 58 bugs. While the testers did not find any "showstopper" issues (i.e. bugs in need of immediate attention), Tim and his team were able to gain valuable insight into the application’s transactional functionality, along with issues pertaining to user interface and design.

Sunrise would run two more test cycles over the next few weeks, resulting in 32 additional bug reports. For these test cycles, Tim requested a more exploratory approach, meaning testers were asked to step outside the boundaries of the test case.

Summary and Next Steps

In all, Tim was extremely pleased with the overall improvement uTest made in the company’s testing capabilities. The benefits, he explained, even extended beyond the engineering team.

"Before uTest, we sometimes did internal testing by gathering the troops together and having them test. Some people really enjoyed it, but I know the marketing guys never seemed to like it very much," he joked. "But because of uTest, our marketing efforts now start much earlier because we have a more stable product at launch."

With improved efficiency across the board, Tim’s only regret with uTest was that he didn’t find it sooner.

"I'm actually still surprised that there aren’t ten other companies just like uTest," he said. "That’s how great of an idea I think it is."

Open Announmcement
uTest and Appplause Banner

Heard the news?

In early 2014, uTest will be changing its name to Applause. With an expanded app quality offering including test services, tools, SDKs & integrated analytics, we will do even more to help companies delight their web & mobile users.

The uTest name will live on in our tester community, with an expanded offering for all facets of a tester’s professional life. This includes paid testing projects, hands-on training, networking, events, career resources & more.

While we’ve got a lot of work to do, we’re pumped to tackle both of these bigger, bolder challenges. Get the details on this news here.