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How Lyft Uses Instabug To Maintain Its Five-Star App Quality
With Billy Pham - Technical Release Manager
HQ Location
San Francisco, California
Industry
Transportation Mobile App
Valued at $11.5 billion, Lyft is an on-demand transportation service that provides 100 million friendly, affordable rides per day in 300 U.S. cities and growing. With a goal to provide the best possible experience for their users and in order to differentiate itself from competitors, quality has always been of utmost importance to the San Francisco-based company: quality of rides, quality of community, and quality of their mobile applications.
Lyft’s engineering workflow is a model of iterative app development, with regular app releases that include “squashing bugs, cleaning up the code, and other small-but-mighty improvements.”

As part of this agile process, Lyft has a sophisticated, well-structured beta program with a few thousand testers. Since 2015, Lyft has used our SDK for bug reporting in their beta apps, with 47,000 bugs reported and 16,000 chats sent and received through Instabug to date. Here’s how:
Objective
Lyft uses its beta program in two ways. First, to maintain best-in-class app quality by catching bugs and other issues before pushing production app versions to all users. Second, to test new features in order to determine whether or not to implement them in their live apps.

Throughout this process, Lyft uses Instabug to gather feedback from their testers in the form of bug reports.
Challenge
“In the beginning, the problem that we were trying to solve was how to collect feedback. Back then, people would just post on Facebook if they cared enough,” Billy Pham, Technical Release Manager, recalls.

Lyft uses Facebook groups to keep their testers engaged and informed about all relevant updates. Prior to Instabug, users would report bugs in these Facebook groups and only those who were truly invested would send screenshots of the problem.
Solution
“My coworker was in charge of looking at different [user feedback] companies and Instabug was probably in beta at the time, but it was the only product that was offering this type of solution. So we tested Instabug out and we immediately liked it,” Pham recalls.

In addition to allowing users to submit bug reports with attachments like annotated screenshots, Instabug provides a plethora of logs and data to help developers pinpoint the problem and fix bugs faster.
Instabug was great because it collected users’ device info, screenshots in the app, time reported, app version, and more. So from a user perspective it streamlined the entire process.
From a couple hundred beta testers in 2015 to a few thousand today, Instabug has helped Lyft maintain its quality standards as the company scaled in terms of its beta program, daily active users, and team growth.

One of the things that bolsters Instabug’s years-long partnership with Lyft is “the customer service. The whole Instabug team is always quick to respond and always able to help with any requests or issues we have. That’s very important for us. Lyft is very customer-centric as well, so our priorities align,” Pham said.
Results
Using Instabug, Lyft has been able to save time in its development process, iterating quickly and maintaining exceptional standards of app quality.

One of the metrics that has improved with Instabug is the time it takes Lyft’s beta testers to submit feedback, which has reduced drastically.

“Back when we were using Facebook groups to collect bug reports, it would take maybe ten minutes for a tester to create and submit a post, plus the Lyft team having to ask follow-up questions. With Instabug, those 10 minutes per issue has been reduced down to less than a minute,” Pham told us.
And since Instabug is an in-app user feedback tool and users can report problems directly within the application, the process of reporting a bug is now significantly easier.
"That’s a lot of added value because before, people had to care enough to post screenshots on Facebook," Pham explained.

The time Lyft’s team spends resolving bugs has also improved by 30%, according to Pham.
We ship weekly, so everything is very time sensitive. From users submitting issues to us triaging the reports to reaching engineers’ eyes, then investigating and fixing the bug, Instabug saves us time.
As Lyft’s pool of testers grew, the amount of bug reports it receives has also grown. One challenge is identifying pressing technical problems from the range of feedback they get.

“The quality has improved in terms of receiving real issues since we’ve made things easier for our users to report bugs through Instabug. We’re able to receive issues faster and direct it to the right teams to fix,” Pham said.

With a greater quantity of feedback, improved quality of bug reports, and faster turnaround times enabled by Instabug, the chances of bugs slipping through to production versions are minimized and those potential costs are saved.
With Instabug, we’re able to catch issues quicker and prevent them from going live. There’s a lot of value there.

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