Sauce for Mac Download

Sauce Labs, 2012-13
Sauce For Mac User Interface. Read down for the story and process images

What is it?

Sauce for Mac is a native OSX App that allows you to manually check websites on different browsers and platforms, such as Android phones or old versions of Microsoft Windows. Using a Cloud System such as Sauce saves time, hassle, and money of keeping many versions of Windows, iOS, or OSX, Etc. Running in Q.A. or on Virtual Machines.

Who are the users?

Web Developers, Product Managers, and Quality Assurance (Q.A.) teams. Anyone who may need to spot-check CSS or replicate a bug and send a video to the engineering team so they can replicate and fix.

How was it recieved?

Very well! It increased signups and usage substantially. Sauce Labs also received a consistent and significant bump in paid subscriptions.

Process: Working with small teams

Even when agile, for some things detailed design helps.

For small teams with agile process, constant contact must substitute for more formal specification. For Sauce Labs, in many cases we made changes as necessary in xCode, working side by side with the iOS developers. As for agile and XP, we’ve seen individual stories as brief and vague as a tweet. This demands design, product, and implementation teams sitting together or maintaining fluid contact.

Testing and Refinement

Before going native, prototype with HTML.

Sauce Labs made the case for manual testing using Sauce Cloud with a web-based implementation. Go ahead and try it out! We received great feedback and as a web-based app, we could refine quickly, A/B test easily, and prove business value to the organization. The key takeaway from the html implemenation: For manual QA testers, speed, latency, and responsiveness matter more than anything else, and pushing that meant going native.

Different testing for Native Applications.

Native Apps favor qualitative tests using applications like silverback in place of A/B testing with mass audiences. A/B testing certainly can be done, but its more complex than with Web Apps. In the case of Sauce for Mac we combined qualitative testing with a limited beta program.

Engineering Adjustments

Native apps all rely to a greater degree on the use of UI frameworks for drawing buttons, forms, and other elements. This requires some adaptation. In the case of sauce for mac, the earlier web-based incarnation already borrowed pretty heavily from desktop application conventions, but some things were not there. Additionally, selling in the app store places some additional restrictions on workflow and structure. Finally, we adjusted some workflow and look and feel to conform to apple conventions.

Parting thoughts

Different conventions for native

have a good reason for defying the conventions of your platform. Browser conventions such as pages, history etc.. simply do not exist in desktop applications or native phone apps. When you build an app for a specific platform, be it an android phone, an iOS device, or the windows desktop, there are definite conventions your users expect will be there, and some icons and commands may mean different things. If you adhere to the conventions of the platform, you speed up user adoption and reduce the learning curve. When developers choose to ignore those conventions they risk increasing confusion, learning time, and may infuriate the user community.

Choose the technology stack whose strengths make your product better.

Today, not very much separates the engineering complexity of a highly engineered Web Application and a Native App. If your value comes in branding and complex formatting or if you frequently push unified updates, then HTML offers a better solution. If you do certain kinds of high touch, highly interactive applications, then Native Apps offers raw speed. Both can support social and viral activity. Both can in some fashion now work without always-on internet. Native Apps generally integrate into the Operating System and sensors in ways Web Apps simply cannot.


On working with chungepstein:

Jeremy is a master at UX design, but is also a great product manager and has the ability to figure out the work that can make the most impact. He came into Sauce when we needed immediate improvements to our funnel and he was key in helping us succeed. Beginning with understanding how our customers interact with our product, to mockups, markup etc. - he delivered everything he promised, on-time, and high quality. I would recommend him to anyone interested in improving their product's UX and customer experience, and would certainly work with him again.

  — Adam Christian, VP Development at Sauce Labs