Thursday, 31 December 2015

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Dear friends,

Thanks to you all for providing me with opportunities to learn, un-learn and work with you in any scale this year.
Wishing you the best in the coming year and I look forward to a continued association with you all.
Let us collaborate and contribute to the testing community to the best of each of our abilities as we continue to learn.

Many of you have been a guru, an inspiration and have helped me look forward to the coming year. Thank you for being an example, for leading the way and setting high standards for the next generation.

Special mention of many bloggers and authors for providing insights into your practical learning.
Speakers, that I met at conferences this year watching you speak has been a treat, keep going strong.
Newbie testers with whom I worked, thank you for helping me learn be better than earlier.
Mentors who provided positive feedback and at the right time have helped me take the right step forward.

Cannot take all the names here, all your kind gestures in nurturing new speakers and guiding them in the right direction has been applause worthy.

Thank you friends, co-workers, critics, readers, bloggers, speakers, activist's. Cheers and a happy new year y'all.

Friday, 25 December 2015

Testing the Design - Part I

What factors do you as a designer, as a user experience creator, as a tester, as a coder consider when thinking about the design and while creating it?

Here are some questions that can trigger us to think based on few factors listed below and which when considered can help us design better.

PLACEMENT

Placement is where you place different page elements on a webpage.
Where would you place some of the frequently used applications on your device? Why would you place it there?

- For ease of access.

- For Security - lock or unlock based on what you store in the application.
- Group relevant applications, page elements together.

ALIGNMENT

Alignment is how you place the page elements on the webpage.
- Original or Inverted or Tilted

Why alignment is important?
- to share another perspective
- because it is relevant in a context
- to connect with your target audience
- to target a different set of users

DISPLAY


- Font
- Font size
- Font color
- Font style
Do you have users with low vision?
How would you cater to their expectations from your application? Are you designing for the differently-abled?
As we learn which foreground color needs to be used to enhance visibility on a particular background color, this know-how can at times lead us to change a decision we already made, go ahead and take this risk initially.
Test under low light, bright light, natural and artificial light, move closer to the screen and move away from the screen and perform display and visibility testing.

CONTENT

- What you put in there, helps you win and retain the customers and keep them coming to your website rather than opt for your competitors website. 
- The content needs to be: legible, influential, a user can connect to it, can remember with ease and is not offensive.
- Remember while you make it fancy, it remains relevant to the theme of the website that you are building.
Example:
Consider you are designing a website which you wish to make accessible, interactive, functioning, responsive, reachable to all the users and is user friendly.

You are on the login page of a website designed for dancers entering dance competition.
You enter username and password and there is a submit button for user A and let's dance button for user B.


Which of these button's are appealing to you as a dancer? A or B
Do you as a user care?
Do we as creators care?

I leave you with these questions which can act as a trigger when you test for design on both web and mobile applications.

FEW DESIGN TIPS
  • Share the prototype / model / wire-frame with the client, coder, tester. Test it and fix bugs reported during design cycle to reduce cost, time and effort.
  • Remember to note any missing design/s implementation/s and let the design team know.
  • Perform AB testing - compare, cater to the needs of the user and conclude.
  • Do not ignore designing for mobile along with web.
  • Choose interactive design every time. Because the design talks to the user even without a demo / guideline / manual on how-to use the application.
  • Read books, articles on design. Enhance your ability to assess a website for design. 
  • Experiment - Bring ideas from anywhere, remember nature is our best teacher.
  • Cater to the differently-abled users. Make it usable for majority of your users.
  • Design based on a theme, make the application interactive with every user message displayed. Success message: You have successfully registered for competition "XYZ". Break a leg!
  • Give only what is needed as part of the design. Address the spaces wisely.
  • Design the user guide / manual with the same theme. Let the website be a reflection of how a dancer breathes and thinks. 
  • Know who your users are.
  • Design for the user to navigate further and not logout if for example the entries are closed or if you are no longer accepting dancers for a competition. Help them with directions / signs which when clicked on lands the user in a list of entries which are accepting entries.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Where do we testers invest our testing effort and time?

Before we proceed: This is not a measure or an estimate of the testing time and effort.

Do you have Testers in your team asking for time to test more than what is allotted as time for testing?
Ever wondered why Testers need that time and how it gets utilized?
Here is a mind-map I put together to capture where I spent my testing effort and time.

Is it effective use of testing time? 
Answer for yourself.


Testers, take a look at the distribution of testing effort and time across the nodes in this mind-map. Do you consider time spent researching, learning and communicating with right sources of knowledge as testing time? 

Give it a good thought and action on where you are spending your testing effort and time. 
Remember that attendance at meetings and conferences, a talking assignment, interactions with knowledge sources are not time off from testing but to be considered by us testers as testing time so that when we talk to our team we are assertive when we take time out for these testing tasks.

Shared below is my perspective on why Testers ask for time to test rather than merely accept what the management considers and allocates time for as testing time.

Image - Testing Effort and Time
Testing - Effort and Time
Click on the Image to enlarge or alternatively view node view below.


                         






If you have more to share please add as comments below. The next time you ask for testing time, do consider the factors that would otherwise not be considered by non-testers. Thank you for reading this blog post.

Please note: 
Audience, this post is in no way related to performance, performance testing, performance review or performance rating. If you have a recommendation for me to write / share on the aforementioned topics then do share your comments below.