Design

Usability Fix and UI Testing

A couple of weeks ago I attended a Usability Fix event in Warsaw. The formula was fairly simple and somewhat similar to speed dating just switch girls with startups and boys with testers :-]

The event itself was located in a very cool post-industrial coworking space in Warsaw, GammaFactory. We begun with a presentation about UI testing that covered how to prepare and run a good ui testing session.

Main part of the event consisted of a couple of testing rounds where testers – me included – tried to poke holes in mobile and web applications that were there. All of the projects I’ve talked with were well prepared for the task, had a test scenario on paper and knew pretty well what questions to ask. After attending the event I’ve decided that it may be worth to write a bit about UI testing at 10clouds.

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How do we do UI testing at 10Clouds?

Firstly it’s important to seperate UI testing that I’m interested in this blog post from unit tests, continuous integration procesess and automated tools like selenium.

Having said that the most important observation about UI testing is that in most situations you only need 4-6 people to find nearly all of the problems with your application. That’s not a lot and you can easily get enough people just by asking around in the office.

When we have a project ready for end users to test we organise a testing session with people from different teams and specialities. We ask them to perform a set of test scenarios covering main features. Scenarios should be rather simple and self explanatory. If it’s difficult to explain what your application does then there must be something wrong with it.

We always get feedback that’s useful and relevant. This approach to UI testing is so simple and effective that it makes a lot of sense to put every project through it.

Sometimes we record the testing sessions and share them with our clients. It’s always fascinating to see the way people interact with software we’ve built. Another thing that we started doing recently is getting people from crowdsourcing sites like Amazon Mechanical Turk and oDesk to record their hands-on experience with our applications. We’ve been trying this approach for some time and it’s an easy way to get non-tech savvy people people engaged with your project in a controlled environment, and you can even automate it relatively easily.

Here is the presentation mentioned before done by Magdalena Ostoja-Chyżyńska:

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