"Some birds aren't meant to be caged, their feathers are just too bright"- Morgan Freeman, Shawshank Redemption. This blog is from one such bird who couldn't be caged by organizations who mandate scripted software testing. Pradeep Soundararajan welcomes you to this blog and wishes you a good time here and even otherwise.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Bird eye view !

Hi Reader,

Thanks for all those mails and encouragement that keeps me pushing forward to give good posts to you each time. Here is another researched topic on testing for you and your friends.

The topic says "Bird eye view", could anyone guess what I am trying to explain here ?
For those who guessed right... you win a Tester Tested ! T-Shirt free. ( coming soon... )

Anyhow let me jump in directly to fundas...

I was once asked by my mentor "How do you know what an end user needs when testing a product".

He asked so because I had made a claim that "I was able to suggest changes in design after testing a product"

It actually took 3 months for me to answer his question and here is the case study for you ...

__ Bird eye view __

My career started off with listening to a lot of music, Yes , I was testing Bluetooth Audio Product.

It is a part and parcel of that job to listen to a lot of music while testing and I kept using variants of that product for almost 5 months. Although there were test cases guiding the testing but I realized that there was something else which made me talk to my manager about the design, changes needed and supporting evidence.

One of product variant had 2 MMI ( or buttons ) which had a lot of power packed functions into it. From those two buttons features like ... Play, Pause, F-Fwd , Rew , Connect , Disconnect , Inquiry, Next, Previous, Pairing .... ( what not ).Remember all this in just two buttons, something unbelievable but true.

I was keen on listening to music and was sub-conciously using it as any other user of any audio product. I felt the design of the audio product was not good which made it non-user-friendly, as I was using the same product while doing other work.

I then noted down the issues I faced and putforth the same to the management about the issues I noticed.

The point of concern here is not to look whether management accepts it or not but to look whether we grow up as good testers and one feature of a good tester is to think from end-user's view.

So the above leads to ...

Points to consider to start thinking from a customer's view -

  • If you are a fresher and entering to a domain where you have never used such a product which you are supposed to test, first, at your home take up any product you use in your daily life and prepare a test plan, test case and test it and get it verified with some good tester.( if you find one nearby ) For ex - it could be your own mobile phone.
  • If you have started off with multimedia testing, good, try to inculcate the above point, provided you feel you may take time to come out with a better point than mine.
  • If you have already started your career and are somewhere in between, never late than before, check whether you have had any similar experiences or try to co-relate with any such.Also you could try out the previous point, provided you feel it could help you.
  • End user is concerned about the form factor of the product you are testing, so be cautious to note and let your manager know if there are any.
  • If you get a chance to sit with your customer at the cafetaria, ask him what made him think to suggest a change he had requested sometime back.If it is difficult to find a customer at your premises, catch hold of some requirements/design engineering old chap, he has lots to talk about.( provided you approach him)
  • Always test with an intention that your customer is a better tester/QA than you and he demands more than what you can offer him.
  • Assume you are going to buy the product you are testing and want it in such a way that it is highly user-friendly, bug free and interops well.

__End of Bird eye view __

"When you look from the customer's eyes, you still may hate your manager"


Pradeep Soundararajan


Disclaimer : The above post is based on my own opinion and does not imply that this is the only way you can learn to think from the customer point of view.I also am aware that your experiences could be contradicting my theory and hence would want you to be aware that each one's experience is different from each other.


Anonymous said...

Hey Prad,

e dil maange more....Thumbs up...


Nandan said...

So the customer is the Bird? Usually he is made the worm.. ;)

Anonymous said...

that's cool testing skills, you rock