Saturday, June 11, 2011

What are YOU Watching?! A Weekend Testing Follow-Up


So this time, I will have to confess, I was a little more nervous than usual. After having run a dozen Weekend Testing sessions, you would think this would be no big deal. Normally it wouldn't be, but this was not an ordinary session. For starters, it was a session based on User Experience, which can be a challenging topic in and of itself. The second reason? I was putting my own company's product and site up for testing. Yikes!!!

I think in a small way every tester gets a little anxious when they invite other testers in to test their product. Yes, I said it, I am the Lone Tester at SideReel and by virtue of that, it makes it in part mine. What it absolutely makes it is a referendum on my own testing awareness and acumen. To be frank, I am well aware that I will not catch everything. I'm also well aware that I can't catch everything all by myself, and that's one of the great benefits of having a team come in, even if just for an hour. Still, it's an uneasy feeling to see comments come in and say "ooh, yeah, I didn't think of that!" or "hey, good catch, I don't know why I didn't see that!"

Considering the caliber of testers, both in range and level of experience that we get at these Weekend Testing sessions (and from all over the world, no less :) ), I'd actually have been surprised if they would only have found issues that I had already discovered, and also I welcome the additional insights as to areas I may have become somewhat jaded around, even after only a few months. Inattentional blindness is a real danger when you test alone. Adding eyes and insights help to mitigate the potential for inattentional blindness considerably.

The other aspect to also consider is the way that multiple users will approach the way they use the site. One of the interesting comments came from Perze Ababa when he asked me why there was a Track Show option for canceled shows. He then explained that, to him, you track shows that are current, because there's some new trail to "track". Shows that are older, completed or had been canceled had no fresh trail to leave, so is "tracking" the right metaphor? Truly, I don't know the answer to that, but it raised an interesting discussion point and pointed out again that, in many cases, User Experience is very much in the eye of the beholder.

Anyway, for those who would like to explore the experience report and the chat transcript more in depth, please feel free to go here to see it.
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