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Re: [agile-usability] Re: just one bug's enough to make a program useless

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  • Phlip
    ... Maybe PhotoShop defended the feature where Undo-Undo redoes the undid thing. That s actually useful in some situations, because you can do blink
    Message 1 of 23 , Jan 3, 2006
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      Desilets, Alain wrote:

      > Developper: Wait a minute... Wiring Ctrl-Z to History is just 1 hour of
      > work on my part. And that includes testing, writing unit tests, and
      > integrating into the main version. I could do it in my sleep!

      Maybe PhotoShop defended the "feature" where Undo-Undo redoes the undid thing.

      That's actually useful in some situations, because you can do "blink
      comparator" from one keystroke.

      Never mind.

      --
      Emily Litella
    • Brian Marick
      ... Agreed. Going beyond what you say: a tester without understanding of the domain will not only make bad usability suggestions, she will also report too many
      Message 2 of 23 , Jan 3, 2006
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        On Jan 3, 2006, at 2:18 PM, Jeff Patton wrote:
        >
        > I have observed a pattern where testers become acutely aware of
        > inefficiencies in the workflow for the test cases they execute often
        > without regard for how realistically the test case reflects an actual
        > users' goals or usage.
        >
        > For example I used to do a lot of work in a brick and mortar retail
        > environment. Testers often asked for features to create items to
        > sell with less mandatory attributes, or navigate directly from item
        > creation to transaction entry, or to easily remove items. While all
        > these seemed logical, in large retail organizations those creating
        > items weren't the ones entering transactions. And removing items
        > with any transactional history had larger legal implications. The
        > feature suggestions would have indeed improved workflow for the
        > tester executing test cases, but not necessarily the user doing work.
        >
        > Now I know enlightened testers such as Brian and others wouldn't fall
        > into this trap. But to help the less enlightened I've always found
        > it important to have a strong understanding of the applications users
        > and their workflow. A good user model and task model serve that
        > purpose. Some concisely written user scenarios help with that also.
        > It's hard to remember sometimes that we're not the user and the
        > models help remind us.

        Agreed. Going beyond what you say: a tester without understanding of
        the domain will not only make bad usability suggestions, she will
        also report too many bugs that don't matter to real users and too few
        bugs that do.

        As Michael Bolton and a host of others would instantly remind me, the
        good tester is also operating under the assumption that the good user
        model and good task model are wrong in some important ways, and that
        part of her job is probably to find out how. (Similarly, her own
        understanding is doubtless wrong, too. It's the Turtles of
        Uncertainty all the way down.)


        P.S. Making changes to improve the usability for testers does have
        business value, unless their time costs nothing. I have some faith,
        but no evidence, that it would also improve the code, much like
        catering to JUnit or Fit does.

        -----
        Brian Marick, independent consultant
        Mostly on agile methods with a testing slant
        www.exampler.com, www.testing.com/cgi-bin/blog
        Book in progress: www.exampler.com/book
      • Desilets, Alain
        Maybe PhotoShop defended the feature where Undo-Undo redoes the undid thing. That s actually useful in some situations, because you can do blink comparator
        Message 3 of 23 , Jan 3, 2006
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          Maybe PhotoShop defended the "feature" where Undo-Undo redoes the undid
          thing.

          That's actually useful in some situations, because you can do "blink
          comparator" from one keystroke.

          Never mind.

          -- Alain:
          Interesting point. Do you think this is something that you would be
          likely to find out through upfront design and paper prototyping?

          My guess is that this is exactly the kind of thing that does not become
          apparent until (even to the end user) until you look at real users
          laying their hands on the real thing and trying to carry out a real
          task.
          ----
        • Jeff Patton
          ... In the situation I was thinking about, making changes to the delivered product to better support testers would have broken business rules in the
          Message 4 of 23 , Jan 3, 2006
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            --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, Brian Marick <marick@t...>
            wrote:
            > P.S. Making changes to improve the usability for testers does have
            > business value, unless their time costs nothing. I have some faith,
            > but no evidence, that it would also improve the code, much like
            > catering to JUnit or Fit does.

            In the situation I was thinking about, making changes to the delivered
            product to better support testers would have broken business rules in
            the application. Basically it would have made it easier/faster for the
            tester to set up and tear down test data by forgoing some of the rules
            around creating and deleting - and also installing quick navigation to
            jump from creation directly to transaction entry, again, inapropriate
            for our app, but workflow the testers did often.

            Alain is right that lots of these tedious bits of testing should be
            automated.

            You're right that spending a little money to help testers complete
            their work faster - or not go crazy doing it - is a good idea. We just
            need to know why we're doing it. If it was a feature strictly for
            testing, I'd want some way to hide or disable it from a production
            release.

            But, your point is well taken. Also Michael's point you referred to as
            well.

            thanks,

            -Jeff
          • Larry Constantine
            ... Many bugs (both code bugs and usability defects) can be avoided by effective design practices and found prior to having running software through
            Message 5 of 23 , Jan 4, 2006
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              Alain wrote:

              > By their nature, bugs cannot be caught by design. They can only be
              > caught after the buggy implementation has been implemented. This is one
              > of the great advantage of early delivery and TDD. They allow you to get
              > actual running software in the hands of users early, and catch bugs
              > early on in the process.

              Many bugs (both code bugs and usability defects) can be avoided by effective
              design practices and found prior to having running software through
              inspections and walkthroughs. Multiple research studies and extensive
              practice have shown inspections to be more cost effective than is testing
              for finding and eliminating bugs (both kinds).

              --Larry Constantine, IDSA [mailto:lconstantine@...]
                Chief Scientist | Constantine & Lockwood, Ltd.

              > -----Original Message-----
              > From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
              [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
              > Of Desilets, Alain
              > Sent: Tuesday, 03 January 2006 11:40 AM
              > To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
              > Subject: RE: [agile-usability] just one bug's enough to make a program
              useless
              >
              > How can we usabilitists catch these blind spots in design, before they
              > lose us customers?
              >
              > -- Alain:
              > Sorry for late response... Catching up on pre-Xmas break email.
              >
              > ----
              >
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