Date: 30th January 2010
Time: 15:30 – 18:00 GMT
Website Tested: http://calendar.google.com
Mission: You work in a small-medium company, and your manager has been asked to evaluate switching the company over to using Google calendar. He needs a quick assessment from you before his conference call this afternoon.
Use the FCC CUTS VIDS touring heuristic to guide you.
What will the company use it for?
Boss: I don’t know – just let me know by 4:30! I’ve got my call with the big boss at 5:30!
Anna Baik facilitated the discussion afterwards, asking each tester about their experiences.
The group decided to separate the FCC CUTS VIDS among the three testers. Marlena took the FCC part, Markus the CUTS parts, and Zeger the VIDS part.
Zeger van Hese started the debriefing. First he started to look for available bug lists for the boss. This was one of the points he had learned in the first session. For the mission he started with the variability part of the VIDS heuristics. Therefore he started to look for things that can change in the application. Since the session got started later as usual, 45 minutes were quite a short time for the four heuristics. The variability and the interoperability parts of his mission were rather clear to him, but the data and structure parts of it were not clear to him in the framed context. Zeger found the heuristics used worth. He stated he would use them again. Making them part of the mission was a good point. He’s more used to the SF DPOT heuristics (Structure, Function, Data, Platform, Operations, Time), though.
Marlena Compton found the structures great. In addition seeing other people using it was a great experience. A common element among the several heuristics floating around the web seem to be data. Marlena found it hard to stick with the one of here three parts solely, so she switched between them. She noticed that there was a trade-off between features and settings. Google seems to hide a lot of their user interfaces behind settings. The distinction between features and configuration became blended over. Another example for the interleave of the tours was the help section, which showed her information regarding the claims of the product, but also information regarding the features. When asked about traps she fell into, she stated that it was hard to quit exploring features in such a feature-rich application. In addition she noticed that she did not ask enough questions regarding her mission in the beginning. Considering the overlap of the tours she took, she really felt it was a single tour – the most meaningful for exploring the application. Marlena found the FCC part of the heuristics great to get an overview of the application. For the application under test working through the top five of the most complex features was hard in the time given. Marlena still discovered new things at the end of the session.
Markus Gärtner found out over the session that he has been rather ignorant to heuristics thus far. The use of the heuristics was interesting. He started with exploring the configuration options, then explored the overall product to find new configuration settings in the product itself. After that he could come up with some user and scenario tests, that were mostly thinking activities. Testability did not seem to be part of the mission given. Though, to some exploring the product was worth-while before thinking it through.
In the discussion afterwards the topic on splitting up work among several testers using heuristics was raised. The split-up used seemed to be counter-productive. Instead Marlena suggested to define sub-sets of features to test and use these to split up, but use all the heuristics during individual testing. The group discussion went on over the topic of sapience in testing, picking the heuristic useful for the given feature. Not all heuristics apply to every features in the same way. Picking the right one requires sapience. The group also started to discuss adaptability of heuristics such as structure (code, interfaces, files, hardware, …) for web application, but couldn’t conclude the discussion before the time was up.
Last, but not least, the biggest summary from Zeger:
there IS stress if you change the system date!
since he had changed his local date and afterwards had problems with Google Calendar and Skype.
See you all next weekend!