EWT36 – Conferences are for conferring

EWT36 – Conferences are for conferring

Date: 16th October 2010
Time: 15:30 – 17:30 UTC

Product: Skype

Use the CIDTESTD heuristics in order to evaluate whether we can use skype’s new video call feature for weekend testing sessions.

Testers: Vesna Leonard, Mohinder Khosla, Eusebiu Blindu, Anna Baik, Ajay Balamurugadas, Markus Gärtner

Markus Gärtner facilitated the discussion afterwards.

Vesna Leonard started to the discussion afterwards. She explained that she likes the dynamic view, but it needs some time getting used to it. Also the background noise is a pain, but still usable. She especially likes the highlighting of people talking in the conference call. Dragging the video images around was also not very intuitive to her. After all Vesna wanted to take a deeper look into the video capabilities of Skype as well.

Anna Baik stated that she had problems on a smaller screen. She also said that the network connection probably needs to be of high bandwidth. A third factor is the power of the PC used. So, when using skype video for Weekend Testing, you probably exclude people travelling. Anna stated that she was not able to hear anything from the group conversations, but she suspected the virtual machine she ran windows in.

Ajay Balamurugadas explained that the video chat was a good experience for him. He found the toolbar simple and useful, although the share button was disabled all the time. The features to end calls, zoom, or show and hide the text messages were easy to use. He found that the group didn’t follow the mission, though, since we didn’t use the CIDTESTD heuristics at all. Ajay recommended to test the feature some more before using it. Ajay explained that he wanted to do some follow-up testing on connection losses, and how video calls are affected when he shares files, or having more people in the video call.

Eusebiu Blindu stated that he was looking for multi-video chat a while ago, but now found out that skype had this feature coming up. One thing he would like to see in a future version, is a one-presenter mode. Eusebiu stated that he wanted to be able to mute sound or picture for other participants as well. Eusebiu was hoping for skype to improve the feature over time. This seemed to be an early version of the feature.

Markus Gärtner explained that he noticed a 28 days trial period when he started the group video call. Some of the rearrangements of the video windows were counter-intuitive to him. Also minimizing his own video and getting it back on there provided him a hard time. In the end, he would probably not use the feature for two reasons. First, the trial period, second the way it shrinks the group of people probably attending weekend testing sessions.

The chat transcript can be inspected here.

Image credits: http://www.flickr.com/photos/unc-cfc-usfk/3366605085/

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