In Software Test Management, Can You Really Please Everyone at Once?

Posted on Nov 19, 2012 in blogUsability

There is always some kid who may be seeing me for the first or last time – I owe him my best.
- Joe DiMaggio

At Testuff, we’re definitely not baseball hall of famers (the gap between professional sports and test management is as wide as one can imagine). And children are not our target demographic.

But we still draw inspiration from DiMaggio’s quote up above.

How exactly?

Because we try to apply his basic philosophy when designing all our software application testing tools. Although we have a fairly active user base that provides plenty of valuable feedback, the majority of potential customers are 100% anonymous.

At any given moment, User #354 could be a total novice or an experienced professional. Because we have no real way of knowing, we design our tools so that they appeal to both – and everyone in between.

Designing Software Application Testing Tools for First Timers

In an industry that thrives on charts, graphs, spreadsheets, and hardcore analytics, Testuff’s suite seems like the odd man out at first glance.

Don’t get me wrong. The functionality is definitely there (see the next section). But what sets us apart is the intuitive interface that absolute beginners see when they logon for the first time.

We try to make our software application testing tools inviting and unintimidating by making the user experience as streamlined as possible.

This isn’t simply an accident. It was deliberate and methodical.

First, we had to realize that marrying a streamlined interface with robust functionality was even possible. Google and Apple were partly our inspiration in this regard.

  • Few would argue that these tech giants don’t offer powerful features.
  • Fewer still would accuse either of having a cluttered or confusing UI.

Next, we took the underlying architecture of our test management platform and came up with any number of different design concepts. You can see some of our earlier icon stabs in this post.

Then, we tested, tested, and did more testing.

True to our mantra that the wisdom of the crowds should be your guide when developing tools for the crowd, we invited “testers” to give us feedback, including:

  • freelancers
  • total novices
  • real-time testers
  • customers of our 1 year beta

And through this feedback (or rather – ongoing feedback), we’ve developed a product that makes you want to click, prod, and quite literally, “test.”

But don’t let the shiny buttons and inviting graphics fool you. There’s some real power under the hood.

Designing Software Application Testing Tools for Experts

Customizable, expandable, interoperable – our test management platform was specifically designed to handle the expanding needs of an industry that evolves at breakneck speeds.

  • Whereas the average novice wouldn’t need access to any one of the 25+ trackers and automation tools that Testuff supports, there are experienced professionals who may have occasion to use them.
  • The novice probably cares little about data security and advanced reporting. But for a veteran tester, these are make-or-break features for which there is no compromising.
  • Screenshot captures, dedicated video recording, Twitter integration, rich text editing, project archiving – potentially useless features for many first-time users. Yet they’re must haves for many of our experienced customers.

In fact, in our quest to develop a comprehensive testing solution, our platform is actually so loaded with features that we often have very lengthy internal discussions about what more we should or shouldn’t add. See an earlier blog post on this very topic.

Helping Novice Software Testers Become Veterans

Our goal isn’t simply to service the needs of 2 very different groups – novices and veterans. Rather, our ultimate goal is to help the former become the latter.

And thus, we invest a lot of time and energy into making sure that novices don’t have to.

In other words, we do everything we can to minimize the amount of time one needs to be up and running – and the amount of time needed to become proficient as a legitimate tester.

For example, we:

  • release our software application testing tools under a SaaS model to eliminate the need for on-site servers and experienced IT staff.
  • include intuitive, user-friendly manuals that minimize the need for extensive training for our products.
  • encourage both novice and veteran testers to continue learning new methodologies – always.

Consequently – whether as an absolute beginner or seasoned pro, from the moment you sign up for a free, 30-day trial of our suite, you’re running your first test within minutes.