Saturday, January 22, 2011

Thinking From the Users' Perspective...

The title itself suggests the detail of this post. So, you may think that what’s the big deal reading this post, it is a common topic. Yes, it’s a common topic. But, I bet you may start thinking like an end-user, not a tester after reading this post. Let gets to the detail of this.

While testing the products what we actually do (or trying to do) is to act like an end-user of the product. But, despite our hundreds of testing criteria, sometimes we fail to act like end-users. Few days back, while testing a new feature of our product, I have found a ‘System Crash’ in our system which has been already in the system from the beginning. But, we could not find it earlier as we did not think like the end users before finding it in this specific instance.

The ‘System Crash’ happens for a specific input in all our ‘Text-box’ fields. Actually, I was testing a ‘Contact Form’ for the users where from they can ‘Report a Bug’ or can provide ‘Ideas to improve our product’. While testing this I was wondering what kinds of inputs user can input in that field. Suddenly, I got an idea of a specific input. Usually, for any website when the database connection does not work properly, an error page appears with lots of code instances provided that in the ‘Web.config’ files ‘Custom Error’ field is set to allow the users to view the errors. Though, in our product this feature does not allow the users to view the errors occurred, I intentionally insert such a group of error lines in the input field. The system crashes after inserting these error lines. After that, I narrowed down the error lines and found a specific text which actually caused the crash. So, I thought it is for that text fields only and I reported it. After a while, one of my team-mates asked me for this error text. And we started testing with this input to the all text fields our product. Finally, we came up with the decision that for all the text-fields this specific input causes the ‘System Crash’.

So, thinking from the users’ perspective is really important for testing any products and we have to ensure this in every instances of our testing career.

One more thing, it feels really good when I get any ‘System Crash’. I feel like a Tester (This dialogue is from ‘Raymonds’ clothing: "I feel like a man"..:P) when I get such type of ‘Blockers’, although all the bugs whether it is minor or major should be treated in a proper way. Nevertheless, finding any type of bugs give me an immense pleasure and satisfaction.

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