As a user experience design specialist, clients often ask Jeff Patton to make their software "look better," so it can be successful. But when clients focus primarily on aesthetics, they're often addressing the wrong thing. In this column, Jeff takes a look at common user interface (UI) mistakes and the key concerns software development teams should address to build successful UIs.
Analyzing a project's interface requirements often starts late and focuses--sometimes exclusively—on creating a snazzy user interface. But failing to conduct interface analysis in a early increases the risk of project delays, overruns, and even failure. In this column, Mary Gorman makes the case for investing in interface analysis by explaining what it is and how it reduces the risk in software projects.
In a previous article published on this site, "Testing the Bold and the Beautiful" (May 2001), the author received many thoughtful comments and questions about the importance of aesthetics in software. This paper was inspired in part from those questions. It clarifies the difference between aesthetic testing and usability testing. The paper makes the business case for "beauty testing" and argues that an ugly UI can undermine the bottom line. It offers methods and a survey-template for successful aesthetic testing. The paper concludes with a list of "Facts and Myths, Dos and Don'ts."
Big projects require many little user stories. But if these scenarios don't add up to one good story, then you're probably missing out on the big picture. In this week's column, Jeff Patton describes how his team weaves many small tales into a single strong report by identifying key characters and themes.
Yogita works as a QA/testing professional with Mindfire Solutions, and has written a number of articles on QA and testing strategies. Yogita is currently exploring thoughts of beauty as an area of testing and its relation to usability. Her role at Mindfire has been to implement Quality processes throughout the organization and build a dedicated testing team. The team recently published a White Paper “Porting projects: Test techniques,” downloadable from www.mindfiresolutions.com. Yogita can be reached at [email protected].
It's frightening how many companies are on their second, third, or even greater attempt to automate their testing—each time junking months or years of effort and work product. Here, test automation advisor Linda Hayes shows the way to avoid having to bury your automation project.
Ever try to navigate the Web with your eyes closed? Without a mouse? Fifty million Americans are differently-abled, and nearly half of these people encounter difficulties accessing the World Wide Web. The U.S. government recently took steps to tackle the accessibility issue. Here's some coverage of the issue.
Former STQE magazine Technical Editor Brian Lawrence shares a tale about why a commitment to quality and paying close attention to detail are critical elements in building better software. It's all about careful planning and anticipating customer behavior. Go with Brian on a stroll through one of the oldest, best-known amusement parks to find out more.
The slick brochure promises every feature you can imagine, and the sales rep assures you that his package will do just what your users want. But that's what the other vendor's sales rep said, too. Sound familiar? Karl Wiegers recommends several requirements development practices that can help you select the right commercial package solution. Key practices include identifying user classes, defining their use cases, creating test cases from the high-priority use cases, documenting pertinent business rules, and exploring the users' performance goals and other quality attributes.