Archive for January, 2011

Character Sets Are What Your Application Does In The Dark

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011 by The Director

Karen Johnson has a nice post here about the most basic tests she does when confronted with an application that should handle multiple languages:

So when it was time to choose a handful of languages to test with, my reaction was to choose:

1. one or more Latin-based languages
2. one or more languages with a heavy use of diacriticals
3. a RTL [Right-to-left] language
4. a language that is more symbolic than character-based

A common problem in testing with these languages is the lack of keyboard or a means of entering characters from different languages. Cut and paste can work if you’re careful.

You know, that’s a handy set of tests for anytext-accepting control on any Web site, even if your application only expects and only accepts (allegedly) English.

Some Symptoms of Crappy Surveys

Monday, January 3rd, 2011 by The Director

A user experience designer was dissatisfied with a survey that United Airlines made him take before giving him in-flight Internet:

Instead of a pricing and log-in page, I get a simple screen that says “Before you access the Internet, please take a few minutes to complete a short survey. Your responses will help us improve United in-flight Wi-Fi.”

There’s no option here to skip the survey. I must fill it out. I watched other passengers encounter this page and it’s there for everyone. I’m guessing it’ll be there for a while, so I’ll get to fill it out on every wi-fi flight I take until they stop the survey.

Of course, they want everyone’s opinion. However, do they want everyone’s opinion multiple times? How does that help them?

Given no choice, I started up the survey. That’s when it got really amusing.

You, dear QA, should keep up with good interface design procedures–or at least refresh your list of quiz best practices–with this list. Because things that annoy users are things that should annoy you. And when you’re annoyed, you can spread the love more effectively than some poor sop at 32,000 feet.

QA Music: My Heart Is Black

Monday, January 3rd, 2011 by The Director

Look inside yourself, like Crucified Barbara, and see if you share the malady: “My Heart Is Black“.

Caution, f-word.