Testnet summer school

catLast wednesday was the Testnet summer school. A nice day of workshops about several testing topics. There were three workshops on the Certified Agile Tester training, one of them was mine. Since I like to improve my teaching, I decided to follow the other two workshops too.

The first workshop by Bart Bouwers dealt with user stories. The important thing to take away from this workshop was the lifecycle of a user story. From the initial setup as a high level requirement to the go-live moment. The second workshop was my own workshop for Polteq on Agile test management. I shared with the attendees that the role of the test manager probably won’t disappear, but it will change to more people management and more facilitating. The last workshop I attended was by Cecile Davis. We were with a very small group, but had a lot of fun discussing about several Agile topics that came out of the group.

I really enjoyed myself at this great event and hope that Testnet will continue to organize the summer school.

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Testing the usability of a website

website-usability

How usable is a website? This largely depends on the perspective, are you the content manager, the marketeer, the customer, …. This means that we can test for usability from all these user perspectives. The main point to learn from this is that we need requirements for all these perspectives too. For instance: content managers should be involved when developing and testing a website. While developing a website, a lot of attention goes to the front-end, but the back-end is important too.

Marketeers will think the website is usable if it can easily be found on the internet. This brings up the aspect of search engine optimization. This subject is way too large to cover as a whole here, but I’ll cover some parts. It is a must that keyword can easily be added to a page. Make sure that internal linking in the website is used, use tooling to check how many internal and external links and where they are implemented. Check if all the URLs are user friendly, i.e. not like “www.polteq.com/index.php?page=123&lang=en” but “http://www.polteq.com/en/testing-services/test-automation/“. Make sure to check if all images have an alt-tag, since webspiders can only read text.will go to the ease of use of the front-end of the site, but the same kind of thinking should be used for the back-end. Every part of the website that shows content should be “easily” editable. This is not just limited to textual content, but is also demanded for images, banners and the order of items in the navigation.

End-users are only interested in achieving their personal goals. The website needs to help them as effectively as possible to achieve these goals. Think about disabled users that cannot use the mouse to navigate and need to do all with the keyboard. They will accept that it takes a bit more time to achieve the goals, but not too much. So keep the amount of tabs needed to reach the important places on the website to a minimum. The tester needs to check the difference in number of actions using the mouse and the keyboard, making sure that they are not too far apart. Keep in mind that this are checks which can also be automated. For a reference on accessibility see this page from W3C.