One of my new AUTs has stakeholders who are obsessed with cosmetics. Despite having an AUT full of business processes gaps and showstopper bugs, during stakeholder meetings their first priority is to rattle off a list of all the cosmetic things they want changed. For example:
- titles should left align
- read-only fields should be borderless
- certain fields should be bigger/smaller
- less white space
- no scroll bars
- don’t like text color or font
- buttons should be same width regardless of their names
Theoretically, Agile is supposed to address this kind of perpetual scope creep. But I hate it because even after listening to the stakeholders, it still becomes awkward for the dev to code and the tester to verify.
Something truly lacking in custom in-house (not shrink-wrap) apps is the ability for users to customize UIs until they’ve bored themselves to death. I’ve never been one to bother to “change skins” on my apps or even to change my desktop background. But cosmetics is a major concern for some users. Forcing me to test someone’s notion of what they think looks good on a UI is not interesting to me, as a tester. Let’s write software that lets users make their own cosmetic changes on their own time. I’ll test its engine. That sounds interesting.