After reading Adam Goucher’s review of Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Blink, and hearing it recommended by other testers, I finally read it.
Some people (like Adam) are good at learning about testing by drawing parallels from non-testing material (like dirt bike magazines). I guess I’m not as good at this. Although, I did enjoy Blink, it certainly did not provide me with as many “ah ha!” testing moments as I’ve heard other testers suggest. I learned a bit about marketing, racism, and health care, but not too much about testing. And I felt like many of the stories and studies were things I already knew (sorry, I'm not being very humble).
In addition to Adam's test-related discoveries, here are a couple additional ones I scraped up:
- Although, it was an awesome breakthrough in office chairs, and completely functional, people hated the Herman Miller Aeron Chairs. At first, the chairs didn’t sell. What did people hate? They hated the way they looked. People thought they looked flimsy and not very executive-like. After several cosmetic changes, people began accepting the chairs and now the chairs are hugely popular. Sadly, this is how users approach new software. No matter how efficient, they want the UI to look and feel a way they are familiar with. As testers, we may want to point out areas we think users will dislike. We can determine these by staying in touch with our own first time reactions.
- Blink describes an experiment where in one case, customers at a grocery store were offered two samples of jam. In a second case, customers were offered about 10 samples of jam. Which case do you think sold more jam? The first case. When people are given too much information, it takes too much work for them to make decisions. What does this have to do with testing? From a usability standpoint, testers can identify functionality that may overload users with too many decisions at one time. The iPhone got this one right.
Labels: software testing career