UX is becoming a bit of a buzzword recently and is typically associated with usability and design.
In my mind, UX is bigger than that. UX is, as the name suggests, about User Experience.
For me, that’s about the bigger picture and involves more than just the product.
Customer Support, release notes, documentation, supporting docs/sites/help, performance, security, ease of use, usability, accessibility, fit for purpose etc. It’s a big topic.
On the surface there are simple things we can think about regarding UX as Testers. Not all of the elements of UX will be applicable to your context but there is no harm in thinking about some or all of the following:
- Is it available?
- Do your support team know the details around the product?
- Is there sufficient support/help available to them?
- Do they need it?
- Are the support contact details correct?
- Is there online help?
- Is the help correct, accurate and accessible?
- Are there any release notes?
- Are they accurate?
- Are they complete?
- Are they written for the right audience (too technical, not technical enough)?
- Is the system error tolerant?
- Are the error messages relevant?
- Does the system help the user recover from any errors?
- Is it there?
- Is it needed?
- Is it accurate?
- Is the site performing as per requirements/needs of the customer?
- Do we even know this information?
- Is the customer’s data safe?
- Do they know it is?
- Are they re-assured that it is safe?
- Can we prove it is safe?
Usability and Ease of Use
- Is the product easy to use?
- Can people find what they want quickly?
- Is it consistent across all screens/pages?
- Is it consistent with expectations?
- Is the site behaviour typical based on other systems/sites/applications?
- Is the site accessible by people with accessibility requirements?
- Does it need to be?
There are a number of resources about design and user behaviour on the web from designers and others working in this exciting domain.
They can offer some amazing insights in to how the design of the product can encourage actions and outcomes.
As a Tester, don’t be afraid to seek out information from sources that aren’t considered “testing” specific.
UX on Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_experience_design
UX Booth – http://www.uxbooth.com/
UX Mag – http://uxmag.com/
Design with Intent – http://architectures.danlockton.co.uk/
If you want to talk Testing – catch me later this year at EuroSTAR conference.