I was once again on a trip to Helsinki and faced the same dilemma that I always face. Where should I head for dinner today?
I had heard a friend mention this one place that had just the most awsome burger. I Googled for it. Read a few reviews and then made my decision.
The place seemed cosy, was designed to display some ambience in the lighting and soft rock music was playing in the background. The menu looked awesome to a hungry traveler.
I decided to go with the dish that was suggested on Tripadvisor. The beef was juicy, sauce spicy with a hint of smoky bbq and even the cheese was brought here by a local producer. It had a real story behind it. I realy enjoyed the experience.
But what on earth does this have to do with testing now?
To me, testing can be divided into three levels that each have their distinct goals.
- Inhaling. Taking in all the information available even though we still haven’t seen the actual product. Chatting with friends, Googling if need be. Gathering all the information we would need to fully perform in our testing efforts.
- Overviewing. Entering the venue this time. Glancing around to see what we have here. Browsing the menu. Discussing with the waiter. Reflecting our findings while inhaling.
- Diving. Choosing where to go just now. Tasting a little bit of every dish or going deep into the most important dishes. Making up our minds wether it all adds up to the experience or does the reality of the food dispel my illusion of the place in the first place?
After this night out, I go back to my place and write the review. Report on my experiences and reflect on all the levels that I’ve given my attention this time.
We testers should learn to tell our story in a structured way so the people who have yet to be awakened can understand how we approach the practice.