OUR TESTERS FOLLOW A CAREFUL
DISCIPLINE designed to explore many dimensions of a product.
But before we explain all that, if you are a vendor of products having a speech interface,
be sure to read the "Beating the Competition" section
of For Vendors Only
to give you some perspective on what follows.
The tester group looks at
three product aspects specifically:
- bugs - failures of the product to meet the specification
- usability - ways in which the product impedes a user's attempt
to do things within the specification
- expandability - ways in which the product impedes reasonable
use beyond the specification
We take a very hard-line position about usability and expandability.
This is in contrast to other reviewers. For example, with products having a speech interface,
other reviewers consider accuracy of recognition a prime factor, presuming its glitz will excuse other product failings. We tend to take
a lenient approach to recognition accuracy. So our ratings of
those kinds products will often be not as glowing as reports found elsewhere.
We emphasize usability because errors will occur as they would
even with a live human friend. So, a much more relevant concern
is how easily errors can be corrected.
We stress expandability because inevitably a user is more imaginative
about the ways to employ a product because of rising expectations
associated with computers that can now seemingly do anything.
We believe, therefore, that for any product to survive, product designers
must pay attention to reasonable applications of the product outside
of the original target design.
More on bug testing...
More on usability...
More on expandability...