How we test for errors

OUR PRINCIPAL METHOD for finding errors in implementing the specification is to take on the mentality of the most devious and obtuse user we have ever encountered and intentionally try to break the product by doing incorrectly everything the instruction manual says to do. Essentially we are exploring the boundary cases of the specification by using this method.

We also test more formally for:

  • bugs found in a previous release
  • errors (and/or usability issues) found in an equivalent product from another vendor
  • errors which typically arise from poor programming practices we've seen at other companies while consulting for them
  • errors which might come from potential limitations of the underlying algorithms used in the product

A list of such previous errors we have collected for desktop speech products can be found here.

In addition to experienced testers, when appropriate, we also employ naive testers. Their inexpert understanding of both the technology and computers in general cause them to generate sequences of operations which are so outside of the norm as to set earthquakes into even the most robust code.

If you have applications under development and wish to have an analysis performed along these lines please contact us.

More on usability...
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Page Last Updated: 12/13/99
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