Monthly Archives: January 2019

Pizza Delivery: Importance of Good UX Design

Today, on my drive to work, I was listening an episode of ‘The good, the bad and the buggy’ podcast – specifically the episode titled ‘Food for Thought’. This episode focused on the way technology has influenced the way we order food.

It has occurred to me that where I choose to buy pizza is more down to the quality of the online website than the quality of the pizza itself.

A lot of people will have heard of the well-known pizza restaurant Dominos. The pizza they sell there is pretty good, but I’ve always disliked their range of side orders. I’ve found them overpriced and lacking in choice. Dominos is also generally more expensive than other local pizza restaurants.

There was this local pizza restaurant in the town I went to university. The pizza was delicious, and the prices a lot more reasonable compared to Dominos. However, when a Dominos opened up in the town, I started getting my pizza from there instead. Not because of the quality of the pizza, which I’ve already stated was inferior to the other local pizza restaurant. Dominos had a really good online ordering system. It was so easy to use, even if you had a complicated order that required like extra pizza toppings. A pizza of my choice could be ordered in minutes. It even had a tracker saying how long it would be before my pizza arrived.

This improved the user experience so much that I preferred to order my pizza from Dominos. The introduction of a good online ordering system has helped improve their customer base, and their profits. It shows how much value can be gained from investing in technology as well as pizza.

Companies are now relying a great deal on developing technology to boost sales. Technology can be used to improve the product or service they well. However, there does seem to be more focus on user experience. Happy customers are more likely to return and spend more money.

Image taken from http://www.publicdomainpictures.net

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Report Bugs – or they will not go away!

I’ve just listened to episode 8 of the Guilty Tester podcast. During this episode an interesting bug was described. The marketing team for a shopping website was unable to create promotions or discounts in December.

Why? Because the software did not allow them to. The application supported the creation of promotions in the other 11 months of the year, but not December. In the code, the months had been indexed using 0 – 11 instead of 1 – 12. When the month December was selected, the number 12 was used which failed the validation check because the month was not between 0 and 11.

Interestingly, this platform had been used for 18 months and the marketing team just accepted that they could not create offers in December. They had not complained or reported the bug.

This made me ask the question: How many bugs found by customers go unreported?

Minor bugs have little impact and are unlikely to cause complete loss of customer loyalty but can still devalue the business. Critical bugs, like the one mentioned above, are not just annoying. They prevent the customer from being able to use the application they way they want to. A customer is more likely to report these bugs than the minor ones but they may not see this as a valuable use of their time. Why should they be the ones reporting these bugs? It is up to the business to be producing good quality software. In this case, the bug does not get fixed and the customer either accepts it or stops using the application altogether.

Software applications are not developed for fun, they are developed for the customer. As a software tester, I report every single bug I find. No matter how minor. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, a bug may occasionally slip through the net. If something is preventing the customer from using the system the way they need to we want to know about it. Developers cannot fix the bug if they don’t know its there.

If there is a bug that prevents you from using the application the way you want to, please report it. This bug may not just be affecting you but other customers as well.

This lesson should not just apply to the use of software applications. I recently walked into a shop and saw that someone had spilled a drink and left it there unreported. I had to step over a small puddle when entering the shop. What if someone had slipped on the drink? The shop would have been legally responsible but how could they have cleaned up the spill if they were unaware of it?

At work, if there is something preventing you from doing your job properly then you should report it. The ability to do your job properly affects your colleagues and any other stakeholders. Anything that could improve your work performance should be taken seriously, but it won’t happen if you don’t report it.

If there is something that can be done to make your life easier, don’t be shy! Tell someone, and something might be done about it.