Last week, I attended a conference about UX and Design. Why should a software tester attend a conference aimed at designers?

A feature may meet the technical requirements, but if it is poorly designed then the negative user experience may encourage users to stop using the application. If there are no users, then the application is pointless. User experience is an essential part of software testing. As testers, we have to make sure that the application both works and provides the user with a positive user experience. Designers are the best people to talk to about understanding and enhancing the user experience.

Monzo is an interesting banking app designed with user experience in mind. Its aim was to make banking easier by erasing the frustrations commonly associated with traditional banking. Juliana Martinhago, product designer at Monzo, delivered an interesting talk about how this was achieved. Teams were formed around outcomes not features, and getting feedback from users so that the right solution was released.

Jon Fisher, head of UX at Nomensa, talked about the possibility of poorly designed applications killing someone. A few real life examples were given to demonstrate why it is important to look at potential pain points as well as value when designing something.

Gavin Strange, director and designer at Aardman Animations (the company that produced Wallace and Gromit, Shaun the Sheep and Chicken Run) provided an energetic talk about the importance of creativity, trying out new ideas and sharing them with the world.

Catalina Butnaru discussed the principles of ethical AI and the Minimum Ethical Product approach to create ethical AI applications.

Eriol Fox, senior product designer at Ushahidi, delivered a talk on diversity – an essential topic in any design discussion. Examples of poorly designed applications that succeeded in alienating certain demographics who were written off as edge cases. Do we really want to be abandoning potential users of our products?

Applications should be designed with the end user in mind. Collaboration is the key to achieving this. Collaboration with potential users, collaboration with designers, collaboration with all stakeholders involved in the development of the application. Software testers need to ensure that the application doesn’t just work on a technical level, but also need to ensure that it works for the customer.

Articles and blog posts

11 reasons why behaviour driven development can fail, Evgeny Tkachenko, Stickyminds
Lack of time and resources, not enough information and inconsistency can lead to BDD to fail. It is an approach that is hard to implement, but is powerful when it works.

Delivering estimates and the 5 stages of Good Grief – Adam Knight – A Sisyphean task?
Estimation is not an easy task, and the response is not always positive. In this article, Adam Knight compared these responses to the 5 stages of grief in the Kübler-Ross model:

  • Denial – That can’t be right
  • Anger – You’ve not done your job. You are wrong, how dare you give this estimate
  • Bargaining – What can be do to cut back and reduce this estimate
  • Depression – We can’t deliver on time, everything is ruined
  • Acceptance – We’ve finally delivered.

Forget about bugs – Dave Westerveld – Off beat testing
What do we do about bugs that we know are never going to be fixed? We know that they will forever remain in the backlog (or the abyss as I like to call it).

Verifying entire API responses – Angie Jones
When verifying an API response, do you look check the entire response or only a few key points?

Steven Watson’s series on preparing to speak at conferences

Steven Watson has published the final section of his series of preparing to speak at conferences. Here, I’ve shared all 4 parts of the series:


What has happened in the last 2 weeks? Quite a lot…

Collaborate Bristol 2019
This was the 2nd time I attended Collaborate Conf, a conference dedicated to UX and design. I wrote a series of blog posts where I summarised my own interpretation of each talk:

London Tester Gathering Workshops – Automate Scenarios with Specflow
Last week I was lucky enough to attend the London Tester Gathering Workshops. There was a choice of 3 full day workshops, and 12 half day workshops which took place over 3 days. I attended the full day workshop on Specflow, run by Gaspar Nagy the creator of Specflow. This talk provided a brief introduction to Behaviour Driven Development and writing scenarios. We were then shown how to use Specflow to automate these scenarios. I’m hoping to use Specflow in my current test project. I am really excited to see how my testing strategy develops when I introduce what I learnt in this workshop.

#Midstest Meetup in Coventry – Baking Codeless Test Automation with Paul Coles
Its been a while since I attended one of the Midlands test meetups so I decided to attend the latest one despite the long drive to Coventry. Fortunately, the journey was not a waste. Paul Coles delivered an informative demo of Leapworks codeless test automation platform. I’d previously seen this tool in action at the UKSTAR software testing conference earlier this year, where Leapworks were once of the sponsors. It was good to see an extended and more in depth demonstration of the application.

#Midstest 99 second talk
After the main talk, we were given the opportunity to deliver a 99 second talk. This time I came prepared and brought along a block from a patchwork quilt I’m currently making. Using this, I explained that a quilt is made up of several blocks. Each one has to be tested at various stages of the quilts development. If we find a defect too late, it can be very costly to fix. The same principle can be applied to testing. We shouldn’t just test the application at the end, we should run tests at all stages of the software development life-cycle. Bugs found later on cost more to fix. I published a blog post that explains this analogy in more detail – A stitch in time reduces critical defects.

Other blogs that share lists of test related articles (daily) (weekly) (weekly) (weekly)

Testing Conferences

The Club
A forum for discussing, asking questions, answering questions, and requesting help. Run by the Ministry of Testing.

Feel free to recommend any websites or blogs that you think is of interest

Main image taken from