11 May, 2009

Perception in Testing

My two year old daughter loves to draw on her slate using a chalk. One day, she asked me to draw something. I drew a few pictures of animals and birds one at a time and asked her to identify them. She did identify most of the pictures saying ‘This is Cat, This is Duck’ etc. After sometime, she grabbed the slate and chalk and scribbled something on the slate. Then she pointed me to the slate and said ‘Mom, this is Dog’. I was surprised! Her drawing was nothing more than a few zig zag lines. She had dog on her mind, but since her motor skills did not permit her to do so, she was more than happy to proclaim it was a dog! What an amazing Perception a two year old can have?

Perception is a conscious understanding of something. Unless and until a person has a perception in the mind, it is very hard to do what is expected to do in the best possible way. In the Testing World, it is very important to have good perception of the products we test. Again, the perception of the product can vary depending on whether that person is a developer, tester, customer, end-user or even the sales person at a retail store. It also depends on how the above mentioned stakeholders would want to use that product. As testers, if we do not have proper knowledge of the products we test from each of the above perspectives, then it gets very difficult to raise the quality of the product.

One can improve the perception of the product in several ways:
1. Clear and Precise Requirements from the Customer
2. Surveying similar products in the market (if any)
3. Thinking about Test Ideas keeping the End User in mind (what if I were the End User?)
4. Brainstorming with the entire team about different ways in which the product can be enhanced

And the list can go on. If you have any, do share them on this blog.

Happy Testing,
Pari – http://curioustester.blogspot.com

P.S: This post is shorter than my previous post :-)


  1. Interesting article on perception testing. I believe, "Improving our ability to identify perception in different minds around us" would help us improving our own "perception". As a matter of fact, we often wont give importance to identify perception lessons taught by our own surroundings.

  2. Hi Anonymous,
    /"Improving our ability to identify perception in different minds around us" would help us improving our own "perception"/

    Its so true. Identifying perception is a bigger challenge in reality.

    I would be glad if you could post your comments with your name(just a suggestion though!).

    Happy Testing,
    Parimala Shankaraiah