Wednesday, December 08, 2004

User Centered Application Testing

Application testing has been a big part of my workload lately. One application we use internally creates these very old and very propietary file formats that are downloaded into these very old propietary application. Well lately it has been having "issues". Under certain situations the file created has spaces in it. Well of course the propietary system throws a hissy fit everytime that it encounters a space.  Of course whenever the system has one of these little fits we have to fix it and figure out what happened. Now I am also doing Information Architecture for a design. Having these two things on the brain at the same time, it hit me all of the sudden if I create a user profiles for my Information Architecture, why not create user profiles form my applications, especially for my testing.

So lets say this application is for a loan. Well there several ways to fill out a loan application. So I create 5 to 10 user profiles ranging from a young adult to a retired couple.  Then I create an xml file with all values that my application has, and fill it out according to which user profile I am working on. Then I load the values in to memory and test from there. While this isn't completely worked out in my head I thought I would jot down the theory behind the idea.


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