Humanizing the Software Testing Process through our Device Lab

Testing automation is an important and necessary part of quality assurance, but it shouldn’t be relied on 100%.

These days, we could talk a lot about how test automation has changed the way we test applications, or we could write endlessly about design techniques, patterns, tools, and programming languages. We could also list all the benefits that come about from automation in CI (Continuous Integration), talk about ROI, the reduction of time to market, or list the endless number of elements that are part of the continued evolution that testing automation has undergone over the years – like the basic local executions to the more complex ones in the cloud. But, in the end, we will always conclude that we are humans testing for humans.

It’s the perspective of the human aspect within the testing process that we want to highlight, as the testing team essentially acts as the last interface between the development team and the end user. Within Zemoga, we ask our development team to put themselves in the shoes of our clients, users, and target audiences to try to perceive and interpret the feelings, colors and personality imprinted by everyone during the process. For example, is an application user-friendly enough to use an application with ease? Or, what about the checkout process?

That human behaviour – especially our ability to understand the connection of touch with physical devices, or emotional connection to the process of how applications should behave for each individual – is the aspect that enables and empowers our team to work hand-in-hand with designers, information architects and requirements analyst to ensure that everything imagined for the user experience is built as it should be.

Humanizing for user satisfaction

It’s extremely important for teams to understand that behind all the lines of code, frameworks, and the IDEs, the primary objective that we always aim to achieve is user satisfaction. Everything we do is for humans, and even with the forward methods and technologies we have these days, that human focus should always be kept in mind to reach results directly for each individual end user.

We find that one of the most efficient ways to humanize the process is by taking possession of those mechanisms, like device farms, CI platforms or just those devices used to execute our tests, review our designs, and confirm our developments, and in the case of something as delicate as mobile cross-platform and OTT applications, it’s necessary to have direct and real contact with every physical device to understand the feeling and perception that end users will have while using each one in-hand.

Zemoga’s Lab and testing with devices in-hand

In order to guarantee what we mentioned earlier, our role at Zemoga is to take on the task of completing humanization with the implementation of a space called the Device Lab in our office. The Device Lab is home to countless physical devices that allow our teams to be able to understand and feel first-hand the perception and experience that users will have. For example, it’s our job to make sure that a user’s experience while using a streaming application in NVidia Shield is the same as someone using the same application on an AppleTV; and the variety of screen sizes and mobile devices needs to be considered, especially when thinking of the ease of accessibility to the content and interaction with the application features.

If as a team we focus exclusively on performing these activities automatically, we would be moving away from the final goal of putting ourselves in the shoes of our teams and users and considering why and how applications must perform as they should. In the end, this is why we seek for the perfect balance within our Device Lab to be able to combine all aspects to optimize the testing process such as automation, with the final result to have satisfied users with the application in their hands.

To learn more about our Device Lab or QA approaches, get in touch today.

About the author

Jairo Gutierrez is Zemoga’s QA Director and has been working in the discipline for over 15 years. During this period of time he has developed different testing strategies for high scale projects for companies, such as NatGeo, NYSE/ICE, Hulu, Sony, Morningstar among others.