Meet The Testing P.E.R.S.O.N.A.

Posted by Albert Gareev on Nov 27, 2015 | Categories: HeuristicsMind MapsWTToronto

Didn’t I say I’m going to take it seriously? Stay tuned for examples in the experience report!

Tactical Tips for Business Strategic Testing


Most of the testing is done by following functions and features..
But Business wants to know whether the product helps the users to achieve their goals.
Business DOES NOT want to know about “passing” and “failing” “test cases”!
Business wants to know about:

  • What users can and cannot do?
  • How they might be impacted?
  • How it will impact the Business?

Testing must look for the problems that matter!
Discover your testing –





  • What problem(s) I need to solve?
  • What benefit(s) I’m willing to gain?




  • What are my typical errors?
    • Misunderstanding or misusing?
    • Overlooking or forgetting?
    • Missing important data?
  • What errors I’m likely to face?
    • Based on my typical functions
    • Based on my style and operations




  • What kinds of problems with the product may impact me – and how?
    • What is the likelihood?
    • What are the consequences?
    • What is the recovery?
  • What user group I represent?
    • Typical User
    • Rare User
    • Special User
    • Disfavored User




  • What is my personal style?
    • Attention to detail and communication
    • Preferences: within and outside the product
    • Emotions: patient / impatient, calm / easily frustrated, confident / confused easily
  • What is my familiarity with
    • Technologies and devices I use with the product
    • User Interface and Operations
    • The product (application) interface, structure, rules, and so on
    • The business domain or context of use




  • How do I operate the product?
  • Directly, or through some service, or through other people?
  • In what context and environment?
    • Rush? Noisy? Dark? Stress?
  • What devices I use to operate the product?
    • Display?
    • Keyboard? Mouse?
    • Gestures?
    • Voice?
    • Other?
  • What are my operational habits?
    • Fast? Slow? Interruptions? Multi-tasking? Focused?
    • Shortcuts? Restarts?




  • What do I need from the product and what do I need to be able to work with the product?
  • Grand Context
    • Needs in the context of the grand purpose
      • E.g. “Need to drive to the destination using navigation instructions”
    • Needs in the physical surrounding
      • E.g. “Need GPS signal”
    • Needs within the system or device
      • E.g. “The device needs to be charged”
  • Close Context
    • What infrastructure/ hardware / software / configuration I need to use the product?
    • What data I need to use the product and I need to get from the product?
  • In the eyes of the product owner, my needs are:
    • Critical?
    • Important?
    • Casual?
    • Neglectable?




  • What is my attitude?
    • Towards what I do with the product?
    • Towards the product itself?
    • What are my expectations?
    • Previous experiences?
  • Do I complain – and would that matter?
  • Do I give feedback?
    • Does the product ask for it?
    • Does the Business hope for it?



Software Quality and Leadership series

– with admiration to the mentor Gerald Weinberg


Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported
This work by Albert Gareev is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.