Testing Challenge and X-mas Greetings..

Darren Macmillan blogged about a testing challenge a couple of months back. I found the challenge very interesting and wanted to know how my colleagues will approach it.

Our organisation has an active tester’s forum and a steering group to drive the forum. Being a member of this steering group, I wanted to get the reaction of my fellow group members on the exercise. So the challenge was sent as an Email to our steering group mailing list.

So here’s the challenge once again.. What is inherently wrong with the following form?

Testing Challenge - What is inherently wrong with this form?

What followed was very productive with mails flying all over! 🙂 The following points were noted first (and the most common answers):

SPOILER ALERT: The following discussion has the answers of the challenge. So if you seriously wish to take a dip into the challenge, then please do so and come back later to read this post. And I would suggest you to take a look at Darren’s post and comments. There are a few gems out there!

1. The form has an improper UI – poor layout, the heading is not relevant – ideally it should be payment info.

2. VISA is selected by default – ideally it should be “Select Card”

3. Labels in the form – what is MI? Expiration? It should be Expiry Date..

4. The Address line shows only one line as mandatory – both lines should be mandatory

Okay, the initial reactions are somewhat similar – mostly towards the look and feel. I was also thinking about these cases when I first saw the challenge.

I then got a couple of replies that really showed the functional aspects:

1. No country information and the currency is not shown

2. There is no field for a CVV code, which usually is a mandatory field for Credit Card payments.

I was really happy that at least a couple of people could look through the UI of the form and provide functional aspects of it 🙂 The purpose of the challenge was well served.

Now, you might be wondering how I fared in the challenge. Well, I missed the Country part, but could point out the currency and CVV code cases. I know, I still need to improve on that 🙂

The steering group did presented this challenge to our testers on our fortnightly knowledge sharing session. We divided them into group of three and provided challenges including James’s Series, Lynn Mckee’s spot the difference and couple of other cases and of course Darren’s challenge.

Almost all the groups of testers cracked Lynn’s puzzles. No one cracked James’s puzzle and nobody came up with the “inherrent wrong” of Darren’s puzzle. Most of the responses where pointed at the bad UI as discussed above. One of them even argued that the Country drop-down might be available in the next page since the button is “Continue” rather than “Pay”. I’m not quite sure about that – if that is the case, then there is a usability problem in there 🙂

We are coming towards the end of another year. I’m happy that I’ve started blogging, and proud to be featured and to be a part in the Software Testing Club‘s wonderful endeavour.. Hoping and praying for more good things to come in the next year.. 🙂 and…

Here’s wishing you a very happy Christmas and a wonderful year ahead..

And oh! – A special round of applause to Pradeep Soundararajan and Santhosh Tuppad for their endeavor in enlightning the testing minds. You guys rock!!

Until next time.. bye bye and take care 🙂

8 thoughts on “Testing Challenge and X-mas Greetings..

  1. Hi Nandagopal,

    I’m very happy you did indeed follow up on your reply to the original challenge by using it with your colleagues. I’m even more happy you did several challenges, I hope you’ll blog about future one’s you do as well.

    Challenges are great & are an excellent way to quickly develop the skills of a team. We’ve started doing them once a month in our company & encourage each other to come up with new challenges for the team.

    A good one my colleague Stuart MacDonald came up with was an excellent thinking man’s challenge called “Testing the Future” he blogged about it here: http://www.bettertesting.co.uk/content/?p=395, this might be worth trying out as well.

    Good stuff, thanks for sharing!



  2. Hi Nandagopal,

    It is great to see teams partnering to solve puzzles/challenges. My website challenges are more like just fun brain teasers opposed to testing challenges. Thanks for sharing the others!


    • Hi Lynn,

      Thanks for your comment. We were using your puzzles for the “fun factor” itself. 🙂 Providing all the tough challenges at one go may not be enjoyable.. All of them were very happy with the “spot the difference challenge” – they said they went back to the school days 🙂

  3. “4. The Address line shows only one line as mandatory – both lines should be mandatory”

    I don’t agree that both need to be mandatory. Perhaps i can fit my address with one line. Typically the 2nd line is if you have super long address with suite numbers and floor numbers or a “c/o” and can’t fit it in one line.

    • Hi Glory, Thanks for taking time to read the post! I’m also not in favour of that point, it was raised by a couple of newbies. Just wanted to motivate them to attend further sessions like this and hence included in the list 😉 and told them that it may not be a valid case always, as I’ve seen only one address line as mandatory in the usual cases.

  4. Some of which I could jump upon are,
    1. The payment amount does not indicate the currency type.
    2. Alignment problem.
    3. Is the month a mandatory field?

    Thanks and Regards
    D Webb

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