I blogged about my experience in Weekendtesting were I used Astra Site Manager creating a map WTANZ02: Same Language, different sites and places. In that post Shrini Kulkarni challenged me to expand on how to use this as test strategy.
When you look at the images posted there, you might notice that the images look a bit like spots/stains.
When thinking about spots/stains and deriving information from it reminds me immediately on the Rorschach test.
From Wikipedia: Rorschach test: "also known as the Rorschach inkblot test or simply the Inkblot test) is a psychological test in which subjects' perceptions of inkblots are recorded and then analyzed using psychological interpretation, complex scientifically derived algorithms, or both."
Below you see an example of a Rorschach image. Are you able to read this picture? Are you able to assign functionality to areas? Do you see bugs?
Image saved from wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rorschach_blot_01.jpg
Primarily based on the perception of these spots the user is asked what and how he experience this and why. What does the spot tells you.
Testing spotsBelow you see the 2 images I obtained from "testing" the 2 websites as stated in the challenge from WTANZ02: Same Language, different sites and places.
Just tell me: what do you see?
It depends how you look at the images, you might identify some shapes. Perhaps you only see dots or animals. Perhaps you see bugs.
Defining a strategy is a challenge itself. Writing about it and sharing your idea is even more a challenge. Writing about it and trying to come with a Heuristic is more challenging for me as this is quite new to me. So bare with me, support me and make me teach you as I can learn from you.
I suggest first to define the approach based on patters. Ask what the image itself can tell you and what information do you need to define the approach.
Imaging: Create a map of the website/ functionality to define a certain landscape
Defocus: Don’t approach the image as a system, approach it as a painting, approach it different, what else do you see? Use your imagination.
Interpret: Are you able to tell a story about what you see (colours, lines, drawings, etc.) and argument it?
Density: is there a structure available representing the first impression you had?
After you got a main overview about what the system could look like you might play with the following components.
Complexity: Is there some kind of structure? Are there lots of nodes and are you distracted by it?
Number of objects: Are there too much objects visible you are not able to zoom in without missing details?
Environments: Can the map also be used to identify other systems/ secure areas?
Risk Areas: Are you able to point areas of risks in the map based on "important" functionality?
Process: Is there a order available in the structure which also might support any process?
Looking to the previous actions, I hope to provide some additional ideas how images from a website structure can support defining an test approach. I believe looking on a different way to images or structures you might come up with other concepts and thoughts which supports your test approach. The next step could be adapting the newly gained view into your test process. Based on this information you can define alternative test cases or perhaps product risks analysis.
It might help to get back some creativity back in testing.