Retail Industry Transformation and the Need for Retail Integration Testing

Adaptability to a changing environment is the key to survival, so said my father. More recently, brick and mortar has come under siege from the online retailers, What is dramatically different about today, is these online retailers are not really retailers, they are software companies, focused on retail. The backbone of today’s retail business model is ...

Cloud communications software provider Mitel benefits from testing expertise

Cloud communications software provider Mitel was experiencing various difficulties with new software releases due to lack of sufficient testers on staff. XBOSoft was hired to provide the needed manpower. Over time, XBOSoft's range of services has expanded, with ever greater satisfaction on the part of the customer.

Be the Test Advocate Your Company Needs

Be an UX and accessibility advocate Without a vocal advocate — and managers willing to stand up in support of it — company culture won’t change, and users’ needs are going to go unmet. And if there’s no strong advocate for testing within the company, the results can be disastrous — and not just in the marketplace.

June 4th to 9th, 2017
XBOSoft CEO Philip Lew to Make Three Software Testing Presentations at Better Software West in Las Vegas

XBOSoft CEO Philip Lew will be a triple threat presenter at Techwell's Better Software West. He will present a tutorial and an interactive speech on issues involved with mobile platform and product testing and will co-present a workshop on Agile Risk Management.

Teaching better software practices at Better Software West

Elvis. Celine Dion. Cher. Penn & Teller. These legends have all appeared on The Las Vegas Strip. And soon, our own XBOSoft CEO Phil Lew joins them when he presenters at Better Software West at Caesars Palace, June 4th through 9th.

CEO Philip Lew is presenting in Las Vegas June 4-9, 2017

Exploding IoT market could drive opportunities for software testers

We asked Jon Hagar, our guest on Monday’s webinar, to give us a preview of his remarks. Here’s what he had to say. Jon: There is much hype, and there may even be quite a bit of money, around the IoT market.  IoT merges several technology lines, such as Mobile, Cloud, Communication, Big Data, and Embedded software.  Many aspects of IoT will be familiar. There are challenges, to be sure, for testers as the IoT market reveals its full potential. But these are really opportunities for testers who decide to get engaged in the IoT market.  These include:

If Only We Could Have Consulted on Westworld

HBO has already ordered a second season of Westworld, the space Western Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy premiered for HBO last fall. We’ll have to wait until 2018 to see new episodes, though. Luckily, Westworld gave us a lot to think about in the meanwhile — especially when it comes to good software development practices. via GIPHY

Top 7 Quality Challenges in the Mobile IOT Period

A new age is upon us: the Mobile IoT Period. Driven by the proliferation of mobile devices, and in particular the smartphone, we now face a complex and integrated infrastructure of technologies and concepts called the Internet of Things (IoT), all connected by mobile technology. The challenges we face to ensuring software quality for the myriad technologies that are being shaped by the Mobile IoT Period are daunting. Let’s take a look at the Top 7 Challenges in the Mobile IoT Period. Big Data Big data would not be possible without mobile network technologies to get the data from one [...]

Utilizing Design for Users

One of the most impactful ways to improve a site or app is taking a deeper look at the design of it from the minsdet of your users. We're making a push to think and act more critically about User Experience in 2017 and want to talk directly to you about it.

Analyzing how a user interacts with your site is crucial to improving Evaluating user experience.

Usability and UX in Everyday Life

While waiting in the airport, I stopped at the terminal's Starbucks only to find this menu on the wall. I immediately went into usability mode, thinking how can they do that? To me, the poor contrast of white letters on a red background really made it hard for me to see the menu items from a distance. Of course, it's the Christmas season and we all want to be festive – we’ve all heard of function over form but what about function over festivity? One of the most fun parts of my Better Software Con session, in which I covered How to Improve the Mobile User Experience (UX), is the application of usability and UX in everyday life. The same principles that we use in designing good, high-quality software can be utilized in our lives and vice versa.

Enhance User Experience With Color

In my last keynote at the Practical Software Quality and Testing Conference in San Diego, I gave a talk on IOT and Quality Challenges. One of the metaphors that I used was how the Cambrian Period compared to the today's era with IOT. During the Cambrian period, there was an explosion of various life forms. And with IOT, I think the same is happening as well, with the right conditions for IOT including power, processors, networking technologies and cloud storage, the conditions are perfect to spawn an explosion of life. In my tutorial the following day after the keynote, I presented: Mobile UX, The New Storefront. One section of the tutorial was focused on how you can enhance User Experience through choice of color. We discussed that the choice of colors can be very strategic.

How to Enhance User Experience Via Color

Contrast - Who's your favorite football team? Look at their uniforms. Some that come to mind are the Minnesota Vikings and Denver Broncos, or my favorite, The Washington Redskins. Notice their use of contrast via colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. This makes it easy to pick them out on the field and pleasing to the eye. But for your website or company's mobile app, it means visibility and reducing errors. If your users can see buttons and icons more easily, they're less prone to make mistakes. Color Wheel and UX

Your Storefront is Your Mobile App

I'll be presenting in about a month at the Practical Software Quality and Testing Conference in San Diego this August. The title of my tutorial is "Mobile UX is the New StoreFront". As we all know the mobile storefront has replaced many brick and mortar businesses. Amazon started selling books, but were they a bookstore? They competed with bookstores, but in reality, they were and are a software company. At the time, the platforms they supported included various versions of browsers on different computer operating systems. Today, as the mobile storefront continues to mature, so does the importance of the user experience. The User Experience (UX) at one point stood for button placement and colors in help users find things and get things done. Today, those are considered givens, basic usability issues that everyone understands and has conquered. However, there is much more than meets the eye.

Applying UX Design Principles to Daily Life

I gave a talk at Better Software Con earlier this month in Las Vegas, titled Avoid Critical UX Mistakes to Delight Your Users. One of the threads in my talk was about really understanding the user's perspective, because by understanding the user's viewpoint, you can avoid critical UX mistakes. However, what that takes is empathy. Not just touchy-feely sympathy where you cry because you understand the pain that someone is experiencing due to the loss of their beloved pet bird, but rather, truly stepping into the other person's shoes and walking with them through each event. In this case, you have to step into the user's shoes and actually think like and be the user when using a mobile application. And to do that, you have to consider their motives and behaviors. What do they like? If it's a wearable, is the user left-handed or right-handed?

May 18, 2016
Philip Lew to Present on UX at Better Software Conference West

Reston, VA (PRWEB) May 18, 2016

XBOSoft CEO Philip Lew will present on improving mobile application user experience (UX) at TechWell's Better Software Conference West in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 6, 2016 as part of the six-day software conference. 

Lew's tutorial, titled“Avoid Critical UX Mistakes to Delight Your Users,” runs from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will focus on how to prevent users from abandoning mobile applications through UX design that "speaks to the user." Attendees can expect to:

  • Learn why UX is so crucial to the success of a mobile application
  • Learn the differences and similarities between UX and usability
  • Explore designs and methods, both good and bad, to consider while improving UX on mobile and web platforms
  • Get hands-on and develop a framework and methodology for continuous UX improvements with Lew’s guidance

Mobile App Usability – How to Avoid Critical Mistakes

As I get ready for my talk at the Fluent Conference in San Francisco entitled: Avoid critical UX mistakes to keep your users coming back, I'm trying the crystalize some of my thoughts regarding why Mobile App Usability is more important than usability for desktop or web-based apps. With mobile applications, usability becomes even more complex due to the mobile’s natural characteristics, some of which include:

Mobile Smartphone Usability – Task Prioritization

In my tutorial in early November at Better Software East on Mobile App Usability and UX for Developers and Testers, one of the key learning points was that Mobile Smartphone Usability is different for everyone! I know it sounds like a cliche, but the point is that everyone has a different point of view and uses their smartphone for purposes depending on who they are.

Usability Testing Tools – Based on User-Centered Design

 When it comes to User Research and Usability Testing, the core of User-Centered Design, there are many available tools and services. How do you find the right tools for the job when every project has different needs and budgets? Luckily, there are many resources that can help you identify, craft and execute the best test plan for any scenario. We had a discussion with Kate Valdes, guest presenter of last months webinar on Agile Product and User-Centered Design Methodologies, who provided a number of useful links.
 

Mobile UX Design and Testing Basics

In many of my talks, I discuss the importance of UX and how we, as testers, need to increase our value, especially on an agile team with everyone wearing multiple hats. Many small to medium size companies may not have a full time UX designer on staff, so in some cases it may be up to testers to ensure the overall quality, which can include UX. Good mobile UX design and testing depends on remembering some basic principles.

Context Responsive – What Does it Mean?

Applications must not only be mobile responsive, but "Context Responsive." But what does context responsive mean? 

For mobile responsive, we generally mean that websites, given the context of displaying on a mobile phone or other device (than a laptop or desktop) will sense what the device is, what the screen size is, and optimize the user experience for viewing on that particular mobile device.

So what makes wearables mobile and different than a mobile phone? We do! Let’s think of our current paradigm to let our imaginations roam:

Mobile Security and Privacy and Trust

When it comes to mobile security and privacy, few think of trust, but that's what it comes down to. And we apparently want to trust each other more, but seemingly don't. However, the sharing economy is helping us with that. It started years ago with Facebook. People sharing things about their lives sometimes with strangers, somehow knowing that they were connected by someone else they were connected to, a 3rd level connection as LinkedIn calls it. Al Barabási's book entitled Linked explains how there is a high probability that we are all connected with less then 6 links or levels.

Trust in the sharing economy or the mobile economy and trust, go hand in hand because much of the sharing economy, i.e. AirBNB, Uber and SideCar, is being implemented and used on mobile platforms. But in order to generate and instill trust in your end users, you need to ensure that your mobileUX is specifically designed to do just that. This means paying attention to several elements in your design targeted toward mobile security and privacy:

Defining Software Quality With Value

After making the rounds doing talks at both Mobile Dev + Test in San Diego and Better Software West in Las Vegas, I've had a chance to reflect on some of the comments and discussion during my sessions and there is one resounding theme. Value.

We can think of defining software quality in many terms such as defects, requirements, code quality, etc. But when you think about it, it all has to do with the value for the end user. Value is not usability, and value is not defects found and fixed. 

20% off registration price for Software Quality & Testing Management Conference

Save 20% on Software Quality and Testing Management Conference tickets! Our CEO, Phil Lew, will be talking on all things Mobile UX testing at the International Conference on Software Quality and Testing Management in June this year. As part of this we are able to offer our readers a 20% discount to register for the conference! For more on his talk visit here: http://www.qualitymanagementconference.com/speakers/Philip-Lew-tutorials.php      

Google Glass – Age of Wearables

Recently, Phil Lew, CEO of XBOSoft was asked to write a piece on his experience using Google Glass wearable technology.... I'm writing this after 2 months of using Google Glass. As a mobile usability and UX guy, I’ve been talking a lot about wearables lately and how they will be transforming the mobile industry as they collect contextual data from the body and around the body (the environment and surroundings of the wearer). These data streams will go through the mobile smartphone which will then of course, sends the data wherever, sometimes with our knowledge and unfortunately often times without [...]

Mobile Wearables Development and Test Issues

As I prepare for my talk in November at Better Software East on Mobile Wearables, I'm confronted with the need to constrain the talk to 1 hour. Its a big subject. Mobile wearables are just one sub-category of the Internet of Things, which is generating a huge amount of interest and press. So what is key about mobile wearables that we developers and testers should be concerned about? Social Connectivity - Some things are for sharing with your friends and others aren't. Any application that could enable social connectedness automatically breeds sense of community, something that all humans need and desire. [...]

End User Perspective on Quality

There are many perspectives on quality. Some people many moons ago said it was conformance to requirements. These days, the end user perspective on quality, sometimes called the User Experience (UX), has come to the forefront as a hot topic of importance, and an element of software quality. But measuring measuring UX is a tough task. How can you measure a user's 'oohs' and 'aahs'? I'd like to approach measuring UX from another viewpoint. UX depends on many factors, not just the software interface and the 'wow factor' of the interface, but the entire experience in interacting with the company. An end user's overall UX is also therefore influenced when they call your help desk or technical support. Some folks refer this as the front line in dealing with the customer/end user.

Relationships with end users key to software quality says XBOSoft contest winner

The winner of XBOSoft’s Social Media Sweepstakes has been determined. Drumroll please….. “Dan, Software Engineer for a baseball organization in the Boston area”  has won an Amazon gift card, just in time for holiday shopping. Dan followed the contest rules and Liked XBOSoft on Facebook  & is now following the company on Twitter ( Linkedin was also an option). XBOSoft representatives, Jan, Amy and JeanAnn met Dan at the SQE Better Software & Agile Conference in November . A great event where QA and testing professionals gather to network and enhance industry knowledge. Obviously,  improving quality and testing are important [...]

Mobile User Experience and Trust

One of the many factors influencing Mobile User Experience in using today’s mobile applications is user expectations. The users expectations with respect to using a mobile application can depend on and be based on several elements that affect not only users’ expectations but also their trust in the application. The problem in defining and characterizing the characteristic of trust is that it has often been seen as a result directly tied to security. Naturally, when a user perceives that their data is secure or that the communication medium is secure and private, this generates a ‘secure’ feeling, but this is not the same as trust.

Mobile Application Testing – The End User Experience

Mobile applications are more and more composite applications. Data is gathered from many different sources and presented to the client. However most mobile application testing does not take into account all these different sources of information. But it is imperative to test your mobile service as the user will experience it.

Testing Retail Software – Ecommerce Testing Considerations

As part of our ecommerce software testing practice, we have been testing several retail websites in past several years. The main purpose of a retail online business is to attract customers and then basically get them to buy your products. So the main objectives are to show product details to potential customers, and make it easy as possible for them to find the right product and then of course pay for it. I’ll just discuss the first part since the payment process is a whole document in itself when it comes to testing. A successful retail website entices users to be more interested in the product and leads them to want to learn more about the product details, either in graphics or text. The most important factor is to organize and show such information to keep the customer moving forward toward your objective; buy. Given this, based on our testing experience, we need to prioritize our testing effort based on the special objectives of retail ecommerce:

Developing meaningful Usability and User Experience (UX) measurements for Mobile applications

May 31 we held a webinar with Duke Yetter, the CEO of Mobile Medsoft and our own Phil Lew, in which they discussed setting up the right usability and UX measurements for testing mobile healthcare applications. It was a very interesting talk where Duke shared his ideas and experiences from the perspective of a health care executive and Phil shared insights based on years of experience as a consultant and his academic research. Please see the video below: If you are interested in usability more resources can be found here.

Mobile Testing – Usability and User Experience Measurement

If your users cannot figure out your application in less than 30 seconds they’re gone. The UX and usability of your applications are their competitive advantage. May 31 11:00 AM Eastern UX and Usability Expert Phil Lew will discuss how to set up and implement the right measurements to continuously deliver the applications your users love to use. Together with RNA Health Phil will present a case study for a mobile health care application. See you there!

Mobile Usability Testing and Mobile User Experience

How to define and measure UX for mobile? I discussed usability and UX modeling and measurement models. One of the models was based on logging user activity and determining if they completed tasks. If a user can complete a task easily, or learn how to complete a task easily, this is critical. Learning is especially important for mobile applications because

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