Sunday, 29 September 2013

User Accessible Error Messages.

Accessibility - The attribute of being easy to meet or deal with.

This article focuses on: Access to information versus access to right information.

While accessibility guidelines are followed and accessibility is being built into web pages, the guidelines themselves are brief and requires detail.

Excerpts from

Video or Multimedia Products (1194.24)
Multimedia products involve more than one media and include, but are not limited to, video programs, narrated slide production, and computer generated presentations.
Provisions address caption decoder circuitry (for any system with a screen larger than 13 inches) and secondary audio channels for television tuners, including tuner cards for use in computers. The standards also require captioning and audio description for certain training and informational multimedia productions developed or procured by Federal agencies. The standards also provide that viewers be able to turn captioning or video description features on or off.
Information, Documentation, and Support (Subpart D) 
The standards also address access to all information, documentation, and support provided to end users (e.g., Federal employees) of covered technologies. This includes user guides, installation guides for end-user install-able devices, and customer support and technical support communications. Such information must be available in alternate formats upon request at no additional charge. Alternate formats or methods of communication, can include Braille, cassette recordings, large print, electronic text, Internet postings, TTY access, and captioning and audio description for video materials.
Image Courtesy:

Why is the above guideline not yet detailed?

1. Example:

An image on a web page, requires to have alternate text.

Is the alternate text:

  • Relevant
  • Right and
  • Contains sufficient information that explains the image.

If an image whose alternate text does not convey relevant, right and sufficient information but satisfies the guideline that an image - needs to be provided with Alt+Text all good?

2. Explanation:

The alternate text being read using a screen reader for any user may prove to be misleading if the text is present but is of not relevance.

Having an appropriate alternate text is an essential part of the design.

3. Exercise:
  • Use a screen reader to access a web page.
  • Close your eyes for a few minutes or simply turn off the audio of any video(with audio) and read the transcript provided. Is it informational and all rendering?
  • Try to navigate and perform the actions intended to reach all your users. 

Build and test for user accessibility for error messages while assuring that the error messages in itself are not a give away. 


Further Reading:

Sunday, 15 September 2013

41 Definitions of Software Testing

What is Software Testing? – Heck! Define it yourself. I have been thinking about an answer for the same but have found it hard to convey in one statement. Am I a born, reborn or a resurrected tester? I hope to find out for myself and the below article is an attempt at this.
Testing – I will be using the word testing as I continue to write and as you readers read, read it as Software Testing. Here are my definitions of software testing.
1) Testing is a responsibility of representing information which is an essential necessity for bettering the application/product under test.
2) Testing is to learning to think well.
3) Testing is to understand the various contexts a system can be applicable in.
4) Testing is identifying the subtleties and extremities where the system can be used.
5) Testing is craving to dig deep into the system to look in the nook and corner to project the information that can awaken the product owner and the user to surprises and a wow-ness that a product can be used to perform.
6) Testing is to provide the consumer with an application which re-ensures confidence in the consumer and for the business.
7) Testing is that ability which the whole team is entitled to with an opportunity to grab the consumers attention, supply the consumers demand and to deliver well.
8) Testing is to convert that dormant thought into an active on-going action oriented process.
9) Testing is to continuously collect aids which aims at delivering quality information to anyone equipped to better build the product.
10) Testing is remembering to act in unison with the vision and mission reflecting in the consumable product.
11) Testing is questioning, challenging, being biased and up-rooting the biases about how the product is presumed to be built and used.
12) Testing is having an eye for details however miniature or magnanimous.
13) Testing is buying yourself a microscope and a telescope to look at how a product is consumed today and in future.
14) Testing is building a lifelong insanity to learn in all sanity.
15) Testing is a role play of that of an investigator, a doctor, a builder, a victim, a crime fighter, an intruder, a seeker, an evangelist, a doer.
Do you see such attributes in a tester? – Hire that person.
16) Testing is being in a context all assuming and continuously judging.
17) Testing is testing the assumptions and then falling prey for the judgments made.
18) Testing is re-opening a concluded case.
19) Testing is to don the hat of someone other than you, change perspective and test with a prejudice.
20) Test to KNOW.
21) Testing is time boxed and at-times unleashing the you, learning to think in a way which is not brand you.
22) Testing is building credibility for yourself, your organization which serves you and which you are serving.
23) Testing is learning to explore the path which you are willing to tread and paths which are road less traveled.
24) Testing is defining, redefining and un-defining.
25) Testing is breaking barriers to test.
26) Testing is a courageous act of preparing oneself to tread a new path, take another challenge.
27) Testing is taking ownership of mistakes with a pitcher of gratitude, that I learnt what not to do and what to do in this context.
28) Testing is story telling via testing and the experience reports.
29) Testing is diminishing confusion and expanding the confidence of a user.
30) Testing is that walk down the memory lane and think if this issue has occurred or is a déjà vu.
31) Testing is that feeling when you love yourself for learning to learn new every day.
32) Testing is together untying and revealing the product/application to itself.
33) Testing is you emerging out of the bath tub with a ‘Eureka’ moment.
34) Testing is a knock on the door of a developer to help undertake measures to provide a fix.
35) Testing is a wakeup call to innovation, to time travel back into the future.
Did you relate to any one or more of these?
36) Testing is an unconventional mode of transport to the minds of a user.
37) Testing is at-times masking the status quo.
38) Testing is closing in on the ‘I’ the consumer, ‘I’ the tester, ‘I’ the developer, ‘I’ the owner and illuminating the path of ‘We’ the team.
39) Testing is that run down the rabbit hole to discover the wonderland of Alice/Alfred to sketch the tomorrow of testing.
40) Testing is Learning.
41) Testing is Circus. :)
I am sure you have molded yourself into a tester with your own definition of testing and tester, do share your thoughts on the same.
Come, join and be a part of this community of information seekers and providers.
What is your definition of testing?

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Weekend Testing - India(WT), America(WTA) and Australia(WTANZ).

  • What
  • When
  • How
  • Who 
  • Where
of Weekend Testing. 

If you have already been a part of weekend testing, then you know where to go looking for learning about the aforementioned WWHWW about weekend testing, if not here is the link:

I had heard about Weekend testing chapters of

India(WT) facilitated by Ajay Balamurugadas,
America(WTA) and 
Wished to be a part of it and this is where it led me to.


The what comprises of the mission and the agenda.

The mission comprises of what are we testing today?
Agenda will be shared by the facilitator and is as below:
  1. Introductions - Provide information on where you are from, what do you test and how do you test, your twitter handler - which could be helpful in the Where :)
  2. Mission and Charter(s)
  3. Open Testing - Test in your own pace. Pair with anyone and perform pair testing, gang up and learn from the wider group.
  4. A time check to see if we have enough information to go to debrief or if more time is needed.
  5. Open Season/Debrief - Debrief by sharing the session notes,your approach to open testing and transcripts. What you did and learn how it can be bettered.
  6. Closing Comments - Disperse only up until the next session.
What is the objective of weekend testing?
To help the testing community to network, learn from the learned community of global testers and share the lessons learnt with this community of learners. 

What did I not expect?
My first Weekend testing participation with WTA involved learning from the participants to improve the testing information on Wiki by editing Wiki pages.
This is as good as it gets. 


Look for announcements on Facebook and Twitter from the organizers. 

Get in touch with the organizers to know when is the next weekend testing session.
Facilitators will post the next weekend testing session dates on


The how involves questions on how this goes about.

Learn about the how by reading some of the transcripts. This could help one gain an insight into what is happening during weekend testing sessions. 
First timers need not be skeptical - this community of world wide testers are welcoming to the new comers.


Facilitators, testers across the globe and Skype.

The who are: anyone who is interested to learn and can join in.
Today and the last chapter of WTA had students from @PerScholas
And get to know who's who of the testing community.


On Skype and continue to learn with them by networking on twitter using the mentioned twitter handlers: @WTANZ_,@WTAmericas,@weekendtesting

Today's session involved coming up with a Test Plan.

I paired up with Jean Ann Harrison and Karthik who were flexible enough to help, learn and share.
Liked the documents shared by Roman Sheyko, Dean Mackenzie @deanamackenzie and Richard Robinson @richrichnz.

Shared below are the Google doc links to the same.

Hope you too can learn from the links shared below. 
You can open the links if permission to view is granted by the owners. 
Thank you Michael Larsen(WTA) and Alessandra Moreira(WTANZ) for facilitating this unbiased approach to learning. I look forward to continue to be a part of this learning.  

Here is a mind map on Testing Digg Reader for Login, Logout and Profile Settings.

Thank you Ravisuriya @testinggarage for helping me with my learning to prepare session notes, Srinivas Kadiyala for introducing me to Prezi( and Pradeep Soundararajan @testertested for helping me sort out the conversion of mind map into an image.
Click on the image below.

Note in the image is expanded to:
Clicking on the link under Privacy Tab when no pages are Digg'd or Saved yields the below message to the user/diggreader.
"We're getting reports that this page cannot be found.
Stay tuned for continuing coverage as this crisis unfolds."

Or view it on Prezi(Happy zooming) : Users can click on Zoom in to view better post opening the below link on a browser.