Peripherals? I’d Forgotten about Those…

I have a variety of machines for running tests: my trusty MacBook Air, a Win10 laptop, a Chromebook, several models of iPhones, and various flavors of Android. And I have VMWare if I need to spin up some VMs for an exotic combination of IE and Windows. So I should be covered.

I thought so…but then I got a bug report that using the numeric keypad was not working to enter a PIN for a website we were developing. A what? Did people still use them? Obviously so, but I’d forgotten about them, as none of my keyboards have them.

So after a visit down into the depths of the storeroom, I had another keyboard to plug in—this time with a numeric keypad. I could reproduce the bug and then confirm the fix, which was a simple one.

I had been caught out the same way a couple of years ago when there was a bug that only seemed to happen when using a mouse to scroll rather than a trackpad.

It was a good reminder that, as well as testing the input combinations to your program and covering the OS and device combinations, it’s important to consider the many different peripherals that will be used.

It’s easy to get comfy with your device and the usual way of interacting and entering data, but remember that there is a whole world of users out there–some of whom do crazy things like using the numeric keypad…