As a software analyst, it’s easy to fall into routines. Get your morning coffee, sit at your desk, open your laptop and browser, and start testing the latest stories. As you test a story, you remember to check browser compatibility, so you fire up Browser #2 and then Browser #3. Story tested, it’s time to move on to the next story. Back to browser #1, your favorite, and then rinse and repeat.
You’re testing each separate story, but what about interactions between the stories? Also, how does it feel to use different browsers for longer than just a few minutes taken to test a story? How can you deliberately change up your routine? Here are a few ways to randomize testing.
Schedule Browser Days
Set a calendar reminder so that Monday and Friday are Safari days, Wednesday is a Firefox day and Tuesday and Thursday are Chrome days. On these days, that browser is going to be the first and main one that you are going to use all day.
Spin A Wheel
Start the day off by spinning a wheel as in the image at the top of this post! Or write yourself a random generator that you run when you log in first thing in the morning. Where the arrow lands determines the browser you’re going to focus on that day.
Other Ways to Randomize Testing
When you start up your browser — or you may not even close it — it’s going to be the same size as you left it. Use a variation to use it at different sizes each day. Try it small, medium, and full-screen. You can choose the variation to go along with each browser so that all combinations are eventually tested, or you can use the random variation.
Does the app display/behave slightly differently if you use a mouse? You might not realize this as your routine is to always use a trackpad. Can you use the app with just the keyboard? Vary your usual input method and find out!
Do you always log on as the same user to your app? What does a new user see? Or a user from Day 1 who has a ton of data? This is something you should do for each story, but it can get missed in full workflow and interaction tests when you’ve got so stuck in your routine.