‘Alarming’ Problems You Should be Preventing in Your App

I have an alarm clock app that I’ve been running on my iPad2 for a couple of years now. Apart from groaning when it goes off in the morning, I’ve been happy with it. It always goes off, no crashes, and it has carried on working through several iOS upgrades.

Well, I thought it was a great little app until last week. Read more on ‘Alarming’ Problems You Should be Preventing in Your App…

The Day the F Went Missing


I check Atomic Spin every day (and I hope you do, as well). One reason is because there is always interesting content, and I can learn about some new area that I knew nothing about. Another reason is that it can help me to get to know my colleagues better. And a final reason is that I’m a tester, so I want to check that the content is correct.

A few weeks ago, I was reading the latest post and noticed that the “f” was missing from the word “find.” I thought it was just a typo, made a note so I could correct it, and carried on reading. A bit farther on in the post, I noticed “ilter” instead of “filter,” then “irst” instead of “first.” It seemed that whenever a word started with an “f,” the “f” was being lost.

Read more on The Day the F Went Missing…

3 Ways to Test for App Consistency

Over the Christmas holiday break, I had some spare time to try out a few new apps. Most of the apps I tried had a corresponding web portal to manage a user’s account and preferences. As a tester, I know that consistency is important. I like to pay attention to the consistency between an app and its web portal. What I noticed (and have read about other testers noticing the same thing) is that consistency between app and portal is not always great. And this was true with a couple of the apps I tried out.

Below are a few places where the apps I looked at struggled with consistency. By observing the problems, I’ll offer some tips on how to better test apps.
Read more on 3 Ways to Test for App Consistency…

A Tester’s Christmas Carol

I was recently interviewed by our marketing manager Lisa Tjapkes as part of her ongoing series of profiles on the people who work at Atomic. The interview itself was fun and made me think. Then after I’d had a little time to reflect on my answers, it made me think even more. In hindsight, I think there’s something to learn not just from the answers to her questions, but by the way I arrived at those responses—and it put me in mind of Scrooge and his ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come.
Read more on A Tester’s Christmas Carol…

Mind the Bus & Go on Red: Overcoming Biases and Assumptions

When I moved from the UK to the US, I had a number of things to get used to—strange accents, wrong spellings, incorrect pronunciations, lack of good bacon, the wrong sort of football…

One of the big things was driving on the wrong side of the road and getting into the car from the opposite side. I soon got used to it, but then came across all the traffic rules and laws that I didn’t know about. I’m used to roundabouts, not four-way stops—which, for a polite Brit, means I can get stuck there all day. Read more on Mind the Bus & Go on Red: Overcoming Biases and Assumptions…

Forget About the Orphans – Is it a Good Story?

My first job was with a company that made programs for typesetting books, so I was exposed to a whole new vocabulary and trade secrets: widows and orphans, kerning and leading, serif and san-serif, hanging punctuation, drop caps. Once I’d learnt the basic concepts and seen good and bad examples, it was difficult for me to read a book or a newspaper without first casting a critical eye over how it had been typeset.

This eye for detail came in useful when I became a tester. I was good at spotting typos, inconsistencies and ambiguities, ugly layouts, etc. The danger was that I could focus on these aspects and ignore other qualities that were more important to the user. Read more on Forget About the Orphans – Is it a Good Story?…