Manually Testing New Widgets

Post Date: 07/23/2019

Last Updated: today at 1:37 AM

A brief primer in user testing. In this article, a Widget refers to anything you want it to. A Widget could be a product, feature, service, or whatever else needs testing.

Questions to ask

  • Does Widget work as expected?
  • Does Widget error as expected?
  • Does Widget have documentation?
  • Does Widget have helpful error messages?
  • Is Widget intuitive?


  1. Go sub-Widget by sub-Widget (RECOMMENDED)
    • Divide the new Widget into small Widgets
    • Test each small Widget one by one
  2. Check the new Widget in its entirety and fix errors as they occur
    • Use Widget as expected
    • Use Widget in unexpected ways


Why Should I Document?

  • Defines WHAT the application should do and HOW to do it
  • You are going to forget how things work
  • Reading through the source code for an answer isn’t fun
  • You’ll want to pass the application off to someone else
  • Help your end users

Documentation Methods

  • Guided tour through your application
  • Text files (Markdown, LaTeX)
  • Printed documents
  • PDFs
  • Slide show
  • Help text

Good Practices

  • DO create a useful and intuitive UX for your end users
  • DO write in short, concise sentences
  • DO explain features that are not obvious
  • DO write for the user not the applications
  • DO make it easy to find answers
  • DO use pictures/images where appropriate
  • DON’T rely on the end user actually reading it

Writing Documentation

  • Step by step instructions
  • Explain what feature does and why
  • Assume end user has no prior experience/knowledge of the - application
  • Keep task steps simple and isolated
  • Add pictures/images to help end users follow along


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