Ask anyone who’s been around the NSBlock a few times: Key-Value Observing has the worst API in all of Cocoa. It’s awkward, verbose, and confusing. And worst of all, its terrible API belies one of the most compelling features of the framework.
Unfortunately, KVO seems to be the best way to natively achieve data binding on the iOS platform.
I suspect some librarians have a hard time finding the Right Book with our book search web app. Liv’s voice is booming in the stair case as the group of five is climbing towards the third floor.
–Today’s two test users will show us some of the ways people can get lost in your web app. Says Benedicte
Bringing the right book with the right level of reading challenge to readers who are practicing to improve their reading skills is what Liv does for a living. Her dream is that when young Loke enters the library in a high school far far away, the librarian will find the Right Book for him with a few strokes on a keyboard. Tack, Tack, Tack!
–The librarian should not need to think, to know how to use boksøk.no. Liv says as they enter the meeting room.
–To make the web app easy to use we need to rebuild it several times in the space of several months. And we need new users to test every time we rebuild. Says Benedicte with an eager smile.
– Ok! Says Liv with her own enthusiastic smile.
–Torunn, our first test trooper will be here in 3 minutes, on that screen you will see where she clicks. Ola points to a large screen.
–How do we know why she clicks where she clicks? Says Vegard.
–I will be in the room with Torunn and make sure she thinks out loud. You will all hear us through that black amplifier. Ola points at a black box in the middle of the table.
–Ok. Says Vegard.
–I’ll go and greet Torunn down stairs. Says Ola and walks out the door. A little later they hear him through the black box.
–You may sit here. I will give you some tasks and while you click I want you to think out loud to make it easier for me to understand why you do what you do. Does that sound ok? Says Ola.
–Yes. Says Torunn behind her mask.
One hour later Vegard, Benedicte, Liv, Tom Erik and Ola sits around a table laden with choclate croissants and steaming black coffee in red cups.
–So what do you guys think about our first test trooper? Asks Tom Erik.
–I was surprised by where she clicked first. Says Vegard.
–I agree. We will have one more tester today right? Says Liv.
–Yes and in two weeks we pay a visit to the librarian at Elvebakken High School. That will give us a chance to see how a librarian uses the web app. After that you make a beta version of the new boksøk web app and then we invite two new testers. We decide together how to rebuild the beta and then we test again right? Says Liv.
–And rebuild again and test again. And again and again until the librarians don’t have to think, because the boksøk web app will be easy to use. Says Benedicte.
So I read @skrugs book and it’s a good one! How do you know that your most important user don´t need to think when she is using what you have made? The only way to find out is monthly testing, according to Krug. Test early, test often and keep on testing. How do you convince your people to spend time and money on testing? Read the book, Steve has a chapter about handling the arguments of different groups within companies.