Seventeen Test Ideas Rikard Edgren

As an exercise, try these generic test ideas on any product, for instance a recent upload to Then come up with a better test idea, and write as a comment. Also suggest one to remove; I have decided they must be seventeen (a Tranströmer homage)

* Try to do what it is supposed to do
* Verify that Help matches functionality
* Let it run for quite some time, and look at resource utilization
* Play around with core functionality for five minutes
* Ask someone else for their first impression
* Perform any simple scenario as fast as possible
* Use keyboard-only for a while
* Have a look at all installed files
* Get rid of all traces of software (Uninstall)
* Run on a radically different platform, preferably an Error-Prone Machine
* Use credibly dirty data
* Provoke a bunch of failures
* Be a user that want to destroy for others
* Compare with common behavior for the environment
* Review About dialog information
* Is it at least as good as a comparable product?
* Do something valuable for you

Investigate your feelings during these tests; keep usability, charisma, security, performance and testability in the back of your head.
End by describing the state of the product in less than a minute.

These are test ideas you can try on any product, and they will give you interesting information.
However, spending the same amount of time on other tests, might be even better…
Really good test ideas are specific for a product, capturing their essence; challenging a main purpose.


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