So I’ve been quiet for quite a while. The blog article ideas have been mounting up, and I’ve not been writing them. A lot of the time I don’t actually enjoy the writing process. I don’t know if you’re meant to enjoy it, but I find it hard to sit down and write out the ideas that are piling up. I have a bit more free time at the moment, so I should be able to force myself to write some out. If anyone has ideas on how I enjoy the process more then I’d love to hear them.
Now onto actual testing stuffs.
A lot of us have heard of the testing technique galumphing which was originated by James Bach.
It’s a technique I used before I knew I used it; as is the case for many of us. We don’t know we necessarily do this thing, but when someone can explicitly describe the action in a way we can understand; that’s when we get the “oh yeah” moment. We’ve often galumphed our way through a site without realising we’re doing it. This is the value in someone like James. Someone that can find a descriptive term for something that was previously tacit knowledge.
What happes when galumphing doesn’t just desribe how you might click around a site, but it actively describes how you might traverse a VR application?
Well the best techniques are the ones that are still relevant to situations beyond which they’re written for. Did James actively think about VR testing when he wrote about galumphing?
Probably not, but he didn’t need to. He understood the concept of how unintended movements (physical or control-system based) will apply to a variety of situations.
Introducing the Hard Shake
So during my VR Testing I have been (concisouly and unconciously) carrying out
lots of galumphing. This has happened to the extent that I feel certain movements within that approach deserve to be named.
So for the first one of these techniques, I name the Hard Shake.
The naming of this happened quite naturally. A tester that I’d recruited talked about an issue they’d found in the app, and demonstrated the movement required to trigger this issue. I then asked whether he could recreate the issue without a Hard Shake.
This wasn’t a term I’d used before, but it instantly felt lke correct. It described a movement I’d carried out numerous times before; often used as a way to transition between steps. It can be used at any point however. It is very useful for uncovering performance issues, and unintended effects from gaze being shook in that fashion. Remember that this is something that can be used at anytime within the headset. I mentioned transitions, but even at times when the user may only be receiving information; it is useful to carry out and see the results.
So here we go, the Hard Shake. It seems simple. I’ve talked to other testers that have done this naturally without thinking. However, when we can explicitly talk about and name techniques; it gives us a platform on which other knowledge can be built. This is harder when the knowledge stays inside our heads and is exercised in a tacit manner.
Part of this issue is connected with how instinctual testers work. This is something I’ll cover in a future post.