Tag Archives: inspiration

The long quiet followed by a Hard Shake

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.

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Presence vs. Immersion

This article was bought to my attention. It talks about the concepts of presence vs. immersion, how they relate and cover different aspects of the VR experience.

I’m going to dive into this over the next few days and see how this knowledge can help improve my testing approach.

I’ll be back next week with an article covering what I learn.

Inspiration

“I’ve never had writer’s block, Joey’s never been in a production slump”

Sage Francis

Some tweets this morning have inspired me to tackle this subject.

Inspiration is something that is important to me.

I have the head that won’t shut up.

A brain that is constantly bouncing things around. I have never felt I have to grasp for ideas and inspiration because it seems to be always there, not specifically testing ideas but in general.

As someone who has written and performed lots throughout my life; I’ve thought quite a bit about where my inspiration comes from.

My personal theory is that the more you try to pin down where inspiration comes from the more you restrict inspirational thinking in your mind.

My approach is to immerse myself in interesting things. Anything from articles about new scientific developments, music, novels and anything else that gets you thinking.

I’m very choosy about what art I consume. The world is flooded with creativity everywhere and our access to it is better than ever. Why settle for listening to a mediocre song on the radio when a few clicks can get you something spectacular.

Do you really want to watch another film where you can calculate all the plot developments and outcomes? Or do you want something that will engage your mind and challenge it?

Anything your mind consumes that challenges it; that can make it think in a different way is going to help inspire you. Let all these things just roll around your brain making new connections with everything that is already there and new ideas will come.

There’s a world of ideas that can challenge your mind to think differently, absorb it all and inspiration will flow.