Tech Talk

Issues in technology.

Kids in the lab.

When designing the testing for an app like Curi™ it is important to look beyond functional testing and performance, and understand how the user will interact with the app, especially under stress. Everything about Curi™ is focused on giving the user useful actionable information so that they can execute tasks on time. What I wanted to learn, however, was what would users do if they were in a position where, even though they had the information they needed, they simply could not perform a task at a given moment. Were we going to find unintended consequences if we put people in ‘no win’ situations?

A driving instructor with a student.

In my software career I have tested everything from missile systems to television sets. Curi™, however, is new and different kind of consumer device, for me, anyway. While a member of Mass Challenge we took advantage of an opportunity to meet with members of the software development team of a large health insurance company. They stressed the importance of testing a consumer product, especially its user interface, as many times as possible with as many people as possible. There are so many nuances to be learned from how people use your product that the time spent teaching people and watching them is an investment with huge returns.

Keep your data locked up.

Did you hear about it? I’m talking about the latest computer breach that made the nightly news on Monday. This time though, it also included names and data on children. I learned about it before the story broke in prime time. News of the data loss was published online in detail and with an analysis. The end result is the same. You put your data online when you register with a site and you think it is safe, or you don’t think anything about it at all. And then you find out "your business is in the street".