Monday, December 20, 2004


A correspondent wrote to suggest that testing user interfaces isn't really as hard as it's cracked up to be.

Let's take something very simple and self-contained. There's a widget on the screen -- a Tinderbox note, maybe -- and we've given it a name. We ask the widget, "What's your name?" and make sure the answer is right. What can go wrong?

A lot.

Here's my quick list of some ways the widget can know its name, and yet fail to draw draw it:

I'm pretty sure I've seen all of these at some point.