Archive for April, 2007

Better The Devil You Know!

April 17, 2007

This blog has been a bit neglected over the past few weeks (who am I kidding, months!). There’s a good reason, though…the Swopster site was being dragged kicking and screaming through to the end of the beta-testing stage.

The initial team of beta-testers did a great job of highlighting interface issues and bringing the obvious (and not so obvious) flaws to my attention. However, I unleashed my secret weapon on beta-testing the other week – my wife, Sharon. As well as being perfect :-), she’s the best tester I’ve ever seen. The only tester I’ve known to make a developer (umm…not me!) actually cry!!

When you’re building a site it’s all very wonderful and cosy to get everyone saying how nice it is, etc. Friends drop by and compliment you on how great it looks. Family look at it and tell you it’s brilliant. Everyone seems to agree it’s fantastic.

But this is completely the wrong attitude! You really need someone to set aside a decent amount of their time to tear it apart. Someone to try their hardest to demolish your work of art. Someone to be brutally honest. Someone to thrash your ideas, design and code to breaking point and beyond.

Sharon did a fantastic, thorough report and really let loose, absolutely ripping into the site. This is not a nice process (sob!), but it’s well worth it.

Why put yourself through the mill like this? Because I guarantee you’ll feel 100 times worse if you release your site with stupid flaws (famous last words…). There’s nothing worse than putting all that hard work and effort in, only to find folks aren’t using your site to it’s potential because of a stupid little silly error.

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