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Product Testers

Here are some of the people that help evaluate software at this site. Although they sometimes present their biases below in folksy talk, they all follow similar formal testing guidelines when wringing out products.

Dawn: I can be extremely tough to please. I count as the voice of a large portion of impatient Internet users out there. I rarely spend over 4 minutes at a site. I am not very tolerant of ponderous, bloated programs which take a long time to load. Same with long-winded manuals. Difficult to locate options or hidden settings get the best my rancor has to offer. Get by me and everything else will seem smooth to you. Proof of my priorities: I have a smoldering pile of trashed consumer software on the ground below my office window. A sign near it reads "hard hat area - falling software zone."

Bob: I run several businesses. I am founder of an Internet games company and perform contract work as a mercenary-for-hire in the web-slinger business. I've written too much software to be tolerant of sloppy work and design decisions that make the programmer's life easier rather than the user's.

Gordon: I'm a Brit and throw a mean accent at voice products. I'm also new enough at computers that I really don't understand phrases like "minimize a window" and "changing mouse focus." And I'm not convinced I should understand. So a program's instructions had better be easy. I take my laptop into the offices of CEO's, so the voice side should perform.

Mike: I sell software and hardware, so you can't fool me. It's either good or it's crapola. I won't sell software that has poor tutorials, on-line help or vendor support. The first GPF and you're out the door...forever.

Millie: I'm a senior citizen, at least that's what my younger 75 year old friends tell me. I can send e-mails with the best of them, though. Can't stand voice products that are hard to correct and don't work well with the other software I like. And about software which Marketing groups force release before it's ready: at my age I don't have the time anymore to wait for green bananas to get ripe.

Tricia: I'm a professor of speech pathology at a state university. I love working with people and and have a sharp eye for software that gets in the way of that. I know what makes it easy and what makes it hard for people to use speech productively. Because I don't know how hard it is to write great software, I'm pretty intolerant of software that isn't great.



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Page Last Updated: 05/24/99