OUR TESTERS FOLLOW A CAREFUL
DISCIPLINE designed to explore many dimensions of a product.
But before we explain all that, if you are a speech software vendor,
be sure to read the "Beating the Competition" section
of For Vendors Only to
give you some perspective on what follows.
The tester group looks at three product
- bugs - failures of the product to meet the specification
- usability - ways in which the product impedes a user's attempt
to do things within the specification
- expandability - ways in which the product impedes reasonable
use beyond the specification
We take a very hard-line position about usability and expandability.
This is in contrast to other reviewers who, for speech products,
consider accuracy of recognition a prime factor - we tend to take
a lenient approach to recognition accuracy. So our ratings of
products will often be not as glowing as reports found elsewhere.
We emphasize usability because errors will occur as they would
even with a live human friend. So, a much more relevant concern
is how easily errors can be corrected.
We stress expandability because inevitably a user is more imaginative
about the ways to employ a product because of rising expectations
associated with computers that can now seemingly understand speech.
We believe, therefore, that for any product to survive, designers
must pay attention to reasonable applications of the product outside
of the original target design.
More on bug testing...
More on usability...
More on expandability...