Be the end user

Sometimes as QA Engineers we focus too much on individual components of the product or service we’re responsible for. To truly understand your product, to properly identify what’s working and what’s not, to know the state of quality, you need to use your product like an end user. That means on a regular basis and in the same situations you’ve pitched to your users.

This can help you identify the following and more:

  • The usability issues of the application
  • Find bugs that happen intermittently and identify their frequency properly
  • Understand the overall quality; finding bugs you may have missed during testing
  • Come up with ideas for new requirements or features
  • Confirm if the features you have are serving their purpose or meeting what you set as their goal

You need to make this a habit. Constantly remind yourself if you have to. It will eventually become part of your daily life. Push your team to do the same. The more people internally who do this the better. You’ll never understand your users if you don’t use the product like them.

You might say this doesn’t work for all products or services you’re working on, and you may be right. However, even in those situations, thinking like the end user will take your work to the next level. This applies to any department in the organization; Development/QA, Support, etc.