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Usability – Modeling different kind of end-users

While testing for usability I model myself as different kind of users. But, before doing so; I always try to know about for who this product has been developed. This helps me not to fall in the trap where I will be wasting my time as well as effort in modeling different kind of users that are not required for this product. Suppose, if I have to model different kind of users for Orkut my list would be as following,

– Teenagers

– Celebrities

– Business Development Managers

– Professors / Lecturers / Teachers

– Students ( This category also comes under Teenagers, but sometimes other than teenagers too )

– Old people with more than 60+ age

– Developers

– Testers

– Script Kiddies

This list might vary from product to product. But, brainstorming different kind of users might help you achieve more coverage on the product. Depending on the list of different kind of end-users you might have different categories for test ideas. Or, you could use your own approach.

You might want to ask that how does modeling yourself helps you in providing information about Usability quality criteria?

Example 1: Celebrities generally join social networking portals to market their movie or to create hype about the movie or anything that might be. How usable is the portal for celebrities? They might not have used the portal before and this is the first time. How this helps them? Is everything developed so well that a celebrity could register without much hiccup(s)?

Example 2: Old people with age 60+ tend to have visual problems. They might be partially blind but still they might still want to be on social networking portals to get in touch with their buddies and remember their college days and old days. How does this product help them? Do they have any screen readers? Do they have any pan and zoom feature that has been integrated to help old people?

You have got a great product with great stunning features but, what if it is not usable – Where are you in your business?


I have been as a software tester for over 5 years. I am a hands-on tester and I've been winning bug battles & testing competitions across the world. I am a testing enthusiast, who conducts free workshops on security testing across India (Covered locations: Bengaluru, Pune, Hyderabad & Chennai. Invite him to come to your location), and monthly meets for testers in Bengaluru. I am also an avid testing blogger.

My interests include traveling, driving my SUV, health & fitness and many others. I mentor budding entrepreneurs, testers, teams in any profession.

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