One of the successes I’ve had since embedding into a new Agile development team has been making testing more visible. Visibility of testing is crucial when joining a new team as a tester since many developers have not worked closely with someone that has a test focus, so may not know what it is you’re expected to be doing or know how to engage with you.
Mindmaps are a great way to start showing visibility of testing as they easily show coverage at a distance and they also allow you to visualise your stream of thought whilst testing (which allows you to show people how you explore / test things).
What is a Mindmap?
Mind mapping is a highly effective way of getting information in and out of your brain. Mind mapping is a creative and logical means of note-taking and note-making that literally “maps out” your ideas.
All Mind Maps have some things in common. They have a natural organizational structure that radiates from the center and use lines, symbols, words, color and images according to simple, brain-friendly concepts. Mind mapping converts a long list of monotonous information into a colorful, memorable and highly organized diagram that works in line with your brain’s natural way of doing things.
– http://www.mindmapping.com 2018
Below is a sample of a mindmap that I created when exploring the translations of a UI, even from a distance you can see that testing went pretty well but there were some areas where behaviour maybe didn’t act as I’d have expected.
From the above example there’s a couple of properties that I’d call out:
- The notes are pretty terse, usually being a couple of words; this is because I’m noting down my thoughts as I’m exploring the system and my focus is on exploring / testing rather than documenting notes.
- There’s a colour key; this is to make it easy to see the results of testing at a glance as team members don’t have to read all the words in my notes to know where things looked good or if there were issues.
- I’m using software to generate the mindmap; XMind is a really awesome tool for this as it has a load of formatting options.
I’ve found mindmaps to be an amazing way to show what I do, show the quality of the system and also as a good tool to use in debriefing at the end of a testing session. When joining a new team, why not bust out some really visual and easy to interpret test notes to add an instant “look what I can do”?
Or sketch note, because that looks amazing!