Isabel Evans

Freelancer (UK)

Independent quality and testing consultant Isabel Evans has more than thirty years of IT experience in the financial, communications, and software sectors. Her work focuses on quality management, software testing, and user experience (UX). A published author, popular speaker and storyteller at software conferences worldwide, Isabel is a Chartered IT Professional and Fellow of the British Computer Society, and received the 2017 EuroSTAR Testing Excellence Award. In parallel with her consultancy and teaching in industry, Isabel Evans has recently started as a part-time PhD student at the Department of Computer Information Systems, University of Malta, working with Dr Chris Porter and Dr Mark Micallef on research in human factors for Software Testing. Within that, her current research project is to examine human factors around test tools and the automation of testing, in particular, the UX of test tools for testers.


Devices and Desires: understanding how humans experience software

We consume and still we desire more. More devices, more apps, more data, more bandwidth, more connectivity. The more we have, the more we want… We assume that to be true – those of us who work in the software industry. But is that true? To understand what is really required of our products, we need to design and test a pyramid of interlocking quality attributes, that build together to make an optimum experience for the people who use our products, matching their needs, and their desires. It is not enough to test functional suitability, performance, and reliability. People also require usability, accessibility, and safety. These profoundly affect the user experience (UX) which also considers trust, flow, and excitement. To test the UX, and so deliver a good experience for people, we first need to understand them. Isabel discusses why and how we can test and deliver better UX. She will look at the pressures from the business and government environment, the commercial imperatives, and the needs of society, along with the needs of the individual software user.

Risk: our friend and our foe

What is risk to a tester? And, what does risk mean to other people?

For some people, risk is a friend; for innovation to take place, it is necessary to take risks.

For other people, risk is a foe; something to be avoided.

How do we know when to take and when to avoid risks? What happens if avoiding one risk increases another risk? Can we tell the difference between our perception of risk and actual risk? In this short talk, I reflect on the theme of the conference (Sharing + Diversity + Knowledge) and discuss how those three words help us understand, manage and work with risk, to the benefit of our teams and our customers. We need knowledge of risk, through a diversity of perceptions, to give a shared understanding of when to embrace risk, when to accept it and when to control it or avoid it.