Emotion based Tests / Heuristics


 Install fail?

 Download fail?

 Transaction fail?

 Data loss?

 Data duplication?

 Sloppy security framework?


 Example: Deactivate account doesn't ask for authentication (Accidental click on the button)

I clicked on Deactivate account accidentally and my account was deactivated without asking password for authenticating.

Happy / Joy

 App runs faster

First impression of the app is on how it runs. Faster or slower?

 Reliable features

Its not about 100 features, but 10 features being reliable and doing what they are supposed to do.

 Competitive enough compared to other apps in same category

In the e-commerce industry, your app needs to be competitive enough in various things. It could be the quality of your app, marketing, positioning of UI elements, neat design and more.

 Discounts / offers / coupon code / BOGO offer?

Your users love this. You need to work on sales compared to your competitors where your users would love to return back to your application or your business.

 Neat design with awesome readability.


 Website not available?

The website keeps showing some error in the homepage and is not available. This will help users to easily abandon the website.

 Under maintenance?

Its important to know your users time zone and their activity or the peak hours where users use your app. In such case, its important to choose a time where traffic is very low compared to other time.

 App reliability?

Connection to the server is being lost again and again repeatedly due to high CPU utilization. In such case, you need to upgrade your servers.


 Recall versus recognition?

Users always wanted My Settings option in the header in the top right corner (Muscle Memory Heuristic). Now, if your app design is changed and they cannot locate it well, they are recalling it instead of recognizing. For better usability, we need to have "recognition" heuristic than recall heuristic in terms of positioning the elements.

 Performance is slower than snail?

We know users or you yourself hate when the app performance sucks. It could be the application design being slow (Forms are longer) or else its your server speed. Be careful to understand when your users give feedback saying, "This application is slow". There could be multiple meanings to what they say. Speak to them!

 No privacy settings?

You wanted to hide some personal data and keep it private, but the application doesn't have those features which fall under privacy settings and give you much better control over your profile.

WTF moments


 Shit man!

 Oh, this sucks!

 What's wrong?

 I thought this feature does something else!

 Where the hell is help?

 Customer support sucks!

 Other app was way better!

 These guys don't care about me as a user!

 Capture & document these feelings or expressions while testing. Later, you can discuss with your team or stakeholders.

(Huh?, Shit man!, Oh, this sucks!, What's wrong?, I thought this feature does something else!, Where the hell is help?, Customer support sucks!, Other app was way better!, These guys don't care about me as a user!)

Generate tests based on these emotions

I was referring to Plutchik's wheel of emotions and got various emotions like anger, frustration, sadness, happiness and more. Then I thought of using Plutchik's wheel of emotions to generate tests.

For instance, what kind of bugs may make the user angry? sad? irritated? panic?

These emotion based heuristics will help me in generating better tests for the app / software under test.

Other emotions (Generate tests DIY)







 And more...

 Read more about Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions

(Frustration, Aggressiveness, Trust, Acceptance, Similarity, Boring, And more...)

Mindmap by: Santhosh Tuppad Distributed by: TestInsane Technologies Private Limited Exploratory Testing & Test Automation Services https://testinsane.com/ "Testing start-up of the year 2015" award winner.