A Provocative Chat about Testing and Digital Experience Design

user experience

“It’s Very Hard to Teach an AI to Do Something That a Human Doesn’t Know How to Do”

Silo Busting 31: Putting Digital Experience Design to the Test: Philip Soffer and Jonathan Lupo

September 24, 2021
soffer lupo

This episode of Silo Busting will school you on the topic of testing. In attendance are (1) Phillip Soffer, EPAM’s VP of Product-Service Systems; and (2) and Jonathan Lupo, our VP of Experience Design. Together they will ensure that the themes of testing, automation, and experience design are present and accounted for.

Testing is critical in this day and age. “AIs are biased in favor of the datasets they are trained on,” says Soffer. “Which may not be the same people for whom the systems are intended, or it may introduce really dangerous algorithmic bias that needs to be checked somehow.”

But the dangers are many in this world, and one of them involves time. In the old days, we had all kinds of tests: unit tests, integration tests, functional tests, user experience tests, accessibility tests. No more. “The time that there is for all these kinds of different tests is becoming increasingly compressed,” says Soffer.

Says Lupo: “Clients are not giving us more time; they’re giving us less to perform due diligence when we develop products and services.” One benefit of automated testing and analytic, he adds, is that “we don’t have to create these moments in a product lifecycle for testing, validation.” These, says Lupo, “can be happening continuously, in real time.”

Speaking of real time: Lupo asks Soffer if our current pandemic moment has an opportunity for automated remote testing?

Soffer says we used to have “hallway testing”—in which you could walk around use use officemates as testers. Once, this was a substitute for formal testing, but the pandemic shut it down. “What happens when you take away the hallway because everybody’s in a different place?” he asks and then answers: “We’ve had a lot more interest in doing that kind of hallway testing in a virtual way, through the testing crowd that we have as part of Test IO.”

So listen to what these experts have to say. What you’ll hear is not—not—a test.

Host: Alison Kotin
Engineer: Kyp Pilalas
Producer: Ken Gordon

Silo Busting 31: Putting Digital Experience Design to the Test: Philip Soffer and Jonathan Lupo
filed in: user experience, complex systems, artificial intelligence, prototyping