This is the last post in a three part series. In the previous part, I went through the data tour, this blog focuses on the configuration tour. A tour is a method to explore different aspects of an application. In the four hour tester, there are 11 tours and the acronym mentioned is FCC CUTS VIDS.

The exercise

To apply the configuration tour to Google Calendar. Take 5 minutes.

Configuration tour - Attempt to find all the ways you can change settings in the product in a way that the application retains those settings.

For the approach, I did the same as last time then did the write-up afterwards.

My approach is simply to engage with the product, recording myself in the process. The tools I used for this experiment are:

  • Windows countdown timer to limit myself for 5 mins per tour.
  • OBS to record myself doing the tour on Google Calendar. I narrated my thoughts out loud I went through this exercise.

My findings

Config is always a fun thing to test. It multiplies the combinations and permutations of testing required. It’s interesting how the config tour is defined as ‘Attempt to find all the ways you can change settings…’. It does not say ‘Go to the settings area of X app’, this is my assumption that all the settings are contained there.

For the sake of simplicity though, I am going to focus there since it’s a five minute tour. In real life, there may be less obvious configurations that sit outside of the ‘Settings’ section. It could even be hardcoded. Watch out! In Google calendar, there are lots of settings, but I focused on ‘General’ for the five minute tour. The main things I found were:

Date Format
Time Format
Time zone
	Primary time zone
	Secondary time zone
Event Settings
	Default duration
	Speedy meetings (end 30-min meetings 5 mins early and longer meetings 10 mins early)
	Default guest permissions
	Add invitations to my calendar


Write down 3 things you would want to test for this tour.

  • Language:
    • how widespread is this change? Does it affect everything including all UI elements, modals and error messages?
    • How are languages maintained for any new features that are developed?
    • What if you have something like the specific language setting in Android? Which setting takes precedence?
  • Country:
    • What logic in Google calendar is tied to the Country field?
    • Is this shown to event guests where you’re based?
    • Is it used to suggest public calendar events? This can’t be to do with timezone because there is a separate setting for it further down.
    • Perhaps it is used to filter the available date and time formats
  • Date and time format: Again, how widespread is this change? What forms and areas does date/time format matter? Are there areas where date/time format is fixed?
  • Time zones: how does this work with daylight savings? For example in the UK, we switch between BST and GMT. Does Google recognise this?
  • Speedy meetings: This seems to be an interesting feature, does it change all existing meetings to be 5 or 10 minutes shorter? How are speedy meetings displayed on the calendar? What if some people have speedy meetings on and other people off?

Oops, I kept typing even though I exceeded ‘three things’. Well, there you go!

How did this tour help you to come up with different test ideas?

It helps me to consider…

  • the scope of a particular config change.
  • how config settings interact with each other.
  • how config settings impacts all user features.
  • the gaps in my knowledge with the product.
  • how config settings perform under different OS environments.