Sunday, 29 November 2009

Swedish Product Documentation Testing

Today is the first Sunday in advent. In Sweden that usually means the start of glögg drinking (some know it as gluwhein and some as mulled wine).

Well, we made an early start by one day - always looking to integrate early and find the faults up-stream!

Traditional associated fayre with glögg are almonds and raisins - they're supposed to be in the persons cup and get infused with the drink. Well, we'd bought a ready-made assortment of blanched almonds and raisins.

Whilst warming the glögg I read the back of a packet:
Ingredienser: Kaliforniska russin 70%, mandel 30%. 
Kan innehålla spår av nötter ocf torkade frukter.

Translation (emphasis mine):

Ingredients: Californian raisins 70%, almonds 30%.
May contain traces of nuts and dried fruit.

I don't think I have to comment on this (for fear of over-dosing in sarcasm and irony!) If someone had a peanut allergy would this information help them? Are the traces of nuts related to non-almond nuts? Who knows? Same question for the dried fruit...

Just as testing requirements before implementation is important, it is equally important to test the customer documentation that goes with the product - even if it is just a fruit 'n' nut packet.

The "testing" or questioning of the customer documentation should try and establish if it is clear, unambiguous and ultimately useful.

Nuff said!

I'm going to inform the company involved and we'll see where it leads...

I'm sure there are hundreds more real-life examples out there with every-day product packaging and documentation. Or?

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