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Out-of-the-Box Test

What is an out-of-the-box test?

Out-of-the-box testing is a testing method in which users are observed unpacking a product from its box. Out-of-the-box testing is useful in ascertaining how intuitive the set-up procedure for the hardware or software is for the user. This can also help in optimizing the external interface design of a product.

How can an out-of-the-box test be used?

Most higher-name brands will perform out-of-the-box testing to see how users will interact with the software product or device. Installing a camera in the customer’s home for the test session might be an efficient way of seeing how the user will unpack the box. Although the results may be complicated in that the user is conscientious of the camera, it may yield more accurate results than having an actual observer staring at them as they unpack the box.

How to conduct an out-of-the-box test

To conduct an out-of-the-box test, a video camera and a natural environment are needed. After the user has unpacked the box they will seek to install or set up the device. After the user takes the product out of the box and effectively sets it up, the data should be analyzed in terms of areas of potential issues. For example, how easy was taking the product out of the box? Or how intuitive was it for the user to set up the software? It may be that few test users have problems opening up the box and removing the product, but the set-up stage is extremely important. An analysis of the setup section should consider ease of use, length of pauses, or inaccurate set up. Once what happened is identified, the data should be analyzed to identify why it happened, and then perform an appropriate modification to resolve this. The ultimate aim is for the set-up process of a new product to be as intuitive as possible.

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