Phy-gital Roundtable: Breakfast Roundup from Germany and Netherlands

02 May '15 | Debjyoti Paul

German Shoppers: Meet Them in the Fast Lane to Phy-gital

15 January '15 | Ralf Reich

Shoppers Will Share Personal Information (But They Don’t Want to be “Friends”)

15 January '15 | Anil Venkat

Modernize or Perish: Property and Casualty Insurers and IT Solutions

14 January '15 | Manesh Rajendran

Benelux Reaches the Phy-gital Tipping Point: Omnichannel Readiness is Crucial

13 January '15 | Anil Gandharve

The New Omnichannel Dynamic: Finding Core Principles Across Industries

13 January '15 | Debjyoti Paul

Technology does not disrupt business – CIO day 2014 Roundup

02 December '14 | Anshuman Singh

Apple Pay – The Best Is Yet To Come

02 December '14 | Indy Sawhney

Digital transformation is a business transformation enabled by technology

01 December '14 | Amit Varma

3 Stages of FATCA Testing and Quality Assurance

06 October '14 | Raman Suprajarama

3 Reasons why Apple Pay could dominate the payments space

18 September '14 | Gaurav Johri

Beacon of Hope: Serving Growth and Customer Satisfaction

05 August '14 | Debjyoti Paul

The Dos and Don’ts of Emerging Technologies Like iBeacon

30 July '14 | Debjyoti Paul

What You Sold Us On – eCommerce Award Finalist Selections

17 July '14 | Anshuman Singh

3 Steps to Getting Started with Microsoft Azure Cloud Services

04 June '14 | Koushik Ramani

8 Steps to Building a Successful Self Service Portal

03 June '14 | Giridhar LV

Innovation outsourced – a myth or a mirage or a truth staring at us?

13 January '14 | Ramesh Hosahalli

What does a mobile user want?

03 January '14 | Gopikrishna Aravindan

Tester’s choice – from Order Takers to Rain Makers

Posted on: 05 December '11

Around 10-12 years ago, when independent testing roles started to gain popularity, thanks to the adoption of WWW, things were different. Customers were looking at us to execute test cases (many a time written by them) and report anomalies, expecting to overcome the focused vision and probably the conformation bias of the development team. Then came the era of “you are so good at spotting bugs, quick at learning our product – why don’t you design the tests too?” And we excelled at that and raised their expectations.

Now is the age of “You know our products end to end, our business and end users well – why don’t you share thoughts on how to grow them better, how to increase our sales”

Crux of this evolution is “what has brought us here may not get us there”.  If we have to survive amongst hundreds of order takers, we testers have to wear the sales hat and take steps towards being rain makers – or at least help in seeding the clouds

We are now left with little choice apart from knowing our customers and their business better. We are taking steps towards knowing the current popularity of their web sites and their products vis-à-vis their competitors and we suggest improvements to grow their business. We take Steps towards getting more and more information about their products and websites which impact their revenues, so as to test them better and grow our business.

With Google at our finger tips and the relationship / network people would have established before we start hitting the testing button in our projects, we have the means to get the information. This blog is about what else WWW has given us to know our customer and their business better and engage in a more fruitful conversation with them.

I came across flagfox (, a Firefox add-on. It has a bouquet of interesting utilities and references to web sites which give us a wealth of information that can be a starting point for collating further information. Out of the many it contains, I found the following utilities interesting, and so this leaves the rest to be explored.

1. Whois (<site url>e.g.

Tab – Site Profile

Has information on:

  • Compete Rank



(e.g. )


— Rank by unique Visitors – “Unique Visitors” implies visitors are counted once, no matter how many times they visit a site in a month. Counts represent traffic from the United States only. What is the insight about reach to newer / potential customers? If the traffic is high, but unique customers are low, what is the insight into repeat business?


— Competitive Rank – Competitor information and their rank in terms of web site visits. What is the insight into how to make our customer’s website more “saleable”?

  • About Us:

(e.g. ) – What is the quick snapshot of the customer that helps to be on the tip of our fingers?

  • SEO score and SEO Text Browser:

( – This is the text view of how a search engine sees the information of a web site. It Gives tips about things that could probably be improved with the current web page browsed. What is the insight into how to improve ranking in Google? Are the messages that our customers want to give to their customers effectively given?

2. Alexa – Alexa computes traffic rankings by analyzing the Web usage of millions of Alexa Toolbar users and data obtained from other, diverse traffic data sources. Though this may not be a representative sample of the global Internet population, it does give a holistic picture of popularity.

Tab: Traffic Stats

Estimated percentage of global internet users

  • Traffic and Reach information for last 7 days, 1 – 6 months – What is the insight into popularity of the site? If it has an impact on revenues, then can this data justify and track the impact of enhancement suggestions?
  • Estimated percentage of visits to customer web site that consist of a single page view and estimated daily time on site (minutes) – What is the insight into first impression?
  • Estimated percentage of visits to customer website that came from a search engine – Does this help in taking decisions about search engine optimization?
  • Average load time and Regional Traffic Ranks – Are there any Performance and Globalization testing opportunities?
  • Where Visitors Go on the website – Where should we focus our testing effort on?

Tab: Search analytics

  • Top queries from search traffic – The top queries driving traffic to web site from search engines, updated monthly – What is the insight into what are the expectations that end users are visiting the site with? Does this help in test design?

Tab: Audience – Gives insight into end user demographics and helps in designing test cases

  • Visitors by country – Are there any globalization testing opportunities? Are there any content that can have cultural implications?
  • Audience Demographics – If visitors in the age group are over represented in the age category 55-65, should we focus on accessibility and usability testing?

3. XMarks: e.g. – Gives a list of similar sites that can give insight on competition. Helps in test design, product enhancement ideas, improving traffic?

4. Ping:– If we do a full page test for the web site, we get statistics as to which object in the web page is taking the maximum time to load. What are the suggestions for improving first impression?

5. Internet Archive: Go Way back! We can see how a website has evolved over time. Surely, lot of interesting conversations can be triggered with our customers and few things maybe on how their business and focus has changed.

As I have mentioned earlier, some of the data (especially traffic and usage stats) may not be a representative sample of the global Internet population. We should look at other sources for a more realistic picture (e.g., however I think for us testers to give suggestions or to take decisions, many a time high level of accuracy may not be needed – a holistic picture suffices.

Over to you for your thoughts and examples.

Mindtree Blog Archives

Mindtree blog Archives are a collection of blogs by various authors who have independently contributed as thought leaders in the past. We may or may not be in a position to get the authors to respond to your comments.