Nicky Tests Software: February 2017

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Recent Encounter with Dark Patterns

I first came across the term of "dark patterns" when I saw Emma Keaveny's talk about it on The Dojo. While watching it, then later looking more into it, I realised how many companies are out there purposely trying to get the user to do something, the user doesn't actually want to do.

Time passed.

Then I signed up to The Economist.

I signed up online and found it pretty easy to do so. But then I soon struggled to keep up with new issues - so I decided to cancel. Unfortunately, it wasn't simply a case of finding some "Manage Your Account" link and then clicking the "Cancel Subscription" button. Instead I had to "Contact my local print service centre"



Wednesday, February 8, 2017

How to incorporate humour into speeches

About 6 months ago, I completed my last project in the Humorously Speaking Manual. To be honest, I was really happy to get it out of the way. One of the objectives for each speech in this manual is "make people laugh". And I found that stressful. I mean, I sometimes make people laugh spontaneously when I talk to them but having to make people laugh in purpose? Well, that's another story.

I remember my 2nd speech from the Humorously Speaking manual was close to a disaster. I got a few awkward smiles at best and I thought "f*** why did I pick this manual?"

Then I reminded myself - it's because I love to listen to funny speeches or speeches that have incorporated elements of  humour. I want to do that. 

So I learned how.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Handling nerves when public speaking

Yesterday I competed at my Toastmasters club's annual Evaluation Contest. During this contest, you have a test speaker give a 5-7min speech and then we compete to give the best Evaluation to the Test Speaker.

While the judges votes were being counted, us 5 contestants were asked to come up to the stage and be interviewed. The question I was asked, was something along the lines of "How did you find the Evaluation Contest?" or "What was your experience in participating in the Evaluation Contest?"

And I answered truthfully.

I said I was fine, up until 30 seconds before I had to deliver my evaluation. Then my heart started racing. It's like a switch flipped as soon as I had to enter the room to give my evaluation (we had to stand outside and wait our turn to give evaluations so we can't cheat and copy the other evaluators).

It amazed me how one minute I was joking with the other contestants saying "Don't forget us when you make it to the next level of the competition" and then next minute I can feel my heart racing and thinking "hmm, wonder what my Fitbit says my heart rate is right now".

I told the audience how I felt. And they also knew I've been a Toastmaster for 4 years.