I would like to remind people involved in testing that—after an engaged brain—one of our most useful testing tools is… the pause.
A pause is precisely the effect delivered by the application of four little words: Huh? Really? And? So? Each word prompts a pause, a little breathing space in which questions oriented towards critical thinking have time to come to mind.
- Wait…huh? Did I hear that properly? Does it mean what I think it means?
- Um…Really? Does that match with my experience and understanding of the world as it is, or how it might be? What are some plausible alternative interpretations for what I’ve just heard or read? How might we be fooled by it?
- Just a sec… And? What additional information might be missing? What other meanings could I infer?
- Okay…So? What are some consequences or ramifications of those interpretations? What might follow? What do we do—or say, or ask—next?
Those four words nestle nicely between the four elements of the Satir Interaction Model—Intake (huh?), Meaning (really? and?), Significance (so?), and Response.
We recently added “And” to the earlier set of “Huh? Really? So?” upon which James Bach elaborates here.