We all have taken tests at one point, or another in our lives, and we hated them. But how many take tests in a way to prove themselves sturdy enough to stand the test of time? I thought about this after watching Iron Man's Tony Stark testing in the lab and solving his problems one step at a time. He'd test and test again until it was right and worked seamlessly.
Usually, depending on when I get started studying for a test, I focus up for a brief moment in whatever class I am trying to pass just for PASSING's sake. But that isn't the natural way of development in any scenario. When I study a topic for the long haul and not just the short game, I find myself able to do things much better because I know that I'll benefit from it both now and later. 'What if I think about testing the way Iron Man does?' I say in my head voice. Testing should be more about the work and solving the problem and less about one's own success. Success is just the benefit of hard work and dedication, and Tony knew that.
Let's think about this in the context of Brand Building. Set-up milestones, or 'goal posts' as I like to call them, no matter how many you may have. Track each one within a specific time limit. Think of yourself running through a set of obstacles to get it done, and with style and flair too :). Some example goal posts could be:
- Flesh out what the brand means to your audience by building personas, allowing people [4 or less] from different walks of life to have multiple interactions with it.
- Define a set of rules by which to govern your identity, usually called guidelines.
- Figure out what differentiates your brand from every other competitor out there. Decide how that should translate into the brand experience.
- Ask yourself if you would want interact with your brand. Do you like what you see and feel from a personal perspective?
- Do all of the above again, with a different set of people?
Though more steps can be added to this list (encouraged), keep in mind that this can take some time. You may feel disenchanted by this process at some point, but I've learned the hard way that doing it right the first time will always last longer and net better results than having to go back and do it after the fact.
Accomplishment based testing, or 'Gamification', can make this even more interesting. Testing in this way is why we fall so fast for the Bejewels, Farmvilles, & Angry Birds in the app stores. Set reminders for yourself to use this technique when thinking critically. It makes things go so much faster and takes the focus off of being perfect. In time, you'll learn to love this way of testing, and wonder why you hadn't used it before. There are many ways to solve a problem; the fun is in how you get there.