Realistically, quality means different things to different people.
It depends on the situation. And the context. But in  many cases, it cannot be denied if the product is of an extremely high quality.
What one person judges as being of high quality, another may deem it has low quality.
Meanwhile Quality can be dictated by a piece of paper which clearly defines it.
So yes, I do believe that quality is both subjective and objective.

What do I base my Judgement on regarding the quality of an airline?

About two weeks ago, I flew with Air New Zealand to San Francisco. My boyfriend said Air New Zealand is the best airline.
To be honest, I would beg to differ.

Put simply, there are two reason why this probably is the case:

  1. I have been on more airlines and therefore, have more to compare it to (increasing the likelihood of me having experienced very high quality service in an airline).
  2. We have different criteria. (What is important to him, might not be as important to me – and vice versa).

Here’s my criteria when I judge the Quality of an Airline (in order):

  1. Food (including availability of snack food to be peckish on in a night flight)
  2. Entertainment system
  3. Seats
  4. Service; aka. ‘niceness’ of flight attendants
  5. Boarding Process
  6. In-Flight Magazines

In the past, I have had some amazing experiences with other airlines such as Emirates with their entertainment system (Feel free to let me know of a better one) and the food at Malaysian Airlines (or at least the high number of Ferrero Rochers that we could help ourselves to during the flight).

You see, I think Air New Zealand’s entertainment selection was fairly limited compared to what I have experienced in the past.
And when it comes to food, there appeared to be nothing for people to eat if they got hungry between dinner and breakfast. (note the word appeared, food could’ve been available and I missed it)

Judging software quality based on your past experiences is also definitely not unheard of

When I’m testing software (and, for that matter, just playing around with software in everyday life) –
to me, Quality is not just defined by what requirements and what the design specs state

So let’s focus on the work aspect of this and how I define software quality when I’m testing software
To a certain extent, yes – I do define quality by the requirements.

When I’m testing software, and writing up test cases based on the requirements – going through my head is something like this:
Ok sweet as, that looks good…. This test has passed, so Req 12 is covered. Check. ….. Let’s move on to the next test….. Ok sweet as, that looks good too…. No hang on – that’s kinda weird… Let’s look into that.

So I find it’s usually at that point when my past experience with using other pieces of software kicks in. I find myself comparing it to what I have seen before, and what I think would work better for (based on what I understand) is the intended audience of this piece of software.

I make a note of it – then ask someone else who I’m working with: What do you think?

You see, I don’t think testing is solely a case of ticking off the boxes.
I don’t think I’m paid to just get the job over and done with.