Simplifying Test Case Design: A Streamlined Approach

Alya Othman

QA Engineer
Manual Testing

Software testing is a vital part of the software development process, ensuring that the software meets requirements and performs as expected. Test case design plays a pivotal role in validating the software's behavior, and it involves considering various factors. While established standards like boundary testing, equivalence partitioning, and decision tables offer valuable insights, there's an easier way to streamline test case design. In this blog post, we'll explore a simplified approach that can make test case design more efficient and effective.

The BIG Terms in Test Case Design

Let's briefly revisit three important concepts in test case design, established by IEEE, that provide a strong foundation:

Boundary Testing:

  • Focuses on testing the software with input values at the edges of the input domain.
  • Helps uncover potential bugs that may not surface during normal testing.
  • Ensures the software handles extreme or edge cases correctly.

Equivalence Partitioning:

  • Divides the input domain into classes of inputs that are expected to behave similarly.
  • Reduces the number of test cases needed by testing representative samples.
  • Enables testing a range of inputs rather than every possible input.

Decision Tables:

  • Used when multiple conditions influence software behavior.
  • Represents software behavior in a table format, with each row representing a combination of inputs and corresponding outputs.
  • Helps identify and test edge cases in a clear and concise manner.

The Easier Way- Streamlined

While the above concepts are valuable, we can simplify the test case design process with the following approach:

Grooming the Story:

  • Take an inventory of all interactive elements on the page, such as buttons, input fields, and links.
  • Consider both desktop and mobile versions of the software.
  • Include any necessary boundary testing for input values.

State Determination:

  • Identify the states that could impact the outcome of each interactive element.
  • Examples include existing users, non-existing users, and invalid email addresses.

Outcome Specification:

  • Determine the expected outcome of interacting with each element, including impacts on other parts of the application.
  • Possible outcomes could include error messages, email notifications, or logged-in states.

Matrix Table Creation:

  • Combine the determined states and outcomes to create a matrix table.
  • This table covers all possible combinations of interactive elements and states.
  • Ensures comprehensive test coverage with a limited number of test cases.

By adopting this simplified approach to test case design, software development teams can enhance their testing efforts while saving time and effort. The streamlined process allows for effective coverage of the software's functionality, ensuring that all essential scenarios are considered. By investing just 30 minutes during story grooming to determine the test cases, teams can expedite the testing process and achieve faster delivery of high-quality software.

In conclusion, while established concepts like boundary testing, equivalence partitioning, and decision tables provide a strong foundation for test case design, it's possible to simplify the process. By focusing on interactive elements, determining states, specifying outcomes, and creating a matrix table, teams can optimize their testing efforts and ensure efficient and effective software validation.

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