Mobile app testing is a critical phase in the development process to ensure that your mobile app performs flawlessly across various devices, platforms, and user scenarios. While diving into the realm of testing, you often come across terms like “test cases” and “test scenarios.” Let’s demystify these terms and understand their differences, usages, and best practices.
Defining Test Cases and Test Scenarios
A test case is a detailed set of conditions or variables under which a tester assesses whether a system satisfies requirements or works correctly. In mobile app testing, test cases detail step-by-step instructions to verify a specific feature or functionality. They typically include steps, test data, prerequisites, and postconditions required to test the feature or functionality.
QA testers can create different types of test cases for different app features and scenarios, such as regression tests, security tests, user interface tests, and more. Test cases can also include manual tests or automated tests and can be produced using mobile app testing tools (like Sofy.ai).
Test Case Example
Let’s say you want to create a test case that tests the functionality of logging into Sofy.ai. That test case might look something like this:
Test Case: Login Functionality for Sofy.ai
Test Case ID: TC001_Login
Objective: To verify that registered users can successfully login to Sofy.ai using valid credentials.
- User is registered with Sofy.ai.
- User has access to the login page of Sofy.ai.
- User has a stable internet connection.
Launch the browser or mobile app and navigate to the Sofy.ai login page.
The login page should be displayed with fields for entering username/email and password. There should also be a ‘Login’ button.
Enter a valid registered username or email in the respective field.
The username or email gets entered without any issues.
Enter the correct password associated with the entered username/email.
The password gets entered and is obscured (e.g., shown as dots or asterisks).
Click on the ‘Login’ button.
A loading icon or indicator might be displayed while processing.
Wait for the login process to complete.
The user should be redirected to the dashboard or homepage of their Sofy.ai account.
- User is logged in and has access to their account functionalities on Sofy.ai.
- User should have the option to log out.
Test scenarios, sometimes called scenario tests, is a documented use case, an action that that could be taken by the user to accomplish a task. Test scenarios are crucial to identify all possible user scenarios and ensure the app performs as functioned for these scenarios. It’s important for testers to put themselves into the shoes of the tester when creating test scenarios.
A single test scenario can have multiple test cases. A test scenario focuses on what to test end-to-end, while test cases focus on how to test a specific feature or functionality. Once scenarios are outlined, testers can determine the breadth of testing required. For mobile apps, scenarios might include device-specific tests, network-related scenarios, and more.
Test Scenario Example
Let’s say you want to test Sofy.ai login functionality from end to end. Your test scenario might look something like this:
Test Scenario: Login Functionality for Sofy.ai
Test Scenario ID: TS001_Login
Objective: Verify the login functionality of the Sofy.ai platform.
Description: This scenario encompasses various situations related to the login feature, such as valid login, invalid credentials, forgotten passwords, and security measures like CAPTCHAs or two-factor authentication if applicable.
Sub-Scenarios (Test Cases) to be considered:
- Login with valid credentials.
- Login with an invalid password.
- Login with an unregistered username/email.
- Attempt to log in multiple times with incorrect credentials (to test account locking or CAPTCHA introduction if present).
- Use the “Forgot Password” link or feature.
- Check for the presence and functionality of ‘Remember Me’ or ‘Stay Signed In’ options.
- Verify timeout if a user remains inactive after logging in (if applicable).
- Verify error messages and prompts for each invalid login attempt.
- Test the functionality and response time of the ‘Login’ button.
- Verify the visibility and masking of the password when typed.
Expected Outcome: The login functionality should work seamlessly, with appropriate responses for each action, ensuring user-friendliness and security.
When to Use Test Scenarios vs. Test Cases in Mobile App Testing
Test scenarios are ideal at the initial stages of the testing phase when you’re outlining what functionalities need to be tested. They’re useful for:
- Brainstorming sessions.
- Defining the scope of testing.
- Quick discussions with stakeholders about what functionalities will be covered in testing.
Test cases can be used after defining test scenarios when you need a detailed approach to test each functionality. They’re vital for:
- Precise and systematic testing.
- Ensuring every aspect of a functionality is checked.
- Reproducing tests in future, ensuring consistency.
Best Practices for Using Test Scenarios and Test Cases
- Be clear and concise: Ensure that each scenario clearly defines what’s being tested.
- Cover all functionalities: Ensure no functionality is missed. Think from an end-user’s perspective.
- Be thorough: Perform a careful assessment of all user requirements.
- Keep it simple: Create one test scenario for one user story or requirement. If a scenario has to cover multiple requirements, ensure you’ve tested each requirement in isolation beforehand.
- Prioritize scenarios: Some scenarios are more critical than others. Always prioritize based on business impact and user frequency.
- Detailed description: Each test case should have a clear description, including preconditions, steps, expected results, and post-conditions.
- Unique test case IDs: Ensure that each test case has a unique ID you can refer back to later.
- End-user requirements: Keep in mind the requirements of your end-users when creating test cases. Map your test cases to follow every path of the user journey.
- Keep it simple: Make your test steps simple, ideally between 10 and 15 steps.
- Keep it modular and resusable: A change in the app shouldn’t require rewriting multiple test cases. Design them to be modular and independent, so they can be reused when necessary.
- Regularly update: With app updates and changes, ensure test cases are revised and kept up to date.
- Use tools: Utilize tools like JIRA, TestRail, or similar platforms for organizing and executing test cases.
- Self-sufficient: Create tests that are self-sufficient and can produce the same results no matter who runs them.
While test scenarios give a broad view of what needs testing, test cases delve into the specifics of how each functionality should be tested. Using both effectively can ensure a robust testing phase for your mobile app, reducing bugs and enhancing the user experience.