What is Test Scenario | Purpose & How to Create it?

Learn the intricacies of creating well-structured test scenarios, improving test coverage, and uncovering critical defects. Enhance your testing expertise today with our guide to test scenarios.
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If you want your software to be top-notch, you must determine the best way to test it. One idea is to come up with some Test Scenarios. These are like little maps that tell you how to test different software parts. The goal is to catch any issues and ensure everything gets tested.

This blog will explore the test scenarios, their importance, and how to make them. By the end, you’ll be a pro at making effective test scenarios for your software projects. So, let’s begin!

What is a Test Scenario?

A test scenario is like a script that sets the stage for testing. In software testing, a test scenario defines the inputs, actions, and expected outcomes needed to validate different functionalities. By creating well-defined test scenarios, testers can systematically evaluate how an application behaves under various situations and spot potential issues before customers encounter them.

Example of a Test Scenario

Let us look at an example of a Test scenario.

1. Open the website’s login page.

2. Enter a valid username and password combination.

3. Click on the “Login” button.

4. Verify that the user is redirected to their account dashboard or a designated landing page.

5. Confirm that all relevant user information, such as name and profile picture, is displayed correctly.

6. Check if any personalized settings or preferences are applied correctly after logging in.

7. Log out of the account and return to the login page.

8. Enter an invalid username and a valid password combination.

9. Verify that an appropriate error message indicates the username is incorrect.

10. Enter a valid username and an invalid password combination.

11. Confirm that another error message indicates an incorrect password.

12. Repeat steps 8-11 with various combinations of invalid usernames and passwords to ensure consistent error handling throughout the login process.

Note: These bullet points outline a basic test scenario for testing a website’s login feature.

Features of Test Scenario

When it comes to Test Scenarios, there are several key features that you need to consider. Here are the major ones.

  • Firstly, a good test scenario should be realistic and closely simulate real-life user interactions or system behaviors. This ensures that the testing is thorough and covers all possible methods. 
  • Secondly, it should be concise and easy to understand, avoiding confusion. This helps testers execute the scenarios accurately and makes it easier for developers to fix any issues identified during testing. 
  • Thirdly, a test scenario should have clear inputs and expected outputs specified. This allows testers to validate whether the system is functioning as intended. 
  • Added to this, remember it is essential for test scenarios to be reusable so that they can be executed multiple times across different releases or builds of the software. 
  • Lastly, a well-structured test scenario consists of step-by-step instructions outlining how each action needs to be performed by the tester, making it more efficient and reducing errors during execution.

What is Scenario Testing?

Scenario testing is a software testing methodology that involves the creation of realistic scenarios or use cases that simulate real-life situations and are then executed for testing software. Scenario testing aims to identify any potential issues or defects in the software and ensure that they are fixed before the product is released to the market. This testing methodology ensures that software products are reliable, efficient, and robust enough to handle different user scenarios.

Why create Test Scenarios?

Test scenarios detail the real-world uses of a piece of software. To verify their efficacy, QAs can build test cases for specific features, user paths, and backend compatibilities based on these uses. 

But test scenarios must also be created for the following reasons:

  • A few well-structured and detailed test scenarios can help estimate and organize the effort and equipment required for a project. 
  • A quick, high-level skimming over test scenarios is a great way to verify that test coverage is adequate. If you know what situations must be tested, you have a closer idea of how many and what tests must be created to cover those situations.

How to Write Test Scenarios

Check these points to know how to write test scenarios:

  1. Firstly, get a clear understanding of the software or application being tested. Then, identify all possible user interactions with the system and the expected outcomes. 
  2. Next, break down these interactions into smaller testable actions. Document each step as a separate scenario in simple and concise language, making sure to be specific about inputs, expected outputs, and any preconditions or constraints. 
  3. It’s important to prioritize the scenarios based on their criticality and likelihood of occurrence. Add any relevant dependencies between scenarios as well. 
  4. Validate your scenarios by reviewing them with stakeholders for clarity and correctness. 
  5. Make any necessary revisions based on their feedback. 
  6. Finally, organize your scenarios into suites or groups based on functional areas or features for easier tracking during testing. 

By following the steps above, you’ll be well-equipped to write complete test scenarios covering all aspects of the software being tested effectively!

Example Test scenario – manual and automated explained

I have explained the Test Scenario for Manual and Automated Testing in the below-written example. 

Manual Test Scenario

First, we can have a look at Manual Test Scenario.

For example, to ensure a seamless payment gateway process, it is essential to create a test scenario. Below are the steps to follow: 

  1. Go to the website that has a payment gateway integration. 
  2. Create an order on the website and go to the payment gateway and enter the necessary information. 
  3. Verify that the payment amount is accurate and matches the order total. 

3. Choose a valid payment method and provide the required information. 

4. Click the “Submit” button to initiate the payment process. 

5. Confirm that the payment has been processed and that the appropriate confirmation message is displayed. 

6. Ensure that the payment transaction has been accurately recorded in the system and that the order status has been updated accordingly. 

It is essential to document any issues or errors encountered during testing and report them to the appropriate team members. Also, reviewing and approving the test plan before performing any tests is essential.

Each step in the scenario is carefully designed to test a specific aspect of the system. 

Automated Test Scenario 

I have taken the same example, the payment gateway process, for the Automation Test Scenario also. This involves testing an automated online payment system to ensure the payment process is seamless and secure. The payment gateway is the necessary link between the customer and the payment processor. 

The payment gateway should be tested for its 

  • functionality, 
  • Performance,
  • security, and 
  • resilience. 

The automation test scenario should include testing various payment methods, including credit or debit cards and UPIDs, to ensure they work correctly. It is important to ensure that every payment gateway component works flawlessly to prevent financial loss or fraud. 

Further, the automation test scenario should test the gateway’s response to errors and ensure that it provides the customer with adequate feedback.

Here is a video showing you how it is done in Testsigma.


When not to create Test Scenario?

When shouldn’t we bother creating a test scenario? 

There are a few situations when it is unnecessary or counterproductive. Let’s break it down into a neat list for clarity:

1. When the system being tested is straightforward, with no complex interactions or dependencies. In such cases, creating elaborate test scenarios would be overkill.

2. When the available resources and time constraints make it impractical to dedicate precious hours to developing detailed test scenarios. Sometimes, a quick ad hoc testing approach may suffice in these situations.

3. When the risk associated with the functionality being tested is low or negligible. If there are no major consequences of failure, investing significant effort in creating specific test scenarios may not be worth it.

4. In cases where exploratory testing is more appropriate than setting predetermined scenarios. This method allows testers to uncover unexpected issues that might not have been identified through predefined tests.

Advantages

Let me share with you some major advantages:

1. Complete coverage: Test scenarios help ensure that all possible combinations and variations of inputs, actions, and conditions are tested. This helps achieve thorough test coverage and increases the chances of identifying potential defects or issues.

2. Reproducibility: Test scenarios provide a clear set of steps and expected outcomes. It makes it easier to reproduce and validate test results. This allows for better collaboration among team members and facilitates efficient debugging and issue resolution.

3. Documentation: Documenting test scenarios makes it easier to track the progress of testing activities and ensure that all requirements have been adequately addressed. This helps maintain accountability throughout the testing process.

4. Reusability: Well-defined test scenarios can be reused across different projects or iterations, saving time and effort in creating new tests from scratch. This promotes efficiency in testing efforts and allows for consistent validation of system functionality.

5. Risk identification: By identifying potential risks early on, teams can proactively address them, minimizing the chances of project delays or failures.

When to Use Test Scenarios, Cases, and Scripts?

Test scenarios, test cases, and test scripts are all essential components of the software testing process. Each serves a specific purpose and is used at different stages of testing. 

When Test cases/test scenarios are automated they become test scripts.

Here’s when you should use each:

1. Test Scenarios:

  • When designing test cases becomes too time-consuming or complex.
  • When there is a need to cover multiple test cases with a single scenario.
  • When there is a need to validate the end-to-end functionality of a system.
  • When testing involves complex business processes or workflows.
  • When there is a need to simulate real-world scenarios and user interactions.

2. Test Cases:

  • When developing a new software application or feature, test cases can be used to ensure that the desired functionality is implemented correctly.
  • Test cases are helpful when making changes or updates to an existing software system, as they help identify any potential issues or bugs introduced during the process.
  • Test cases are essential when conducting regression testing, which involves retesting previously tested functionalities to ensure they still work as expected after modifications or updates.
  • Test cases are valuable in verifying software compatibility across different platforms, operating systems, or devices.
  • When multiple team members are working on a project, test cases provide a standardized approach to testing and help ensure consistent quality across the development process.
  • Test cases can be used to validate the performance and scalability of a software application under different load conditions.
  • When integrating different components or modules within a system, test cases help verify that the integration is successful and does not introduce any issues.
  • Test cases are necessary when troubleshooting and debugging software problems, as they provide a systematic.

3. Test Scripts:

  • When conducting repetitive or routine tests that require the same steps to be executed repeatedly.
  • When there is a need for precise and accurate test execution, ensuring consistency in results.
  • When multiple team members are involved in the testing process, allowing for better collaboration and understanding of test cases.
  • When required to automate certain parts of the testing process, saving time and effort.
  • When conducting regression testing
  • When dealing with complex scenarios involving multiple test cases and dependencies, managing and executing them systematically is easier.

Best Practices

Here are the best practices to follow while creating test scenarios:

1. Understand the requirements: Understanding the project requirements clearly before creating test scenarios is crucial. This includes functional and non-functional requirements and any specific user expectations. You can create relevant and practical test scenarios by thoroughly understanding what needs to be tested.

2. Identify different test types: Various types of tests can be performed, such as functional testing, performance testing, security testing, etc. Identifying the appropriate test types based on the project requirements is essential. Each test type may require different scenarios to cover all aspects adequately.

3. Prioritize critical functionalities: Not all functionalities are equally important in a system. Prioritizing required functionalities that significantly impact the overall system behavior or user experience is essential. Focus on creating test scenarios that cover these necessary functionalities thoroughly.

4. Use boundary value analysis: Boundary value analysis is an effective technique for identifying potential issues at the boundaries of input ranges or limits within a system.

The Role of Real Devices in Test Scenarios

Using real devices in testing scenarios is of utmost significance for assuring the software application’s precision and dependability. Real devices provide a practical setting for testing, enabling developers to identify any prospective concerns or glitches that may manifest when the application is utilized on different devices. 

By conducting tests on real devices, developers can also assess the performance and compatibility of their applications across diverse platforms, screen sizes, and operating systems. This, in turn, facilitates the delivery of an uninterrupted user experience and ensures that the application performs optimally in practical conditions.

Some tools let you connect to cloud labs with real devices if you automate your tests. And make it easy to execute your tests on them.

Testsigma is a tool that lets you automate your tests in simple English and execute them on cloud device labs containing 3000+ real devices and browsers.


Conclusion

In conclusion, scenario testing is essential for assessing risks and uncertainties in complex systems. Further research and refinement of scenario testing methodologies will be necessary to realize the potential of this approach entirely.

Frequently Asked Questions