How much detail should be present in a test step

All Rainforest test steps are written in action-question format. But this doesn’t mean that all the test steps need to be ultra-specific and granular; there is room to write steps as broad or as specific as you feel appropriate for the test case.

One of the key benefits of Rainforest is that a valid test case can be as broad as:

Action: "Fill in the form with some information to sign up"
Question: "Were you able to sign up?"

or as specific as:

Action: "Enter '#{{}}' in the first name field, and enter '#{{}}' in the last name field. Now click on the blue 'Sign Up' button located below the form."
Question: "Were you able to sign up successfully using '#{{}} #{{}}'?"

Whether your test case is just a single step or has 15+ steps, you have control over the level and amount of detail you want to communicate to the tester!

If there is a significant discrepancy between the actions that a tester is supposed to perform and what the question asks them to verify, the testers will fail this test. For example, if the instructions ask a tester to look for a button labeled “Create Account” but which displays as a "Sign Up" button and the tester is asked whether they see a "Create Account" button on the webpage, the tester will fail that step.

For consistent results, avoid ambiguous steps so that each step can be immediately associated with success or failure by the testers. This takes the burden of interpretation off the testers while providing crystal clear answers about whether your process worked.

With this approach to writing tests, you have control over the performance of the testers, whether or not they’re familiar with your product or feature being tested. By distilling a test case down to the essential actions required to complete a process, and tracking success and failure along the way, the action-question method of test writing helps pinpoint bugs quickly and precisely.

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