Below are the rules and guidelines all testers are trained to follow. This information is helpful to keep in mind when writing test cases. 

Tester Rules

Rule 1 of 3: Pay close attention to the whole step

Carefully read both the instruction and question before you start! Make sure you understand what you should do, and the question you are asked to confirm.

Think about the instructions and the question you need to answer during every part of the testing process.

Only click YES if you fully understand the instructions and the question, if you followed them exactly, and if the answer to the question is YES. Otherwise, click NO.

  • Do not test things that are not included in the instructions
  • If you do not understand the instruction, or you are not sure if you are doing the right thing, click NO.
  • If you DO understand the instruction, but you think it could be better, you must still click YES or NO, but you can help us out by making a suggestion to improve it.

Example 1:

  • You are asked to Click on the edit button. There are no quotes in the instruction.
  • You see a button with a pencil icon. That is OK. Click YES.

Example 2:

  • The instructions say Download the contacts information
  • You must click a blue button that says Download Contacts, then click an OK button, but the test does not give you these instructions step-by-step.
  • You understand the instruction, so you click the button and it works. You must click YES. BUT you can click 'Suggest improvement' and click: The action you want me to do is not fully described
  • Leave a comment explaining what steps you must perform in order to complete the task.

RULE 2 of 3: Match text in quotes

Match text WITHIN quotes exactly. If you see any difference in spelling, words, or punctuation within the quotes, you must click NO and leave a note explaining the problem.

You do not need to click NO if there are only capitalization differences but the text is the same.

If the text in quotes matches, but you see a difference outside the quotes, do NOT click NO. Customers understand that you are trained to ONLY match exact text inside the quotes.

Example 1:

  • A step says Do you see an "Add" button?
  • You see a button on the website that says Add...
  • You must click YES because the text in quotes matches the text on the button exactly.
  • ... does not match, but it is outside the quotes.

Example 2:

  • A test step says Do you see a page that says "Welcome!"
  • You see a page on the website that says Welcome. You do not see !
  • You must click NO. The ! is inside the quotes and the text on the page does not match exactly.

If you see _ in the instructions, this is a placeholder for what you will see on the test. The _ placeholder can be used for an unlimited amount of letters, words, numbers, special characters, etc.

Example 1:

  • The question asks Do you see a message that says "Results (_)"
  • You see Results (15). You must click YES.

Example 2:

  • The question asks Do you see a message that says "Congratulations, You have won _!"
  • You see "Congratulations, You have won a trip to Hawaii!". You must click YES.

Example 3:

  • The question asks Do you see a message that says "Congratulations, You have won _!"
  • You see "Congratulations, You have won a trip to Hawaii". You do not see an !. You must click NO. ! is inside the quotes and the page text does not match exactly.

Rule 3 of 3: Rules for Pop-Ups

Pop-up definition: anything that suddenly appears (text and/or window) and you don’t need to hover over it in order to see it.

You should classify each pop-up you see into one of the 3 groups below and follow the instructions based on the relevant group that the pop-up belongs to:

  1. Pop-ups which indicate there is a bug
  2. Pop-ups which don’t indicate a bug
  3. Pop-ups which may indicate a bug, but you aren't sure if this is the case

Here is what you should do in each situation:

1. Pop-up which indicates a Bug - This is a pop-up that includes an ERROR/ WARNING/ CRASH notification. Basically, it indicates that something went wrong or something is about to go wrong.

  • Always fail a test by reporting No when you encounter an ERROR/ WARNING/ CRASH notification.
  • If the test author instructed you to ignore a specific type of ERROR/ WARNING/ CRASH pop-up, then you should follow the test author’s instructions and ignore only this specific pop-up. That being said, make sure to report all other ERROR/ WARNING/ CRASH pop-ups that weren’t mentioned by the test author.

2. Pop-up which doesn't indicate a bug - this pop-up indicates an expected system/browser/application behavior. for example - a side chat-box, marketing ad, standard browser question such as “do you want to save this password?”, “do you want to run this file?”, etc.

  • Ignore these pop-ups. If they don't disappear and interfere with the flow of the test - take the necessary action to close them and move on with your test.

3. Pop-ups which may indicate a bug, but you aren't sure if this is the case -

  • If the pop-up doesn’t fall into one of the two other categories (i.e. it’s not an ERROR/ WARNING/ CRASH pop-up, and it’s not an expected behavior by the system/browser/application), and you think that there is a slight chance that this pop-up may indicate a bug - then take the most reasonable action to close it, notify the user that you closed it via the “Suggest Improvement” option (click "Suggest Improvement" and choose "There was an unexpected popup in this step" category) and move on with your test.
  • If the test author instructed you to ignore/close a specific type of pop-up, then you should follow the instructions and ignore/close it without mentioning it in the "Suggest Improvement”.

Example 1:

  • You are testing and you see a pop-up asking, “Do you want to subscribe to weekly email updates?”. There are no instructions to ignore pop-ups. You should ignore the pop-up and move on with your test. If needed, close it, and move on with your test.

Example 2:

  • One of the steps in the instruction includes a screenshot of an error pop-up that might show up and the test author asks you to close this pop-up if you see this pop-up shows up during the test -> If you see this pop-up you should follow the test author’s instructions - close the pop-up (even though it includes an error message), and move on with your test.

For further details about how testers will handle pop-ups that appear during testing, please see our documentation on how to test with pop-ups.


If you have any questions about the rules testers are supposed to follow, please let our team know at support@rainforestqa.com!

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