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When creating a website it's easy to focus on planning, designing and developing and leave testing to be the final step before handing the website over to the client, asking them to review it. This process makes the fatal assumption that our final testing is thorough enough and also that the client knows how to test their website after the handover, which may not always be the case.

In this blog post, I’m writing about one of the approaches that we take here at Nudge to help clients review their website and to ensure it has been thoroughly tested. This process involves creating a test script at the start of the project, adding to it during the project and then providing it to the client during the site handover.

What is a test script?

A test script is a document that lists all the different functionality in a website; the steps for the tester to review each piece of functionality; the expected result of the testing; and any additional notes. A common format of a test script is a spreadsheet where each row defines a test case that can be performed in isolation and each column defines a specification for this test case - as seen in the image below:

Test script example

The two columns that every test script should have are the “Expected Result” and the “Procedure”, which describe what the tester is expecting to see (in the “Expected Result”) after following the steps detailed in the “Procedure”.

A simple example of a test case:

Expected Result: The manager can login to the CMS

Procedure:

  1. The user navigates to /user,
  2. The user fills in the login form with correct details,
  3. The user clicks on “Log In”.

Often these test cases are based on the user stories that we define at the start of the project.

The benefits of using a test script

Some of the benefits of using a test script are:

  • The client understands which steps they need to follow to test each piece of functionality on the site, which decreases the time required for training and the time to receive feedback from the client
  • The client gets to see the level of detail used to create the website and gets a better understanding of how much work is put in each piece of functionality
  • Details that could get missed during development testing are brought to light with the test script, which a developer can work on before the handover to the client
  • The test script gives an opportunity to thoroughly test the user experience, which can identify areas for future improvements

Conclusion

There is always room for improving our practices as a digital agency and sometimes this improvement might come from more thorough testing procedures. Creating a test script takes extra time, but the benefits are that you end up with a product containing fewer bugs and a happier client.

Feel free to give us your feedback in the comments below or to suggest other testing procedures that improved your practice!

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