top of page

5 Test Case Design Techniques I Use To Write Smarter Test Cases

Updated: Mar 23, 2022

Test case design techniques
Test case design techniques

Importance Of Test Design Phase

I see software testing as a four-phased activity that runs across the application development. Even with the Agile development methodology, we can implement testing in these four phases, these are -

  1. Test Planning,

  2. Test Design,

  3. Test Execution & Reporting, and

  4. Defect Management.

I have seen that out of all the software life-cycle development phases, software teams give the least importance to the ‘test design’ phase. In spite of the fact that this phase is the most critical for the quality of the software applications, teams struggle to give this phase its due attention. The importance of this phase can be understood as this phase lays the foundation of the testing and ensures the testing journey remains effective, consistent, and repeatable. Even in the Agile software development methodology where the ask is to complete the testing within the sprint, the importance of test planning and designing can not be undermined. As we all know that exhaustive testing is not possible, a properly planned test design phase will ensure maximum testing coverage with minimum test conditions and efforts.

Why use Test Case Design Techniques?

The intention of the ‘test design’ phase is to produce test scenarios and executable test cases that provide testing coverage and creates maximum chances to find defects when executed in the ‘test execution’ phase. Hence, it is imperative that the test cases are well-designed, easy to understand, and most importantly, provide 100% functional coverage so that defects are not leaked to higher environments. This is why rather than creating test cases at random, I use the test case design techniques to create and review test cases. It provides a methodological way to approach test case creation. A randomly designed test case suite will lack quality and coverage, which will lead to defect leakage. The best practice to avoid this situation is to have a dedicated test designing phase where test scenarios and test cases are prepared in advance by implementing test designing techniques.

For agile projects, this phase could be of very short duration, maybe lasting only for a few hours to days. Along with better-designed test cases, having a dedicated test design phase will also ensure the test execution phase can be planned more accurately in terms of the effort it will take for executing these test cases.

Don't just write test cases, design them for 100% coverage using proven techniques.

Learn - Difference between Test Scenarios & Test Cases

Five Test Case Design Techniques

Following are the important test case design techniques. Software testers should use these techniques judiciously and apply their understanding of which technique suits the scenario he/she is testing.