How User Story Testing Can Boost Your Confidence in Your Product’s Quality

March 18, 2021
Michael Ebako-Hodgson
Michael Ebako-Hodgson

If you’re reading this blog, you’re likely already familiar with exploratory testing and the unique freedoms it offers to testers. Because of this freedom, testers can go down paths that they deem important and report any bugs they find along the way. But what about the things that go right? That’s where user story testing comes in. 

What is a User Story?

Before we get into what user story testing is, we need to define a user story.

A user story is a one-or-two-line description of a requirement that a functionality or feature must have, written from the perspective of the end user.

To be most effective, a user story should:

  • Be written using goal-oriented language, not step-oriented
  • Be written from a user perspective
  • Define one objective pass/fail criteria
  • Be small enough in scope that it can be executed in a minute or two

Examples include:

  • A user can add a product to the cart
  • A user can delete a product placed in the cart
  • A user can change the quantity of an item after it is added to the cart

Of course, the format and style of user stories differ from team to team and product to product. However, user stories should always be easy to understand. They should be written as if they were to explain functionality to an actual user or customer, making it all the more important to be clear and concise in your writing.

What is User Story Testing?

Once a user story has been written and it makes sense to all those involved, it’s time for testing.

In the case of exploratory testing, testers are already planning on trying every part of your product. What makes user story testing different is that testers cannot only report what bugs they find but also what’s working as it should. As they try new features on your product, they can report when something works like they would expect to it—or even better than they would have thought. This allows you to see the whole picture of the quality of your product, bolstering your confidence in your software’s release readiness without having to constantly rewrite test cases.

User story testing is all about knowing your users overall experience in the real world. To do that, all you have to do is ask the crowd. By sharing your user stories with the crowd, they can easily share whether or not their experience matched your expectations.

User Story Testing and the Crowd

Crowdtesting is an effective way for you to expand test coverage and ensure release quality by finding bugs before they can reach potential users. These findings come in the form of bug reports that include details such as the steps to reproduce a bug, the URL of where the bug was found, the expected versus actual result, and a screencast of the interaction. While our bug reports are comprehensive and full of beneficial information, our customers still ask:

  • How do I know testers tested every part of my product?
  • How do I know what parts of my product did work?

These concerns are good ones to have if you want to ensure that your product is ready to be released to the market. And yet, if you’re just looking at your standard bug report, you won’t find answers to these questions. While you will find key information like exactly where and when a bug occurs, you can’t be sure that everything is working as intended… which might drive you to test everything yourself, defeating the purpose of using the crowd. By leveraging user story testing, you can be sure that everything was tested to your liking, allowing you to sit back and let the testers handle the rest. When the standard exploratory results are in, you’ll get your user stories and the positive (or negative) confirmation feedback alongside it.

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