Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Perimeter Test: A new test idea?

We have bug bashes in our company. In every release, the tester invites other testers to test his/her feature. Fresh eyes, different experience usually helps in bringing new test ideas and bugs to the forefront. I usually participate in such bug bashes as it exposes me to different features and test ideas. It is a good opportunity to practice testing and a good break from regular testing too.

In one such testing session, I found a bug where the button was tapped even though I did not tap the button. On further investigation, I realized that the focus of the button was much more than the button area. Let me highlight the issue with the help of the following image.

On the left image, we have a problem. The button's perimeter is displayed by red color.
But when the user taps or clicks anywhere within the green rectangle, the button is still clicked.

On the right image, the focus of the button is limited to the area highlighted by red color. On tapping or clicking outside the red area, the button is not activated.

How do we usually test such buttons?
  • Clicking on the button
  • Changing the state of the button - enabled/disabled
  • Test the default state of the button
  • Combining the button action with other actions
What am I proposing?
I want to include a test to click around the button to check if the focus of the button is restricted to the button area or extends outside the button area. According to me, the name for the test idea: "The Perimeter Test".  

Why this bug is important:
a. The user might not know that the click outside the button behaves similar to click on the button.
b. It would be confusing if there is little space between adjacent buttons. The user will not know which button was clicked.
c. The trust on the application's behavior is reduced as the user is not sure of what to expect.

I would like to highlight the Perimeter Test's importance on mobile devices and areas where multiple buttons are placed close by. Try 'Inspect element' on the button and discover the area quickly. Also, the Perimeter Test might not take more time. A quick test to highlight an important bug.

I am happy to give the test idea a name and hope to come up with more such test ideas.
What do you think about 'The Perimeter Test'?

Just to confirm: This is different from "Boundary Testing technique".

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