Presentation deals with the testing of test the layout of input (screens) and output (lists, reports).

This coverage type can be used with testdesign "Syntactic Test".

Layout rules may be established in various documents, but are usually described in:

  • Style guides, which often contain guidelines or rules for the whole organisation, concerning matters such as use of colour, fonts, screen layout, etc.
  • Specifications for the layout of the relevant list or screen.

With the presentation test a checklist may be used in which the checks are described that apply to each layout check. The checklist may describe in general terms the type of check that should be carried out on a particular screen.

Layout check may include:

  • Headers / Footers
    • Are the standards being met in this regard? For example, it may be defined that the following information must be present:
      • Screen name or list name.
      • System date or print date.
      • Version number.
  • Attributes
    • Per attribute, specific formatting requirements are defined. For example:
      • Name of the attribute.
      • Position of the attribute on the screen or overview.
      • Reproduction of the attribute, such as font, colour, etc.
  • Other screen objects
    • If necessary, such checks as are carried out on “Attributes” can be applied to other screen objects, such as:
      • Push buttons.
      • Drop-down lists.
      • Graphical objects (embeded movies etc.).

During the test execution, the tester should keep the relevant system documentation to hand for the exact details of the checks. This method has the added advantage that with changes in the system documentation, the test specifications do not require to be changed.

If there is a large number of attributes and screens, there is a risk of the number of checks to be carried out becoming too high. In addition, the severity of the defects that are generally found with the syntactic test is quite low. It can therefore be useful to restrict the testing effort by prioritising:

  • Determine all the screens that are to be tested and sort them according to priority.
  • Determine all the checks that have to be applied to the screens and sort them according to priority.
  • First, carry out the tests with the highest-priority checks and screens. Depending on the number and severity of the found defects, it can be decided whether to continue with lower-priority tests.

Such a mechanism at once offers excellent possibilities for managing the test and for reporting on progress, coverage and risks.