Think back to when you were in school - teachers probably advised you not to rush to an answer halfway through reading the instructions and questions. This rule is very similar to that. Never assume that you know what the instructions say, even if you’ve encountered a job from the same client before - the client may have updated the instructions, their testing environment, and more.
Note: We refer to the a step as containing an action and question, and both form the step instructions.
What the rule means for you: You must carefully read both the instruction and question before you start. Don’t rush to execute, because it’s not always possible or advisable to go back in a test environment; you might bump into errors or influence the test environment the wrong way, thus distorting results.
What clients want:
- Generally, they don’t want you to rush through instructions and steps or do something other than what you were told because it disrupts the entire point of the testing process.
- Sometimes actions may differ slightly from what you see in the testing environment because companies update their software all the time, and subtle changes aren’t instantly reflected across all of the client’s test cases. Anecdotally, we know clients want testers to focus on the question asked and whether you can confirm it. i.e. Continue and leave SI letting the clients know if a visual element (buttons, field, dropdown, checkbox, etc.) has subtly changed compared to what the instructions say.
How to Apply This Rule
- Make sure you understand what you should do, and the question you are asked to confirm. Think about the instructions and the question you need to answer every step of the way.
- Only click YES if you fully understand the instructions and the question, if you followed them exactly, and if the answer to the question is YES. Otherwise, click NO. Testers are NOT allowed to skip actions where non-conditional elements mentioned/expected in the instructions are completely missing even if the expected outcomes are met. Example: You’re asked to click on the Continue button on the pop-up, but the pop-up is missing.
- If the test author asks you to remember some information for a future step, make sure to do so. You can always hover over previous step numbers and see the instructions again, and must make use of this functionality. If you weren't explicitly told to remember, and all the information needed being offered upfront in a previous step instruction that can be hovered over, you shouldn’t fail the step.
- Conditional steps: if the test author forces you to answer Yes and agree to skip more than 1 step without executing them in order to reach a later one, e.g. “Answer YES to questions 5-9 and start working from 10” (see example) you should fail these immediately. Answer No, politely explain this is against Rainforest testing rules. Note: it is fine to go from one step to the next but not for more, and certainly not for many. E.g. “You may or may not see a certain message display on this step. Click yes to continue to the next step if you do.” is fine. Note 2: It's okay to skip one step after another if both steps ask to skip.
- If the TA doesn't force you to answer YES, then you can proceed with the test. E.g. "If you don't see this message then you can skip two steps" but you see the message so you don't need to skip steps.
When to use Suggest Improvement
You may use Suggest Improvement if you have something to add that you think will help the test author write a better test or change something about their app. While we recommend the use of Suggest Improvement in certain situations, it is not required. If you choose not to use SI, follow the instruction to the best of your ability and answer Yes or No accordingly.
See our documentation on general guidelines on when to use Suggest Improvement (SI) and how to leave helpful comments. Please see Rules 2 & 3 for information on how to apply SI to situations involving quotes and pop-ups.