This article will explain how to approach common human-computer interactions when testing (e.g. adjusting browser size, searching for results, etc). Remember, this article is a supplement to our rules, not a replacement. If you need a refresher on our official testing rules, check them out here:
Education, terms and more
We have a glossary of testing terms, the vocabulary used by clients and Rainforest to describe interfaces, and more. You can check it out here.
Common Computer Interactions & RF Testing
There are many common computer interactions that we may not specifically cover in our testing rules but are still important for you to understand within the context of Rainforest testing. Below we’ve compiled a few of these interactions that you’ll likely come across when completing jobs.
The Rainforest VMs that you use a US English QWERTY keyboard layout when testing. Failure to use the proper keyboard layout may result in difficulty typing certain characters or following step instructions, which may result in your work being rejected. You should use a US English QWERTY keyboard layout to avoid issues when typing special characters. Instructions for how to change your keyboard layout on various operating systems can be found below.
For reference, a US English QWERTY keyboard layout looks like the following:
Make sure to select English > U.S.
Make sure to select English > US
Zooming & Adjusting Browser Size
Sometimes you might need to zoom in/out or adjust your browser size within the VM in order to see the information on your screen. That’s completely okay! Please zoom in/out or adjust the size of your browser as needed, even if it’s not specifically mentioned in the test instructions.
Resizing the VM
You can now shrink your browser window, and see the VM resize along with it. This is there to help you if the computer you’re working from has a smaller resolution than the browser you’re supposed to test.
What we used to have
It used to be that the terminal would stretch too far out, causing you to lose sight of what was happening around the outer edges. That wasn’t great for anyone.
What we’ve improved
You can now shrink your browser window to see the VM adjust, and if your browser window is bigger than the size of the VM, it will simply center the screen. This applies to desktop and mobile VMs, but not real devices.
We hope you find this update helpful! Should you experience any issues, please let us know via the “Get Help” page of your portal profile using the category “Other”
Testers can restart jobs to fetch a new VM if there’s an issue with the assigned machine. Testers should not restart jobs if they completed actions that affect the second attempt. For restarted jobs, testers are assigned the same variables again.
As an example, if you created an account or any element with a random name, you’ll be assigned the same name again causing the second attempt to fail. In these cases, you should abandon the job if your previous actions affect your second attempt after restarting.
Sort & Filter Operations
While these two operations may seem the same at first glance, they are very different. Sorting search results simply re-ranks the listed items according to the attribute you’ve selected (e.g. lowest to highest price or customer rating). Same search results, different order. Filtering results, however, reduces the number of results displayed, narrowed down by the attribute(s) you’ve selected.
Using Various Search Functions
There are a few different ways to search through a page for information. Please keep in mind that if a client has specified one of the ways below, you must use that specific method to search.
There are a few different ways you could interact with a search bar, depending on how it has been designed. Since it’s not possible to know how every search bar was designed, if the instructions do not say, please do whatever you feel reasonable in order to successfully interact with the search bar. A few different ways you may see:
- There is a “search” button next to the field where you type what you’re looking for, and you must hit this in order to search for the results.
- Hitting “enter” on your keyboard will enable the search.
- Once you’ve finished typing, the applicable results appear, even if you didn’t have to hit “enter” of there was no button to press.
- Clicking your mouse after you’re done typing will enable the search.
If the client has asked you to locate something on the page, you are able to search using the ctrl+f option, unless the instructions specifically ask you to use another method such as scrolling through the page or using the search bar.
- Hold the ctrl button on your keyboard
- Type “f” on your keyboard
- Type the words you’re looking for within the search bar
- Hold the command button on your keyboard
- Type “f” on your keyboard
- Type the words you’re looking for within the search bar
Scrolling to find info you need
Manually Type vs. Copy Paste
When the test author specifically instructs testers to "type” something (or “start typing” something) testers should manually enter this information as instructed, because the test author may not want the tester to use copy+paste in this instance. You should NOT use the copy paste function if you are told to type. But if a client has used special click-to-copy function in a step you can use click-to-copy even with the word "type". Testers may use copy+paste if the instructions do not specify how details are to be entered.
- Action: "Start typing address 1243 Menlo Park Drive and select the right entry from the dropdown" Question: Did the address appear correctly? - For this, you'll need to actually type (not copy) several numbers from the address for the field to show you a dropdown of options. You will not see anything if you only enter '1'.
- This is how click-to-copy looks. Here you can click on "Rainforest" which put the text into VM clipboard and press Control-V inside terminal to paste the text.
Note: This does not apply when the QUESTION specifically asks you if you were able to type. An example would be if you see something like, “Were you able to type the password into the field?” then you should type.
The default state of online forms varies and is sometimes unpredictable. If instructions say to check/select/click on a box, but the box is already selected, continue with the test without changing the state of the box (i.e. assume that the test author wants the box to be checked before moving on with the test flow). Leave a note to the test author via "suggest improvement", choose "The action you want me to do is not fully described", and add a comment like the following: "The box was already checked so I didn't uncheck it. It will be very helpful if you could clarify if this should be on or off”
However, if the instructions specifically mention something like "select or check a checkbox (whether it's already checked or not)", then follow the instructions and change the state of the box. Apply the same rule if the instructions tell you to uncheck/unselect a box, but it is already unchecked/unselected.
Screenshots in Instructions
Sometimes customers will include a screenshot in their instructions, and they might ask you to compare the screenshot to what you see in the application itself. If the author asks "does the page look like the screenshot" or along those words (similar to screenshot, screenshot as guide, etc.), the page does not have to match exactly unless specified. Customers should be specific when they want exact items to match, otherwise we can only consider it more of a guide.
Please keep in mind that Rainforest Test Language tests will show screenshots at almost every step. There will be no instructions on to only use the screenshot as reference. If you notice this, continue to use the screenshots only for reference. Check out the Rainforest Test Language FAQ to learn more.
Unrelated to the screenshots that may be included in the instructions, you are often prompted to take a screenshot of the VM by using the "Take Screenshot" button before proceeding to the next step. Testers may click on Take Screenshot as soon as the page fully loads or if there is a pop-up from the client’s site/app even with the loading icon and redirection URL (see popup/authentication examples below). If you see the app.rainforestqa.com URL and the page hasn’t loaded at all for 4 minutes, you should abandon the job.
Otherwise, they should wait 4 minutes. If after 4 minutes and the page is still loading, testers are allowed to take screenshot and then:
Report if after waiting for 4 minutes or more if it’s clear that the step can’t be followed or expects a fully/completely/successfully loaded page.
Proceed (begin performing action) if after waiting 4 minutes or more if the step instruction CAN be followed. Please use SI to report visual issues that are unrelated to the step instruction.
Authentication popup from a client’s site — take a screenshot to proceed to the next step to find instructions to access the site.
Popup to access a client’s application — take a screenshot to find instructions on how to proceed.
Click here before you press take screenshot
There are some cases where you may navigate to a page and see a link stating to "Click here before you press take screenshot." Please follow the instruction and click the link in the browser before taking the screenshot.
Refreshing the page
A browser refresh during testing is not allowed and would be considered an additional action to bypass a bug. However, there are a few exceptions to this:
- The instructions allow you to refresh. In these cases, you can refresh to reach the expected result.
- Waiting for an email/SMS message to arrive. This is a common case where you may need to wait and refresh to see a message arrive.
You can copy and paste the details for username and password into the fields as long as the instructions don’t specify to type.
Whether you type or do copy + paste, always do your best to ensure that the details are entered in correctly to the appropriate field. You must use the feature that allows you to check that the password was entered correctly before moving forward (such as an eye icon) if it's available or your work will be rejected in case of login failures due to incorrect details.
Please keep in mind that if there is an error during login (incorrect details, account not found, etc) you are not allowed to retry logging in.
Captcha is a program or system intended to distinguish human from machine input, typically as a way of thwarting spam and automated extraction of data from websites. Captchas, especially those you will find via Google properties, are not something that the client can control. You must follow the instructions outlined in the Captcha in order to proceed with testing. The test author cannot tell you how to fill it out, you must do it yourself.
Here are some examples of captcha you may encounter:
Email, social and sharing links
A list of icons similar to this is typically used for sharing content onto your social media page. Simply click the icon for the appropriate social media platform and click the “share” button. Please remember that you should not enter any personal data when completing jobs for Rainforest! If the instructions ask to test sharing they should provide details.
The picture above describes some of the most popular social sharing networks in the USA that you should know:
- Google Plus
If a mobile VM launches and the customer's app is not open at the first step, you should take the necessary steps to open the app even if the instructions don't specify to do so. You should do this if the first step clearly expects you to have the mobile app open.