What are some heuristics to generate test scenarios to test a web application.

I don't understand how test scenarios are different from test cases or how to use heuristics to generate them.

  • 1
    I've updated the question to be more clear about what your intention seems to be: if I misread you, feel free to edit the question to what it should be.
    – Kate Paulk
    Dec 28, 2015 at 12:53

1 Answer 1


Here's how I look at test scenarios and test cases.

  • Test Case - small, self-contained, tests precisely one thing (the thing can be a system action such as "log on with correct credentials" and may or may not have a number of implicit requirements, prerequisites, or steps)
  • Test Scenario - sequence of related test cases performing an end-to-end test of a system function. An example using the log on test case above could be:
    • Log on with correct credentials (user has sysadmin rights)
    • Go to user management module (implicit requirement: this test case will fail if the sysadmin rights are not applied to the user)
    • Add new user X with predefined user profile Y (implicit requirements: the profile for the new user has been defined as part of system setup)
    • Log off.
    • Log on as user X.
    • Verify the list of available modules matches the expect list of available modules.
    • Log off.

My heuristics for generating test scenarios are pretty basic: I look at user patterns, common end-to-end tasks, and so forth. From that and the possible configuration options, I can generate an endless list of potential test scenarios.

Some examples of the heuristics I use:

  • Common tasks for each available privilege level
  • Common tasks for each common configuration set
  • Reported bug clusters
  • Implicit requirements/prerequisites (i.e. in order to do X, I need to have done Y)
  • User patterns (e.g. power users work almost entirely through keyboard shortcuts, so generate scenarios where all the navigation and functionality is triggered by keyboard shortcuts)

I don't need anything more complex than this because these kinds of heuristics will generate complex scenarios once I start using different combinations of possible options.

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