Test case design techniques to ensure high-quality software

By 17th August 2018 December 4th, 2018 Testing

A good test case design technique is crucial to improving the quality of the software testing process.  This helps to improve the overall quality and effectiveness of the released software. Following are the test case design techniques to ensure high-quality of the released software.

Test case design techniques

The main purpose of test case design techniques is to test the functionalities and features of the software with the help of effective test cases. The test case design techniques are broadly classified into three major categories.

1.    Specification-Based techniques

2.    Structure-Based techniques

3.    Experience-Based techniques

Specification-Based or Black-Box techniques

This technique leverages the external description of the software such as technical specifications, design, and client’s requirements to design test cases. The technique enables testers to develop test cases that provide full test coverage. The Specification-based or black box test case design techniques are divided further into 5 categories. These categories are as follows:

Boundary Value Analysis (BVA)

This technique is applied to explore errors at the boundary of the input domain. It catches any input errors that might interrupt with the proper functioning of the program.

Equivalence Partitioning (EP)

In this technique, the test input data is partitioned into a number of classes having an equivalent number of data. The test cases are then designed for each class or partition.  This helps to reduce the number of test cases.

Decision Table Testing

In this technique, test cases are designed on the basis of the decision tables that are formulated using different combinations of inputs and their corresponding outputs based on various conditions and scenarios adhering to different business rules.

State Transition Diagrams

In this technique, the software under test is perceived as a system having a finite number of states of different types. The transition from one state to another is guided by a set of rules. The rules define the response to different inputs. This technique can be implemented on the systems which have certain workflows within them.

Use Case Testing

A use case is a description of a particular use of the software by a user. In this technique, the test cases are designed to execute different business scenarios and end-user functionalities.  Use case testing helps to identify test cases that cover the entire system.

Test Case Design Techniques

Structure-Based or White-Box techniques

The structure-based or white-box technique design test cases based on the internal structure of the software.  This technique exhaustively tests the developed code. Developers who have complete information of the software code, its internal structure, and design help to design the test cases. This technique is further divided into five categories.

Statement Testing & Coverage

This technique involves execution of all the executable statements in the source code at least once.  The percentage of the executable statements is calculated as per the given requirement. This is the least preferred metric for checking test coverage.

Decision Testing Coverage

This technique is also known as branch coverage is a testing method in which each one of the possible branches from each decision point is executed at least once to ensure all reachable code is executed.  This helps to validate all the branches in the code. This helps to ensure that no branch leads to unexpected behavior of the application.

Condition Testing

Condition testing also is known as Predicate coverage testing, each Boolean expression is predicted as TRUE or FALSE.  All the testing outcomes are at least tested once.  This type of testing involves 100% coverage of the code.  The test cases are designed as such that the condition outcomes are easily executed.

Multiple Condition Testing

The purpose of Multiple condition testing is to test the different combination of conditions to get 100% coverage.  To ensure complete coverage, two or more test scripts are required which requires more efforts.

All Path Testing

In this technique, the source code of a program is leveraged to find every executable path. This helps to determine all the faults within a particular code.

Experience-Based techniques

These techniques are highly dependent on tester’s experience to understand the most important areas of the software.  The outcomes of these techniques are based on the skills, knowledge, and expertise of the people involved. The types of experience-based techniques are as follows:

Error Guessing

In this technique, the testers anticipate errors based on their experience, availability of data and their knowledge of product failure.  Error guessing is dependent on the skills, intuition, and experience of the testers.

Exploratory Testing

This technique is used to test the application without any formal documentation.  There is minimum time available for testing and maximum for test execution.  In this, the test design and test execution are performed concurrently.


The successful application of test case design techniques will render test cases that ensure the success of software testing.

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