Visualizing Coverage of Tests


During my adventures into QA, I’ve gained a lot of appreciation for visuals. Mainly because when data is put into a visual display, it tends to provide a very different perspective and outcomes than when it’s a simple matter of data.

As a result would highly advise finding an easy way to represent your test coverage into visuals. Something that works if you’re using Atlassian’s Confluence are macros. A few steps to start you off:

  1. Use a table excerpt macro on a table
  2. Use a table excerpt include macro, with a pivot table on top to get a filtered table version
  3. Use a chart from table macro on top of the content in step 2, which converts that into a chart of your preference.

What you get as a final product is basically a single table you modify to describe your test coverage, and in addition you get an auto-updated chart displaying a nice visual of it. This way you only edit data in one place, but have it shown in different formats.

Regardless of the tools you’re using though, visualising the coverage provides many benefits:

  • Finding critical areas which aren’t covered well (if at all) with tests;
  • Finding areas which are quite saturated and no longer need your attention (at this time);
  • Giving your team members an easy-to-read way of your test coverage, plus shows your work as the coverage increases;
  • Provides good factual reason for solving issues with tools and the product if they are in some way blocking the increase of coverage in some areas.

Look at it this way - if someone tells you they have 800 UI tests, that sounds like a big number. But the coverage visualisation can show they’re all covering one area of the product, while all other areas are fully exposed and do not have any coverage at all.

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