How Role-Playing Games Can Save Your App

It’s easy to get swept up in role-playing video games. Who can resist the temptation to be anyone you want in a fictional world filled with unending excitement? The problem is, you inevitably end up wondering whether you’re involved in a cutting edge virtual reality or something more akin to those speaking Old English at a Renaissance fair. You never really know, so it’s best not to brag too much at work about your adventures the night before.

However, there is one area where role-playing games are certain to win you points in your career. Creating scenarios in order to perform load tests is a major aspect of both deploying and improving Web applications.

Last week, I posted 9 tips on preparing your app for load testing. This week I wanted to focus on scenario building with LoadUIWeb, our free load testing tool.

How to Record Scenarios with LoadUIWeb

The first thing to do is to determine what roles you will define for use in your test.  A role is equivalent to a certain type of user that will visit the tested website, and the steps they will take while visiting.

If the tested site is a retail site, for example, you might have the following roles:

  • Browse and leave
  • Browse, add something to the cart and checkout

If your tested site is a restaurant site, your roles might look something like this.

  • Browse menu and find directions
  • Look at hours of operation and make a reservation

It’s best to choose at least three of the most common pathways through your site, and add a few uncommon routes as well.

Next, you need to break these roles down by percentage of traffic. A typical retail site may have 95% of users browsing and leaving, and 5% (or less!) actually making a purchase.

role_percentage

The combination of these two roles, or scenarios, will represent actual site traffic.

After each scenario is recorded, you need to verify it individually. This involves running a single virtual user for a single pass through the scenario. This step should never be forgotten! 

Now you’re ready to start testing, which I’ll blog about next week. By recording scenarios that imitate actual user traffic, you’re setting the stage to greatly improve customer experience and, if you’re into ecommerce, get that percentage of purchases above 5%!

Photo source: cognoscenti.wbur.org/

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