Who Are You Testing For?

There are two kinds of users to consider when testing components: end-users and developers.

A good component test covers the concerns of each of these types of users. This guide covers examples of common problems differentiating these users and a recommendation regarding your test audience!

Developer Concerns

Developers care about the API of the component. They want to make sure that if they exercise it in a particular way, with specific props, it'll behave the way they expect it. A test written for a developer provides coverage over the component's usage and signature.

Component testing written with developers in mind heavily covers props, events, and children.

End-User Concerns

Users think the way a non-technical product owner might.

They access and interact with the site in various ways, i.e., via a browser or assistive devices such as screen readers.

Is the component supposed to tell you what's in your cart? Should you be able to enter a text value into a numerical Stepper component like it was an input? Is that Stepper component supposed to increment or decrement when you click the correct buttons?

People are often more comfortable putting on their end-user hat when writing end-to-end tests because they cannot access any application internals. We encourage you to carry over that kind of thinking when writing your component tests.

By doing so, you'll gain the same kind of coverage and benefits as you would in an end-to-end test without the penalties of speed, setup, and complexity.

Your Test Has an Audience

People often assign labels like "integration testing" or "unit testing" when testing components to try and describe differences in detail and concern that a test may have.

It may be easier, instead, to think about the audience of the test, their goals, and their motivations.

Always remember, a test exists to prove (to someone) that code works "as expected." Different user types will have different expectations.