How Test Reports Work

An official test report can be composed of up to twelve, but normally six or seven, separate sections, all of them with the purpose of conveying an accurate, concise, and clear report of the trials and tests conducted. The first section is the most obvious: the name of the product and other general information, such as the identification number associated with the subject. Following this, there will most likely be a section dating the period over which the tests were performed. The next section is also pretty simple; it describes the type of test that was conducted, such as a performance test.

There are also more complex sections, such as the pass/fail section or the observations and comments portion. The pass/fail section would not only entail a report of how many of the performed trials were passed or failed but also a definition of a passed or failed test. As for the observations and comments portion, these would both be needed to further support the results and analyze the overall success (or failure) of the product. These two sections of the report are integral when it comes to summarizing the trials in the final conclusion section of the test report.

When concerning data is produced from the test reports (for example, if there were more recorded failed tests than passed ones), this is an indication that the design or making of the product is defective. In this case, a test report allows you to clearly see what issues there are with the product; the observations and comments made, in turn, permit a quick analysis of what should be changed.

Example of Test Report

You have finally, after many failed prototypes, produced what you think to be the sharpest knife. The last step is to test your product and affirm that the design is both effective and easy to use for consumers. The first series of tests is focused on how well the knife cuts. With 200 separate trials of the same test performed, the test report comes back documenting that the knife passed with flying colors; as stated in the pass/fail section of the test report, the knife passed all 200 of the tests.

The next series of tests is focused on the consumer experience when using the knife. Again, 200 different tests are performed. Since these tests are modeling how easy the knife is to use, the tests might look like a test trial for a select group of consumers who would then give feedback on the design. When the test report comes back, you find that only 30 of the 200 trials were positive, and the rest describe that the knife was difficult to handle and could easily slip out of your hand.

As they were meant to, these two test reports give you a thorough analysis of the design of the knife, both what was acceptable and what may need to be changed.