Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Computer Engineering and Sciences

First Advisor

Cem Kaner

Second Advisor

Pat Bond

Third Advisor

Muzzafar Shaikh

Fourth Advisor

William Shoaff


Imagine being asked to test an e-commerce website. If you haven't tested one before, where would you start? What experience would you draw on? Where would you look for more information? Even very experienced testers have blind spots when they try to generate test ideas for an application that they have not tested. This thesis presents a simple outline that will help you generate test ideas and limit your blind spots. The outline is the result of about 18 months of research on classifying e-commerce related failures and risks. The result has 45 top-level categories and 700+ examples of errors (potential issues to test for) under most categories. In many cases, there is also a link to about 300+ examples of e-commerce defects that have been publicized in the press. Using the list, you could pick a category of interest (such as accessibility or software upgrade), read descriptions of several types of problems that fit within that category, and so identify a few issues that would be appropriate to test for in your application. Based on feedback to the authors of Testing Computer Software (Kaner, et. al.), I believe that many testers will be able to use this list to identify potential problems that they would otherwise have missed.


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