Skip to content

Screenplay Pattern Testing with Serenity.js

Posted on:January 28, 2024 at 07:30 AM

Recently I’ve attended BKK.JS at Siam Paragon and there is session about Javascript Testing by P’Somkiat and I also forgot that I’ve done some proof-of-concept on end-to-end testing (which is ready for lightning talk stuff). I guess I should share here.

Problems on E2E Testing

  1. Messy test code

    • Current codebase pattern e.g. page object pattern is unintuitive, duplicate
    • Explicit waits
    • It’s so free-form that
  2. Test code cannot be documentated or maintained easily

    • From (1), onboarding application is hard for developers and maintainers.
    • This is even harder on knowing as-is requirements/features of a project

What if it is not page object pattern.

Screenplay pattern proposed test involved around these components.

  1. Actor

This is a person (or some system) interacting with the application play as specific role e.g. Bob as an admin or Alice as a user.

  1. Ability

Actor has “abilities” that can do some interaction with interfaces of application e.g. use a browser

  1. Interaction

Abilities enable user to do some interactions e.g. navigating to page or click a some buttons

  1. Question

Actor can answer “questions”, asserting if it is correct or not. This is the same as expect.

  1. Task

From all those component above, it can be formed as sequences of activities, describing business requirement of what we can do in a test in a normal human readable form.


This library is for implementing tests with screenplay pattern, including all business logic of screenplay pattern on top of your favorite end-to-end testing library e.g.

Easy setup, just click and go along.

Let’s take a look at code, here is some example of my first attempt and it is “perfection”.

import { describe, it } from "@serenity-js/playwright-test";
import { Navigate, PageElements, By } from "@serenity-js/web";
import { Ensure, equals } from "@serenity-js/assertions";
import { displayItemCounts } from "../app/questions";
import { useAppActor } from "../fixtures/actors";

describe("Todo List", () => {

  it("list should be empty", async ({ actorCalled }) => {
    // Actor doing stuff in test.
    await actorCalled("Alice").attemptsTo(
      // Task.""),
      // Question.
      Ensure.that(displayItemCounts(), equals(0))

From the code, everything component can be seperated as functions or classes and combined as a test. Let’s take a look at task and question in this test case.

import { By, PageElements } from "@serenity-js/web";

// Interaction to page.
export const displayedItems = (): PageElements =>
  PageElements.located(By.css(".todo-list li")).describedAs("displayed items");

export const displayItemCounts = () => displayedItems().count();
Test report

For full code of example test, please checkout at this repository.