Since I have been an amateur magician for the last 34 years, this subject naturally influences my thinking on software. This post will kick off a little series on magic principles in relation to test automation.
There are many so called "rules" in magic, for example
But one seemingly simple rule that is very important for spectators is "Keep your effect clear".
Throughout magic literature, one finds a lot of tricks that have multiple phases, surprises (magicians refer to them as "kickers") and different kinds of effects.
A (slightly over exaggerated) example could be:
As fascinating as this would be, there is a problem with that - it is way too hard to follow and digest.
Compare this with just the first two phases of the effect:
Much clearer, isn't it?
The same rule applies to software testing.
Of course, it is possible to cram a lot of test steps into a scenario. This might even be desirable in some cases, e.g. when testing a complex user flow.
However, keeping your tests compact will have some benefits:
Dai Vernon (aka "The Professor), one of the greatest sleight-of-hand magicians of all time said once
Confusion is not magic.
and I am highly in favor of adopting this to testing as well.