Before deep diving into UI automation testing, let’s talk about the fundamentals of UI.
The user interface is the most critical component of any web or mobile application. After all, it is by interacting with the UI that users access the core functionalities of an application.
UI testing is done solely with the intention of verifying the functionality of the UI. It covers everything right from verifying UI workflows, navigation, logic, calculations and button validation.
Conventionally, these tests were performed manually by QA teams. However, with agile methodology, teams have adopted automation into their test cycles to release products faster. Agile development models in consonance with automation frameworks have encouraged teams to update their conventional testing practices with automated UI testing. In this blog post, we will delve into the basics of automated UI testing, the challenges associated with it, and how teams can find the right balance between automated and manual testing.
Manual vs Automated UI Testing
Manual testing requires a lot of human intervention and patience. With manual testing, QA engineers verify the visual elements of UI, like colors, fonts, and navigation to validate that customers have a smooth journey while navigating your software product. To put it in simple words, engineers do a better job of simulating user experience than machines do. Manual is highly recommended where the initial investments are constrained, and product applications tend to change very frequently.
On the other hand, automated UI testing is faster, more cost-effective over the long-term, can be scaled quickly, and is much more effective at doing repetitive tasks and generating reports. It is best suited for repetitive regression, performance, and load testing. Test automation has high ROI in the long run. It is very accurate and minimizes the chances of human error.
The goal of this discussion is to help you maximize resource efficiencies of automated testing without impacting the quality of your product. That requires a careful balance of both manual testing and automation technology.
Opportunities for Automation
Identifying the potential for automated UI testing begins with a comprehensive project review. This includes questions such as:
- What is the budget assigned for testing services?
- What is the release cycle?
- What is the technology stack of the product and application?
- Will the application run on web, desktop, or mobile platforms?
- Which browsers, OS, and environments need to be supported?
- What test framework would best suit automation?
- What language and tools would maximize automation of the controls and technologies of the product?
- What training will be necessary to encourage adoption of Agile methodology amongst your teams?
That last point stresses the importance of finding a QA expert that has the automation experience and language, tools, and framework knowledge to properly leverage automated UI testing for improving ROI.
Such a team can help you redirect your UI testing operations toward successful implementation of automated testing. Get one in place, and you can access the following specific opportunities for automation efficiencies.
Benefits of Implementing Automated UI Testing
There are numerous benefits of using automated UI testing in Agile software development. Some of them are listed below:
- It helps testing teams to increase the scope of test coverage
- With increased test coverage, there is faster detection of bugs in the software system
- Testing can be easily scaled by reusing test scripts that have been created
- With automation, test execution becomes much faster compared to manual methods
- Efficient test scripts help to deliver more accurate test results
- Unlike manual tests, automated UI tests are not prone to human errors
- With automated UI testing, companies can save both time and money
However, even though test automation has become mainstream, manual testing continues to carry its own importance. Hence, it is extremely important for teams to find the right balance between automated and manual testing.
Maximizing Automated UI Testing
Automation takes the resource burden out of time-consuming, repetitive tasks—plus, it will remove the possibility of human error caused by those two factors. It excels at QA components such as load, stress, and performance testing but can be applied to UI testing if your QA expert has the skill to produce the right test cases.
At a broader level, you can capitalize on automation potentials by employing the following methods:
Use a BDD Framework
Behavior-driven development expands the QA process beyond technical experts to include those from the business and IT fields. Basically, it improves collaboration across your entire product team. It allows you to write tests in easily understandable language organized around modular steps that act as the building blocks for your tests.
As the name suggests, BDD focuses on user behavior to forge a strong link between functionality and business value.
Page Object Model pattern testing was developed to improve test maintenance and reduce code duplication. In a UI setting, it makes your automation testing more durable and comprehensive. It is used to identify and test the objects in a UI that contain data, automating the manual process of repeatedly accessing a test scenario and engaging the functionality.
Streamline Browser Testing
You do not need to run a complete suite of tests across every browser platform to verify if your product will function correctly on all intended targets. Instead, you can accelerate the automated UI testing phase by running limited test suites that interact with all essential web elements just once.
Use a Portable Test Framework
Your framework design is the foundation of the automation testing process and the key to producing reliable, quantifiable, and predictable results. Ensuring your test framework can be run on different machines enables multiple engineers and QA testers to run tests in parallel. As long as your test automation files are attached to the framework, you should be able to scale your QA process to take advantage of the benefits of automation.
Select the Right Automated UI Testing Tool
There are dozens of automation tools available to execute your UI tests. We have previously outlined a few of the more efficient and reliable tools, but every product is different. It is best to negotiate a specific solution with your QA expert. Each tool is defined, and often limited, by the languages, platforms, and frameworks with which it is compatible.
UI testing is one of the most important steps toward shaping how your customer will experience your product. The advice above will help you streamline that process by capitalizing on automation solutions. The best possible results are achieved when automation is supplemented with a manual testing component.
Make the Most of Automated UI Testing
There are elements of the UI testing phase that simply must be tested manually—such as testing in a real-time environment. Overall, however, there are opportunities to reduce the time and resource drag of manual operations by implementing automated testing.
It is a matter of selecting the right tools and frameworks and reassessing the depth of testing that is required in order to deliver a quality product to the user. In the end, automation should improve your product and provide better ROI in the long run.
QASource is an established leader in the fields of both automated and manual testing. Our team of 1500+ skilled QA engineers have extensive experience of delivering successful software products for clients across different industry verticals, and have extensive knowledge of how to maximize speed and resource benefits with automated UI testing. Contact us today for a free quote. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +1.925.271.5555 to get started.