User interface testing is your opportunity to walk a proverbial mile in your customer’s shoes. It is the phase where you have to put aside your intentions and focus on the market reality of your product. UI testing prioritizes the results that matter in the end: the customer’s experience of the product.
Once your QA testing emphasis switches from code to human experience, manual testing usually takes over from automation. As a rule, humans do a better job of simulating the user experience than computers do. And there are some aspects of this phase, such as testing in a real-time environment, that can be achieved only through manual tests.
The process can be resource intensive, however, and slow. Depending on your release cycle and cost pressures, manual testing might not be an option for your QA process—which leads us to today’s discussion.
If you are going to use automation, make sure you use the right UI automation testing tools for your product and your workflow.
Know Your UI
You hold the key to discovering the right UI automation testing tools for your application. Even if you employ the expertise and industry knowledge of an outsourced team of QA professionals, they will be relying on you to provide them the right context for the testing at hand. There are many UI automation testing tools currently available, but some are specialized in certain languages, platforms, and frameworks. By providing guidance on your product’s specifications and function, your market, and your ideal user, you are narrowing the field of potential tools.
Identify the right UI automation testing tool with a clear focus on your product, and leverage the knowledge and experience of your QA team. These are the QA industry’s most popular and most effective UI automation testing tools:
- Coded UI
Using test automation can make your UI testing more cost-effective. But to ensure reliability, you must identify which tool is right for your application. Looking over the five suggestions below should help you on your hunt.
An open-source solution, Selenium is free to use—which is a worthy advantage over expensive tools like UFT and TestComplete. It supports most browsers and OS but cannot be used for desktop testing.
TestComplete by SmartBear is a Windows-only solution that does not support any other OS. It is one of the more expensive UI automation testing tools, but that price does buy you versatility. It supports more than half a dozen languages and possesses the relatively rare ability to test across web, desktop, and mobile. It has a streamlined UI of its own and requires little or no programming skills in order to run simple test cases—which can increase your talent pool across teams during UI testing.
TestComplete supports automated UI testing across keyword- and data-driven testing, across scripted and distributed testing. And it has full bug-tracking integration. It also features an artificial intelligence-powered hybrid object recognition engine that can find dynamic UI elements quickly to improve test coverage.
Formerly known as QTP, UFT has been available since the 1990s. It was an industry standard then, and it continues to be popular today for UI testing in web and desktop applications. It scripts in VBScript—which is an older technology—but can be used without advanced programming skills as it, like many other tools mentioned, supports keyword-driven frameworks. It uses object-oriented testing within an app’s user interface to perform operations and capture object properties. UFT manages exception handling using recovery scenarios to continue running tests in the face of unforseen failures. Additionally, it presents in two modes: keyword and expert to facilitate modifications.
UFT helps record and automate actions on a web- or client-based app and test them across different accounts, data sets, and Windows operating systems. Be aware that UFT supports limited browsers and operates only in Windows.
Microsoft’s contribution to UI automation testing is, understandably, a Windows-only experience and is included with Visual Studio in the Microsoft tool stack. If you are producing for Windows mobile, this is your only option; and if you are targeting IE, it is your best option.
The defined nature of the Cypress product demonstrates our wider point. Given the right circumstances, the tool is perfect for automating UI testing. For example, Cypress operates within the same run loop as your application, rather than outside the browser. Cypress can also perform UI testing without having to replicate every user action, such as entering username and password verification for every test case. And finally, its UI includes hundreds of custom error messages for simplified debugging.
The Right UI Automation Testing Tools for Your Product
The key to deciding which UI automation testing tool is right depends on precisely what will suit your product’s specifications, your quality expectations, and your company’s logistical requirements. When you partner with QA specialists who have experience with these various tools, they will be able to anticipate how well your product will work with each tool and which would be the best option. QA partners can also help you set up test cases under the appropriate conditions and compliance requirements.
Selecting a UI automation testing tool is also a question of fit. Which tool is going to fit in best with your workflows, your developers’ skills and preferences, and your resources? Of course, outsourcing your QA eliminates many of the logistical limitations you would otherwise face.
UI testing is one of the most important steps in shaping the way your product will be experienced by your customers. Turning that process over to automation can greatly improve the efficiency and speed of that testing, but you have to select the right tool or run the risk of an inferior release due to limited manual testing.
QASource’s expansive team of engineering professionals are automation testing experts. With more than 1 million combined test cases automated, they are familiar with all the leading UI testing tools and can work with you to design the perfect solution for your product testing. Contact us today for a free quote, or call +1.925.271.5555 to get started.