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UI Testing

What is UI Testing?

User Interface (UI) testing, also known as Graphical User Interface (GUI) testing, is the process to visually validate application elements. It also confirms if the application elements meet the expected performance and functionality. The process includes checking design elements like menu bars, toolbars, colours, fonts, sizes, icons, content, buttons, etc., and how they respond to user input.

Common Challenges to UI testing

  • Subject Matter Expertise -  The test writer must have technical knowledge and experience with UI testing.

  • Time-consuming - Tests can take a more extended period to run due to processes such as loading the browser, executing tasks like a human, setting up and tearing down tests, loading data, etc.

  • Maintenance of Dynamic Applications - Applications go through frequent changes. UI testing must keep pace with these constant and dynamic changes.

  • Handling of large data sets - Complex scenarios result in massive data volumes, and sorting them can be unmanageable.

  • Troubleshooting - Finding out what broke a test can be difficult depending on the frequency of the issue and time spent fixing it.

Why automation for UI testing?

  • Efficient regression testing – is required to find new or recurring bugs that are introduced while incorporating bug fixes. This is a perfect activity for test automation. Automation guarantees consistency and reduces the margin of errors. In manual testing, there is always a chance for human error. Test automation minimises mistakes that humans can make, which can be related to mundane or repetitive tasks of varying complexity.

  • Cost efficiency – with UI automated tests in place, less time and effort will be spent on QA during the development process. More bugs in the user interface will be found earlier, and fixing them will be cheaper.  This will result in better product quality and a higher chance of profitability.

  • Increased speed - Automation allows running tests much faster than manual testing ever could. Completing multiple QA tasks on different devices can take seconds instead of hours. Of course, any opportunity to save time is a massive benefit in software development, so this is one of the main reasons for test automation's popularity.

  • Detecting differences in behaviour between platforms – being able to run tests on different platforms, browsers, and operating systems gives you a chance to evaluate and fix differences.

  • Test Execution on-demand - virtually impossible with manual testing. However, UI automation allows you to run tests constantly and without interruption, finding bugs in real-time as soon as they are introduced into the software.

  • Reusability – an automated UI test run displays and records test results.  This valuable data can be kept and reused by anyone in the organisation.  Automated tests can be reused and rerun many times. This increases the predictability and consistency of the product.

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