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Transitioning to Automated UI Testing: 3 FAQs Answered


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User interface (UI) testing requirements are changing faster than ever before, causing more organizations to adopt automation to keep up. However, UI testing requires more manual testing than other aspects of software development because usability plays a large role in the test.

In this article, we’ll examine how to transition into automated UI testing, what functions most companies can automate and answer frequently asked questions about testing scope.

What is UI Testing?

UI testing is a mechanism that tests aspects of a software a user comes into contact with. Testers will commonly test visual elements to confirm they’re functioning according to functionality and performance requirements. UI testing ensures the UI is bug-free.

3 FAQs Associated With UI Testing

If you’re planning to transition to automated testing for your UI tests, the answers to the 3 following questions should help you determine how to properly utilize automation tools.

1. What is the Scope of Automated UI Testing?

Whether you’re using free test automation tools or going down the manual route, the UI testing scope will rarely change for most projects. You’ll see essential test cases like:

  • Field Widths: Checks if text fields have a character limit.
  • Data Type Errors: Checks if only valid data can be entered in certain fields.
  • Navigation Elements: Checks that navigation buttons direct to the right pages.
  • Type-Ahead: Checks if drop-down lists can be searched by typing the first letter.
  • Progress Bar: Checks if a progress bar presents itself when a page is loading. 
  • Error Logging: Checks if the system records system errors for review.
  • Table Scrolling: Checks if headers are visible when the user scrolls down.
  • Menu Items: Checks if the software displays geographical-friendly menus.
  • Working Shortcuts: Checks if shortcuts work across browsers, platforms, and devices.

It’s recommended that testers run UI tests on significant end-to-end processes, but these should only be done manually. For example, automated tests can easily find errors in code, but they can’t determine how well a person navigates the program or interacts with a specific feature.

2. How do I Determine What UI Test Cases I Should Automate?

As a rule, exploratory testing (how the app is used in the real world), user experience testing, and accessibility testing should not be automated. Manual testing yields more promising results in these areas because they account for human experience, which automation can’t do.

It’s important to remember that automation won’t solve your problems, but there are a few ways you can determine what to automate. For example, you can consider the frequency of your tests. Do you have frequent releases hitting the market? How quickly do you need to test?

Your business’s needs and complexity can also determine automation. Areas with less business priority can be removed from the automation scope, at least at the beginning of your transition.

3. What do I need to Transition from Manual Tests to Automation?

To reduce the risk associated with test migration, you need experts on both the manual and automation test sides who know how your applications are developed and tested. In the beginning stages, you’ll need coding skills, tools, framework, and maintenance techs.

It’s also recommended you start small and prioritize the following tests:

  • Regression Testing
  • Complex Testing
  • Smoke Testing
  • Data-Driven Testing
  • Cross-Browser Testing
  • Repetitive Testing
  • Performance Testing

The scope of UI testing fits into most of these tests. For example, a “working shortcuts” test falls into cross-browser testing. Be sure to label your tests so they’re easy to locate and report on.

When you start building and using automated tests, it can easily overwhelm you. However, you don’t need to know everything right away. Instead, build your knowledge over time, hone your skills, and use patience. If you need outside help, hire engineers who can coach you.

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