Unlocking the Power of Automated UI Testing
Rapid development and short-release cycles need efficient testing techniques. UI testing is no different in this regard. While UI testing can be done manually, it can become time-consuming and error-prone.
What Is Automated UI Testing?
UI testing is all about:
- Validating user navigation, input fields, and UI workflows
- Evaluating the logical functionality of all buttons
- Identifying inconsistencies in UI readability/legibility problems, including font size and colors
- Ensuring that the front end of an application and the end-user interface is running accurately
Automated UI testing uses specific tools or frameworks to verify UI functionality. So, instead of testers making sure that all functionalities (and logic) for user interaction function appropriately, UI test automation simulates the usage of the application through its user interface. Automated UI testing is a cost-effective alternative to manual testing. It reduces tester load and also increases QA confidence.
Where Does Automated UI Testing Fit in the QA Approach?
The top of the test automation pyramid is allocated for end-to-end tests. These tests check the entire application and the bulk of the code. UI testing and all exploratory tests are conducted at this level since these tests are more complex, exploratory, and have more dependencies.
End-to-end tests are comprehensive and comprise hundreds of components and thousands of dependencies. These complexities create massive avenues for failures that need thorough exploration. Manual exploration, in this case, is time-consuming and often error-prone.
We also must account for the fact that today, most applications are created in blocks, then assembled, and finally deployed on an infrastructure layer that itself has multiple parts working together. End-to-end tests enable the detection of issues before delivering the product to end-users.
Exploratory UI testing identifies hidden test cases as the UI might behave differently in different machines. Test cases also have to be run on multiple data.
As the focus on user experience increases, automated UI testing allows testing teams to use strong test scripts with an emphasis on the user interface. Testers can validate UI by simulating real-world functionality easily and check for any integration issues along with bugs.
What Are the Benefits of Automated UI Testing?
A stable and robust automated UI testing process delivers significant benefits. These are:
Increased Testing Velocity and Test Coverage
Automated UI testing accelerates the test cycles significantly. Testing tools can complete a long set of actions in a fraction of the time as compared to manual testing. Automated testing allows for test scripts to run parallelly and for teams to run multiple scenarios simultaneously without manual intervention.
This approach enables testers to execute more tests in lesser time and cover more use cases when compared to manual testing.
Increased Test Confidence and Accuracy
Owing to technical and debugging complexity and the need for ensuring comprehensive test coverage, manual UI testing becomes not only effort intensive but also error-prone. No matter how careful a tester is, there is a chance of error when walking step-by-step through multiple test scripts, running scenarios, etc. A small incorrect action or not noticing an error can lead to inconsistencies in test data and impact the outcome of the whole test.
UI testing automation, on the other hand, avoids all such errors. With the right test scripts, the tests run exactly in the same fashion in each execution. The test results are, as such, more reliable and provide a more accurate representation of the current state of the application functionality.
Scalability and Reusability
Automated UI testing is a far more scalable exercise as compared to manual testing. Instead of checking all features and functionalities manually, automated UI testing ensures that test scripts can be reused. Changes to a UI can lead to broken tests, which necessitate reusable test scripts to accelerate testing velocity.
Reusable test scripts make the testing processes inherently more scalable and well-suited to meet the growing needs of today's testing teams. The focus on scalability also becomes high as it supports faster testing cycles and facilitates continuous testing.
Increased Efficiency and Reduced Costs
Apart from increasing testing accuracy, automated UI testing keeps costs down and ensures the team is free to focus on high-value work. UI test automation tests catch potential issues early, making them quicker and cheaper for engineers to fix.
This takes care of the costs associated with discovering bugs later in the development cycle. Also, this leads to fewer customer support requests since the application is of high quality.
What Are the Challenges of Automated UI Testing?
UI testing automation also comes with its share of challenges. Some of the key ones are:
Increasing Testing Complexity
Modern-day applications are comprehensive and designed for a lot of heavy lifting. These applications often have complex features as a part of the UI.
For example, at one point, UI testing had to only look at static images. Today, these features can have embedded frames, maps, diagrams, flowcharts, etc. These features might also be dynamic in nature. The constant evolution of features poses a challenge as they contribute to increased test complexity.
Rapidly evolving UI further adds to testing complexity. Any change in logic, functionality, or features can impact the UI. As the UI becomes more prone to change, UI test maintenance becomes an uphill battle for testing teams. This is also where the problem of handling multiple errors transpires. Error handling is usually a daunting process in the UI testing sphere. While addressing the complex scenarios across extensive projects with stringent deadlines, it takes time to conceputualize UI test scripts. In the absence of a robust automation tool, testers often subject to manually revoking the errors.
Test Environment Diversity
The combination of devices and operating systems used to access an application are increasing incrementally, which makes the test environment highly fragmented.
Testing and optimizing the UI for such a fragmented environment needs greater test automation expertise and might also need extensive testing infrastructure. This can drive up costs and can also slow the testing process in the absence of the right tools and knowledge.
Choosing the Right Automation Tools
With a plethora of test automation tools available in the market, selecting the right one becomes a challenge. Each tool, whether it’s paid or open-source, uniquely addresses specific issues but also has its compatibility criteria. One tool might suit the application's needs but might not work in other situations, which can end up driving up testing costs.
While it is clear that automating UI testing is imperative to deliver high-quality applications, it can prove daunting to find a tool that:
- Alleviates the test development and maintenance challenges
- Meets both meet all business and technical requirements
- Is cost-effective and efficient
How ACCELQ Alleviates These Challenges?
Test automation powered by ACCELQ helps testing teams navigate the above complexities with ease. Our AI-powered no-code test automation platform alleviates the need to write test cases. With our tool, maintaining test cases becomes effortless.
Testing teams can write and manage test cases for functionality that may be too fluid for automation with ACCELQ. Testers develop test logic without worrying about the programming syntax and losing the simplicity of natural language.
ACCELQ also enforces modularity and reusability in the development of test assets. The tool's built-in best practices ensure that the test assets and cases are managed easily.
Other capabilities include visual and intuitive element identification with an ability to handle iframes and other dynamic controls. Instead of a narrow focus on only test logic development, ACCELQ facilitates automated test case generation and allows testers to create logical and business-driven test plans.
The codeless platform also allows testers to manage test assets across multiple revisions of application-under-test. It automates all aspects of the quality lifecycle from test design to test planning & execution and also supports evolving technologies.
Besides, the functional approach to test automation enables the entire team to automate and removes all dependencies on experts. In essence, ACCELQ:
- Allows cross-browser, cross-platform executions on cloud or on-premise labs
- Supports parallel executions for quick turnarounds
- Enables run scheduling
- Provides referential integrity across test assets
This makes the automated UI testing process agile, comprehensive, and fast.
With a quantified 7.5X increase in productivity and guaranteed 53% cost reduction with an industry-first autonomics-based automation platform, ACCELQ delivers an ROI that is hard to ignore. Connect with us to see how you can power up automated UI testing with ACCELQ!
Content Specialist at ACCELQ
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