How To Proceed With UI Testing? An Ultimate Guide

User Interface Testing Guide

UI testing involves analyzing if the visible components on your application’s interface are providing the visual appearance as it was intended to and if their functionalities are performing normally. We have already discussed a lot about this crucial form of testing in the article “What Is UI Testing?” and as we promised there, we have researched everything needed to proceed with UI testing and jotted them down. So, carefully go on with this article that is actually the ultimate guide for beginners to efficiently perform UI tests.

Approaches To Perform UI Testing

UI testing or GUI testing approaches are mainly categorized into three types. Let’s check them out with some brief details.

1. Manual Testing

This is probably the most time-consuming and comparatively less efficient approach for any form of testing. In manual testing, every small to large action is performed by human testers. They need to pay immense attention to check if every component of the graphical user interface of the application is looking and functioning as they are expected to. Absolute dependence on manual actions by QA teams makes this type of testing insanely time-consuming, the test coverage becomes low, and overall chances of human errors become extremely high. Hence, in modern times, this approach is not highly preferred.

2. Record and Playback Testing

This is some kind of a comparative testing process, where an efficient automated UI testing tool like PreFlight records the user actions committed on the application and the tasks performed by it accordingly, and then those recorded steps are re-executed to compare them with the expected behavior of the application. Due to such steps in the testing process, this type of testing is also called record-and-replay testing. For a better comparison of how the user experience is, the replay phase is also repeated with different data sets.

3. Model-based Testing

As the name suggests, this approach involves the creation of some models. In this approach, graphical models are built in a way that they describe the behavior of the system. The creation of models provides an in-depth understanding of the system and helps the testers to create efficient test cases. In the models, the inputs and outputs are modified and those eventually run the tests. The typical workflow of model-based testing is -

  • Creation of a model of the system.
  • Determination of the system inputs.
  • Calculation of the expected output of the system.
  • Execution of the tests.
  • Comparison between the actual output and the expected output.
  • Decision-making on further action on the model.

Some popular modeling techniques that help in deriving test cases are -

  • Charts: Capable of depicting the state of a system and checking the state after some input.
  • Decision Tables: Useful for determining the results for each input applied.

The model-based approach is highly preferred because it allows a higher level of automation. And, due to its property of covering a higher number of states in the system, the test coverage automatically improves.

UI Testing Scenarios

As we previously mentioned, UI testing includes testing how the components of the UI are functioning under different situations i.e. based on different choices made by the users. So, while creating tests to compare the actual outcomes with the expected outcomes, the testing team needs to know the expected behavior of the application along with considering the resources available. Hence, a document is prepared and maintained to accumulate the expected behavior of the application in it so that the testing team can efficiently move through the steps i.e. defining the possible test scenarios, creating test cases, and writing the actual test scripts. For example, in case of the normal event of a user entering a valid user ID, a valid password, and logging in, the possible test scenarios will be like the following.

  • A valid username and password combination is entered.
  • An invalid username is entered.
  • The entered username is valid but the password is invalid.
  • The user forgets the password and tries to reset it.
  • A trial is made to copy the password from the password field.
  • A trial is made to paste a password into the password field.
  • The help button is clicked to seek help.

The test scenarios may not be highly important for planning the test cases but they play a crucial role in the development of the test scripts.

Challenges In UI Testing

All our discussion is based on the fact that UI testing is a highly important form of testing. But, we surely know that at the same time, it is insanely complex too. As a user interface contains a lot of things in it, the tests that deal with it also naturally depend on numerous factors.

You surely know that every form of software testing comes with specific forms of challenges and UI testing is no different from them. It also comes with multiple crucial challenges that we are mentioning below.

Volatility In The UI

Well, the UI has pretty strong reasons to be volatile. It is the first layer of the application as well as the overall product that you want to deliver to the end users. And, as we previously mentioned, the UI of an application creates the first impression of the business. That means for the sake of having a good reputation in the market, besides the designers, the stakeholders (who are mostly non-technical), executive-level professionals, and many more people will have strong opinions and suggestions about the UI as well as its components. As a result, the UI gets very frequent changes in it. Also, there are already a number of criteria that the UI must fulfill. They are as follows.

  • Besides allowing the users to easily access the features, the UI must be able to attract the users to go further on the journey with the product and become regular users.
  • Every company has some brand guidelines that the UI must follow.
  • Different places in the world have different web accessibility laws that the UI can’t avoid.

However, the point of concern here is that as the user interfaces may change frequently, using any random UI testing tool may lead to the creation of fragile test cases. That’s why you must make the wise choice of using advanced test automation tools like PreFlight to solve your testing needs with maximum efficiency.

Slow UI Tests

You definitely know that to successfully execute any important task, you must follow an efficient strategy. Similarly, for performing effective tests, the testing pyramid is the most popular test plan. Now, in the testing pyramid, you can see that UI testing comes last in the bottom-up movement and unit testing, the largest subset of the pyramid, comes first. The prime reason behind this common practice is that though unit testing is the largest subset of the testing pyramid, it means testing the smallest modules of the software and eventually takes less time in execution. On the other hand, UI testing means ensuring that the visual elements in the UI are looking as they should and functioning as they have been designed. Hence, this type of testing often involves various forms of tests such as regression testing, functional testing, exploratory testing, etc. to accomplish an overall end-to-end test coverage. As UI testing needs such immense attention to detail, these tests become comparatively slower in execution. However, extreme slowness can make the testing team stuck in an intermediate stage of the complete testing process and that clearly becomes a huge challenge for the entire software development cycle.

High Cost of Writing UI Test Scripts

Even if the time-consuming process of user interface testing is manageable for you, creating, running, and maintaining the tests are never going to be easy tasks. As far as the complexity of UI testing is concerned, the test scripts will need good coding knowledge and experience to achieve efficiency. Now, if you have very few technical people in your team, you will eventually end up keeping them more engaged in writing, running, and maintaining the test scripts. Keeping them busy in such time-consuming tasks will exempt them from using their time on more valuable tasks and will cost you a lot of money to engage them in the testing process.

On the other hand, you can save that stack of money even without compromising the efficiency in the tests just by using advanced test automation tools like PreFlight, the best alternative to the popular automated testing framework Selenium. These amazing tools enable you to perform every form of test such as UI testing, API testing, Regression testing, Functional testing, etc. without involving even a little bit of coding. Hence, using these tools allows you to engage all your team members in the testing process regardless of their coding knowledge, and such a collaborative approach exempts the testing process from being exclusive to the technical people resulting in saving you a lot of money.

Complexity and Error Handling

In the article on what UI testing is, you got to know that the use cases of user interface testing include testing important UI elements such as text fields, text boxes, checkboxes, fonts, data-types, drop-down menu items, type-ahead features, progress bars, headers, shortcuts, etc. You are surely aware of the fact that these components hold the primary responsibility of enabling the end users to experience a beautiful, responsive, and effective web application. These components are also designed to be capable of attracting visitors to the website to become regular users. Hence, a number of people (both technical and non-technical) often have a lot of opinions & suggestions for the UI, and you get to make strategies accordingly. Now more expectations from any tech product make its building strategy much more complex and the necessary actions even harder.

As you know, complex test suites are more prone to errors and you need to properly debug them to get proper test results. Tight deadlines often make it difficult for the testing team to manage all the test creation, running, maintaining, debugging, and product release processes. Hence, the complexity of the UI tests and the error handling in them appear as huge challenges here.

How To Face and Overcome The Challenges In UI Testing?

Now, as you just got to know the challenges in UI testing, you must also know how to get rid of them strategically. Let’s take a look at the ways to do that.

Pick The Right Test Automation Tool For You

You are well aware of the importance of selecting the right IDE while developing an application. Similarly, the first step to achieving great efficiency in testing is selecting the right test automation tool. Different products have different workflows to excel in the business. So, it's a mandatory task for you to select the test automation tool that best suits your workflow and overall testing requirements. Keep in mind that a truly effective test automation tool will provide you with highly useful features like -

  • Record and Playback
  • Reusability of tests
  • Screenshot capturing
  • Minimal maintenance
  • Automatic defect tracking and reporting
  • Affordable pricing

Make sure you select a one-stop test automation solution like PreFlight that comes with many more amazing features including the ones mentioned above.

Properly Utilize An Object Repository

Cost cutting is an efficient approach in everything. Using a shared repository enables you to easily reduce test maintenance & associated costs. Also, to achieve a better success rate in your test suite, follow the strategy of keeping the number of test cases initially low and increasing the coverage gradually.

Make Codeless Testing Tools Your Only Choice

You already saw how too much dependence on software engineers or technical people can reduce the scope of having a larger team in the testing works. On the other hand, renowned codeless test automation tools like PreFlight let you test all kinds of mobile applications, desktop applications, and web apps without making you write even a single line of code. These tools come with all the features you saw in the previous portion along with impressive compatibility with different browsers, operating systems, and devices. To know more about why you must select PreFlight as your one-stop codeless testing solution, check out this article “10 Amazing Software Testing Benefits From PreFlight In 2022”.

Set Efficient Organizational Code Review Standards

A massive problem in software testing is not having preset goals properly, which leads to making frequent changes to the test code. As a result, QA teams often get stuck in endless loops of reviewing the test code to get rid of the challenges in testing. The best approach to deal with this issue is to set proper code review standards for your organization and train the whole team for that. That will surely lead to the use of their sharp brains at effective points.

Conclusion

You got to know how you can excel in the UI test with proper focus on necessary points. This article tells you about the best approaches for user interface testing, the suitable test scenarios to use the strategies, the challenges you can face there, and the efficient way-outs from them. These indeed make the comprehensive guide to executing UI tests for the best results.

However, you must have already understood that using the test automation tools is a high priority for achieving maximum efficiency in any form of testing. There are numerous effective tools available to solve your testing needs and you just need to figure out the best suited for one. To help you in doing that, we will soon be coming up with an informative article on “5 Best UI Testing Tools In 2022”. You just need to stay tuned to our blog page for that awesome article along with many more interesting articles.

Also, to know more about the popular codeless test automation tool PreFlight, you just need to check out our website and book a demo for a magical testing experience.