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What is UI Automation testing

What is UI Automation testing

User interface acts like the visible end of any application that interacts with users to deliver what the app was intended for. If there is any negative variation in the way UI reacts with the users it can result in customer closing the app and looking for another one since there are thousands of options in from of them.

Let’s dig deep…

What is UI Testing?

GUI or simply UI testing is a set of tests that are performed to make sure the user interface of the software or application is working as expected.  There are several things that one needs to test as part of the UI testing. Here we list down a few:

  • Functions: The functioning of button, links and other controls. is one thing that we need to test in GUI testing.
  • Navigation: This is an important part of the GUI testing where one needs to check and confirm if the application is navigating back and forth to the expected pages when the user action is performed
  • Data Validation: In this case, valid and invalid data is entered into the application to make sure the application responds only to correct data and errors out in case of incorrect inputs.
  • Data Flow: In applications where the input data decides the application flow, then these valid data inputs and user flows need to be validated as part of the UI testing.
  • Cosmetic Issues: Spelling mistakes, color variations, alignment, and such other superficial issues

 

How can we automate UI testing?

Testing the UI can be quite an extensive and monotonous task. Imagine entering all combinations of alphabets, numbers, and special characters for every input field. It can become quite cumbersome and the chances of missing out some validations are very high. So, what is the next best option we have? Yes, we can automate these UI tests.

As well all know, it is not possible or advisable to automate everything. We need to prioritize and check the feasibility before we decide to jump into UI automation. Here we give you a brief insight on how to go about doing a UI automation.

  • Decide the scope: The scope should be based on the priority of the test cases, it’s business impact and the amount of time the project in the current iteration to spend on testing.
  • Selecting the tool: There are several tools in the market that can be used for automating the UI testing for both windows and web-based applications. Some of these tools are licensed while some are free. Choose as per your company policy or budget.
  • Automation Framework: This is a very important part. Choose or create a framework in such a way that is it extensible and reusable. This way you will be able to add more test cases in the later stages of the project with ease.
  • Comprehensive Data: Data plays an important role in any kind of automation. Make sure you take your time to create an extensive data set that includes all the scenarios you would like to test.
  • Test Frequently: To make your UI automation code and framework make sure you exercise your test scripts regularly. This not only ensures that there are no defects in the tested software but will also help in improving and enhancing your automation scripts.

Challenges in UI automation

People have a misconception that UI automation is very simple and needs very little effort. But it is far from true. Let us see some of the most common challenges faced during UI automation and how to deal with them.

  • Changing object properties: most automation scripts rely on the object properties to recognize the elements and perform actions on them. But many a time the tester is faced with a situation where the object properties are not unique or keep on changing with each build. In these kinds of situations, the onus is on the tester to talk to the developers and ask them to provide anyone unique property for each UI object which is constant across all builds. Only then you will be able to create stable and robust automation scripts.
  • Changing UI: Another challenge which is especially true for UI automation is the frequent changes in the UI during the development phase. With each change, the tester would need to go fix the scripts and change the flow according to the changing UI. The best approach, in this case, would be to wait for the developers to finalize the UI and then start your automation scripting.
  • Complexity of the Objects: Greater object hierarchy and complexity makes the UI automation difficult. Like objects embedded in frames or points in the map or images could be tough to automate. In such cases, it is advisable to out-scope these unless your tool supports them well.
  • Recovery Scenarios: Unlike the recovery and error scenarios in normal automation, in the case of UI testing it can be quite complex. It can become complex to revert to the original page where you want to restart and continue your execution.
  • Integration testing: Integration testing is always a challenge when it comes to automation, more so for UI automation. When interacting with multiple systems passing control from one UI to another and back could be an uphill task. Instead of performing integration tests, you can plan to run UI automation tests for individual units with stubs.

Tools used

Though most automation tools can be used for UI automation as well. If the requirement is to do exclusive UI testing, then here is a list of tools you can consider.

  • Ranorex Studio
  • AutoIT
  • CubicTest
  • eggplant
  • Maveryx
  • Rapise
  • Sikuli

UI testing a very critical part of testing any product or application but it also very tricky. It is through the UI that the end-user would interact with the system, it is thus important that the UI testing is done thoroughly and extensively. This can be achieved easily through UI automation. As a tester / Project Manager, one should ensure that proper UI testing scripts are in place and the application is well tested before rolling it out to production.

UI testing a very critical part of testing any product or application but it also very tricky. It is through the UI that the end-user would interact with the system, it is thus important that the UI testing is done thoroughly and extensively. This can be achieved easily through UI automation. As a tester / Project Manager, one should ensure that proper UI testing scripts are in place and the application is well tested before rolling it out to production.

Please contact us for more details.

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