Modern software testing needs to be fast because software development is faster. And you’ll need to make sure that your product shines because your users are the most important voice your team has. This means the UI they’re interacting with needs to be polished to meet their standards, or you’ll be left in the dust.
Automated UI testing has emerged as a new way to keep up with development speeds, while also shipping user-friendly applications that are bug-free. However, it’s still a relatively new evolution in the testing world, and it often doesn’t get the limelight it deserves. But with some elbow grease, you’re able to bring more to the table than average-speed testing.
Top Four Benefits of Automated UI Testing
Automation is a developer’s best friend, especially in today’s fast-paced development world. Dev teams are expected to work faster than ever, and the only way to keep up is by using automation. This is especially true when it comes to UI testing.
Automated UI testing allows QA teams to use tools and scripts to simulate user interactions while testing the functionality and performance of the interface. These tests benefit QA teams in four critical areas:
Shorter Feedback Loop - By using automated UI testing, QA teams can easily test faster and more often than ever before. This enables them to take those results and transform them into meaningful feedback to course-correct faster than ever.
Reducing Time and Resources Spent - Naturally, by leveraging the power of automation, devs are able to dramatically cut down on the hours spent manually testing a product. These tools also help teams reduce the number of digital resources too, often by exporting the heavy lifting to the cloud for optimal performance.
Better Accuracy and Reliability - With automation, dev teams are able to test faster and more often, enabling them to get more accurate results within a similar timeframe. They’re also able to monitor tests in real-time, giving them a perfect vantage point to spot flaky tests or inconsistent results.
Improved Test Coverage - Thanks to the time and resources freed up by automated UI testing, devs can then spend that extra time increasing test coverage. That way, no stone is left unturned, dramatically reducing the risk of a critical error down the line.
How You Can Start Preparing for Automated UI Testing
In order to usher in our automation overlords, you’ll need to adopt some new tools and strategies. Some of the common tools you’ll see would be Selenium, Appium, and Watir. All of these tools enable devs to create scripts that can run test suites automatically from a wide array of platforms and environments.
Some of these tools bring pretty unique features for testing tools, like:
Scripting: Enables devs to create custom scripts for tests that can simulate how a user would interact with the UI.
Object-based testing: Some tools are able to identify UI elements and their unique properties, enabling testing on the entire element at once.
Self-Healing Tests: Nobody likes it when a test fails, but many of these tools leverage AI to course-correct tests that fail often.
Recording and Replaying: Many modern automated UI testing tools allow devs to record their inputs across the UI and then replay them as a functional test, speeding up test creation.
With automated testing tools, QA teams are able to execute all of their test suites automatically while the tool monitors and collects results.
Automated UI Testing Common Challenges
There are always going to be hurdles when adopting a new methodology or shaking up your existing workflows. Automated UI testing is no different, bringing along some unique challenges to the mix. While we don’t have an exhaustive list, we’ve got some of the more prevalent issues your teams may face.
Maintaining Test Scripts
Your teams will need to create and maintain a plethora of test scripts, which quickly can become a tedious task. And since your UI is more likely to be changed with every update, all of your tests need to be updated as well. This quickly can end up as a recipe for disaster if left unchecked.
Managing Test Data
Similar to maintaining your scripts, you’ll need to ensure the data you use for your tests accurately represents the production data it’ll be using once it’s live. Your team will need to create and maintain this test data — or outsource it to tools that can create fake data for them.
Debugging and Flaky Tests
With all your tests running automatically, it’s harder to tell when and why they might fail. Many automated UI testing tools will offer some way to show you the results of your tests, but this isn’t always an easy solution. Plus, you’ll still need to factor in flaky tests, which can often be difficult to pinpoint why they’re inconsistent.
Setting Up Test Environments
You’ll also need to ensure that your test environments are all perfect replications of your production environment. This can be especially challenging if the application relies on specific external systems or unique hardware. Without ideal setups for your environments, tests will quickly begin to fail as your application evolves.
Training Your Testers
Adopting automated UI testing requires specialized skills that your dev team will need to adapt to in order to succeed. Not only will they possibly need to learn new scripting languages, but they’ll also need to learn how to use these new tools and how to perfect their UI as well. Training them to use these new tools can be difficult, especially if they have no automation experience.
Accelerate Automated UI Testing with Launchable
While automated UI testing speeds up building and maintaining a testing framework, tools like Selenium and Cypress don’t tackle every automated testing roadblock.
Standard automated UI testing tools face testing bottlenecks with bloated test suites, murky test intelligence, and test alerts that don’t align with team workflows.
The only way to truly accelerate your automated UI testing to its full potential is with an AI-driven test intelligence platform. Launchable’s platform tackles all of the productivity foes founds in automated UI testing.
Speed up automated UI testing releases with Predictive Test Selection.
Generate dynamic UI subsets for a pragmatic risk-based approach to testing and reduce the cost of testing without impacting quality or delivery speed. With Launchable’s Predictive Test Selection prioritizes test runs and sets custom optimization targets based on confidence, test runtime percentage, or a fixed duration of time.
Based on your specific goals, Launchable helps optimize your testing targets while keeping an eye on slippage helping you tackle runtime reduction by avoiding unnecessary tests.
Maintain a healthy test suite with Test Suite Insights.
Launchable Test Suite Insights empowers teams to monitor the health of test suites to flag issues and fix them before they impact your automated UI testing runtimes. Quantify the impact of changes in your test suites, track meaningful KPI trends for test suites, and use the Flakiness dashboard during sprint planning to prioritize which tests to fix first.
Stop digging around build logs – Test Suite Insights organizes your test sessions in one place for easy navigation, with rich, detailed views into individual test results for faster failure discovery and triaging.
Keep your PR moving forward with personalized Tests Notifications via Slack
Tackle alert fatigue and disruptive context switching to check on test statuses. Keep moving your PR forward with personalized Slack Test Notifications - continue working and context switch only when you break the build or have to merge your PR.
Stop clicking through clumsy CI interfaces to get to important test status information. Jump from notifications directly to the Launchable test dashboard to quickly deep dive into your test results.
Automated UI Testing Final Thoughts
Automated UI testing is a stellar way to boost your user experience — it’s become a critical part of improving software today. And by automating your UI testing, you can improve more than just your user experience. It can dramatically improve your testing time — and your results too.
Teams can get even more efficient with their automated UI testing tools and speed up test runs. Pair automated UI testing tools with Launchable to launch fearlessly.