One of the reasons why digitization driven by sundry software applications has been lapped up by users is their ease of navigation aided by the presence of Graphical User Interface (GUI). The attractive GUI brings with it features and functionalities, which even a layperson can operate with relative ease. It is a far cry from the earlier machines where lines of codes had to be memorized and typed to get the desired output. Today, exploring complex ERP or CRM software comprising millions of codes and incorporating equally challenging features or functionalities are just a few clicks away.
GUI Ensuring User Engagement
An attractive and responsive GUI is singularly responsible for generating user engagement, which in turn leads to better brand management and achieving ROI for the business. The GUI of any enterprise solution has become critical, for it is what the end users come across when they start dealing with the solution. It can either make the software appear seamless and user friendly or complex and difficult to deal with. A smooth GUI can help a business save time and money, both for itself and the end customers. No wonder, the GUI development team should take into account the feedback, both internal and external, as far as adding features or functionalities is concerned. This leads to mitigating the glitches beforehand and ensuring the software garners user engagement and meets its specific outcomes.
Dynamic User Interface
As competition in the online environment heats up, enterprises look to achieve user satisfaction or delight. And users, on their part, are no longer satisfied with just basic navigation but look for advanced features that are robust, intuitive, dynamic, interactive, customizable, and secure. To ensure GUIs deliver the above objectives, they should undergo a thorough testing exercise preferably using test automation. The popularity of data driven consumer applications or social media platforms such as Amazon, Swiggy or Facebook means customers are seeking similar features, functionalities, and ease of navigation from each and every application. So, it is no longer about the usability of software or its features alone. Businesses are aiming at making the browsing experience seamless, fast, and glitch-free. Thus, the more users find an application easier to explore, better would be its applicability in the market. This brings into the equation the challenges of GUI testing.
Challenges of GUI testing
• Dynamic GUI interfaces are tailormade to derive outcomes and analytics from databases. It calls for running an effective automation testing exercise to validate the functioning of software across browsers, devices, platforms, and networks. A basic exploratory testing encompasses activities such as recording, performing the required tasks, and marking the test a success or failure based on the identification (or the lack of) defects. Software test automation can complement the exploratory tests by recreating defects.
• The GUI undergoes frequent updation wherein new functionalities are added. This often requires integration with third party apps or tools. The quality of such tools or functionalities can be ensured by engaging test automation services.
• The web applications include sundry web elements such as embedded frames, flowcharts, maps, and diagrams. These elements increase the complexity of applications and their testing as well.
• When it comes to the test scenarios having tight deadlines, the creation of test scripts takes the bulk of the testers’ time. To address the challenge, testers often make use of manual testing as a short cut thereby leading to inadequate error identification.
• The market is flush with several automation tools. Often enterprises end up choosing the wrong automation tool given the budget constraints or project complexities.
• Merely creating automated test scripts is not enough, for they should be maintained as well. Testers, for want of time, often take the short cut of making changes to the UI. Since the logic aspect of the features is often given a short shift, the test scripts are prone to failure post changes to the UI. No wonder, the maintenance of the test scripts has become a challenge.
• Although automation testing as a process is swift, it takes a lot of time when it comes to creating test scripts. Moreover, certain test automation tools do not possess the UI test recording facility. These combinedly create challenges to write test scripts.
• Given the frequency of UI changes in applications owing to market dynamics and user preferences, the tests undergo changes as well. This increases the development and delivery turnaround time and impacts the ROI adversely.
• The development and testing of UI elements reflect the style or practices followed by individual developers or testers. This increases the challenge for other developers or testers to review, modify, or maintain the test scripts. To address such challenges, the development or testing teams should follow standard coding or testing practices.
How software test automation is a critical factor in GUI testing
• The UI test automation tools need to function across platforms, devices, and browsers. The tools ensure if the front-end of applications are compatible with multiple platforms. Since this is a time consuming and complex exercise should manual process is used, test automation services become a necessity.
• One of the prominent features of any GUI testing is to check whether the navigation is seamless across webpages. In fact, the web pages of an application should reflect a similar theme, colour palette, and fonts etc., – to be properly validated through testing.
• Each and every automation tool generates a slew of reports. These report logs throw light on the glitches or inadequacies that are inherent in the application.
Automating the GUI testing exercise can garner continuous feedback, ensures validation of the performance of features and functionalities, and provides an opportunity to execute comparative analysis of the test results. Through proper maintenance, the longevity of automated testing tools can be ensured along with apportioning free time for the testers to look into other projects.