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What is Conventional Testing? | Types, How to Do & Challenges

February 1, 2024Aayush Saxena
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As the software testing market surpasses a staggering $45 billion, with forecasts aiming at $109.5 billion by 2027, the role of conventional testing in this burgeoning industry remains significant. Despite the rapid growth and adoption of automated testing techniques, conventional testing – the manual, hands-on approach to ensuring software quality – continues to play a pivotal role. Approximately two-thirds of software development companies maintain a balance between manual and automated testing, often in ratios like 75:25 or 50:50, underlining the enduring relevance of traditional testing methods.

In 2023, the software testing landscape is witnessing a shift, with trends leaning towards more agile and automated approaches. However, conventional testing, with its focus on manual processes, still constitutes a critical part of software quality assurance. It offers a unique blend of human intuition and flexibility, vital for testing scenarios where automated tools may fall short. 

This blog post delves into the world of conventional testing, exploring its types, methodologies, and the challenges it faces in an increasingly automated industry.

What is Conventional Testing?

Conventional Testing, synonymous with manual testing, is the practice of manually executing test cases in software testing. Imagine a tester navigating an application, just like a user, scrutinizing every feature and functionality without the aid of automated tools. This method is akin to a craftsman examining their work by hand, ensuring every aspect meets the required quality standards. It involves direct interaction with the software, where testers apply their experience and intuition to identify defects, assess usability, and evaluate overall performance.

Despite the advancements in automated testing, Conventional Testing holds its ground, especially in scenarios requiring human judgment and creativity. It’s crucial in exploratory testing, where testers freely investigate the application to discover unexpected issues. 

As highlighted in Testsigma’s insights on different testing types, this traditional approach remains indispensable for its flexibility and adaptability, ensuring software not only functions correctly but also delivers a seamless user experience.

Stages in Conventional Testing

Conventional Testing follows a structured, sequential process, ensuring a comprehensive assessment of software quality. Understanding these stages is crucial for any software testing professional. Here are the key stages in Conventional Testing:

  1. Planning: This initial stage sets the foundation. Testers define the objectives, create detailed test plans, and identify the resources needed. This phase is about strategizing how to approach the testing, considering factors like timelines, test environments, and necessary tools.
  2. Requirements Analysis: Here, testers analyze software requirements to determine the scope of testing. This involves identifying potential risks, understanding user expectations, and developing test cases. It’s like mapping out what needs to be tested and anticipating possible challenges.
  3. Design: In this stage, the actual test cases are designed. These test cases are the blueprints that guide testers on what to test and how. They ensure that the software’s functionality aligns with the specified requirements and covers various user scenarios.
  4. Execution: Now, testers run the test cases and document any defects or errors they find in the software. This stage is the hands-on part of testing, where theories and plans meet reality. Testers interact with the software, performing various tasks to see if everything works as intended.
  5. Reporting: After execution, testers document the results, including any defects or issues discovered. This documentation is then presented to the development team for fixing. It’s a critical phase for communication and collaboration between testers and developers.
  6. Retesting: Once defects are addressed, testers rerun the test cases to verify fixes. This step ensures that the changes made haven’t introduced new issues and that the software now meets the required standards.
  7. Release: Finally, the software is released for end-user use, but only after ensuring it meets the specified quality criteria. This stage marks the culmination of the testing process, where the product is deemed ready for the market.

Each stage in Conventional Testing plays a vital role in the development lifecycle, helping to create software that is not just functional but also reliable and user-friendly. For further insights into efficient software testing methodologies, you can explore Testsigma’s guide on automated testing, which complements conventional methods.

How to Do Conventional Testing?

Conventional Testing, with its manual approach, demands meticulous attention to detail and a structured methodology. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to effectively carry out Conventional Testing:

  1. Understand the Requirements: Begin by thoroughly understanding the software requirements. This involves not just knowing what the software does, but also grasping the user expectations and business context. It’s essential to know the ‘why’ behind each feature.
  2. Create Detailed Test Plans: Develop a comprehensive test plan that outlines the scope of testing, methodologies to be used, resources required, and timelines. This plan should also include the criteria for entering and exiting different testing phases.
  3. Design Test Cases: Based on the requirements and test plan, design test cases that cover all aspects of the software functionality. These test cases should be clear, concise, and replicable, covering both typical and edge-case scenarios.
  4. Set Up the Test Environment: Prepare the environment where the testing will take place. This includes setting up the necessary hardware, software, network configurations, and any other tools or resources needed.
  5. Execute the Tests: Manually execute the test cases as per the plan. While testing, keep an eye out for any deviations from expected outcomes. Record the results of each test case, noting any failures or anomalies.
  6. Log Defects: If defects are found, log them in a detailed and structured manner. Include information like the test case, steps to reproduce the defect, expected versus actual results, and any relevant screenshots or logs.
  7. Collaborate and Communicate: Regularly communicate with the development team to discuss findings, clarify requirements, and suggest improvements. Effective collaboration is key to resolving issues quickly and efficiently.
  8. Retest and Regression Test: After defects are fixed, retest the affected functionalities to ensure the fixes work as intended. Also, perform regression testing to check that new changes haven’t adversely affected existing functionalities.
  9. Conduct Final Review and Closure: Once all test cases are executed and defects are resolved, conduct a final review. Ensure that the software meets the quality standards and all testing criteria have been satisfied before giving the green light for release.

Effective Conventional Testing requires a blend of thorough planning, diligent execution, and continuous collaboration. For teams looking to integrate Conventional Testing with modern methodologies, exploring resources like Testsigma’s guide on end-to-end testing can provide valuable insights.

Advantages of Conventional Testing

Conventional Testing, or manual testing, has several distinct advantages that make it an essential component of the software testing process. Here are some key benefits:

  1. Human Insight: The biggest strength of Conventional Testing lies in the human factor. Testers bring their intuition, understanding, and creativity to the process, often identifying issues that automated tests might miss. This human touch is crucial for assessing the user experience, understanding the subtleties of the software, and making judgment calls that automated tools can’t replicate.
  2. Flexibility and Adaptability: Manual testing offers unparalleled flexibility. Testers can easily adapt their approach as new requirements emerge or when unexpected issues are discovered. This adaptability is especially important in the early stages of development, where changes are frequent and the software is still evolving.
  3. Cost-Effectiveness: For smaller projects or organizations with limited resources, Conventional Testing can be more cost-effective compared to setting up an automated testing framework. It requires less upfront investment in tools and infrastructure, making it accessible for various types of projects.
  4. Testing of Non-functional Aspects: Manual testing is particularly effective for evaluating non-functional aspects like usability, accessibility, and user interface. Testers can experience the application from an end-user’s perspective, providing insights into user satisfaction and overall experience.
  5. No Need for Scripting Knowledge: Conventional Testing does not require knowledge of scripting or test automation tools, making it easier for new testers or those with limited technical expertise to contribute effectively.
  6. Better Collaboration: Manual testing often requires closer collaboration between testers, developers, and other stakeholders. This collaboration can lead to better communication and understanding across teams, enhancing the overall quality of the product.
  7. Ideal for Exploratory Testing: Conventional Testing is ideal for exploratory testing, where testers actively explore and experiment with the software to uncover unexpected behavior or bugs. This type of testing relies heavily on the tester’s skill and intuition.

While Conventional Testing has its advantages, it’s important to balance it with automated testing for more efficient and comprehensive coverage, as explained in Testsigma’s blog on scriptless test automation.



Disadvantages of Conventional Testing

While Conventional Testing offers several benefits, it also comes with certain drawbacks that need to be considered. Here are some of the key disadvantages:

  1. Time-Consuming Process: One of the primary drawbacks of manual testing is its time-intensive nature. Testing each functionality manually can be slow, especially for larger and more complex applications. This extended duration can impact the overall project timeline.
  2. Limited Test Coverage: Manual testing may not always cover every possible scenario or test case. Due to its dependency on human testers, some aspects might be overlooked, potentially leading to undiscovered defects.
  3. Subjectivity and Inconsistency: The quality of Conventional Testing can vary significantly based on the tester’s skills and experience. Different testers may have varying interpretations and approaches, leading to inconsistent testing results and making it challenging to reproduce certain issues.
  4. Higher Long-Term Costs: While manual testing can be cost-effective initially, it may become more expensive in the long run. The ongoing need for human resources and the time taken for manual testing can add up, especially as projects scale.
  5. Repetitive and Monotonous: Performing the same tests repeatedly can be tedious for testers, potentially leading to decreased attention and oversight. This monotony can affect the overall quality of the testing process.
  6. Error-Prone: Being reliant on human execution, manual testing is susceptible to errors. Testers might miss critical defects, especially when dealing with complex test scenarios or working under tight deadlines.
  7. Challenges in Regression Testing: In cases of frequent changes or updates to the software, manual regression testing becomes challenging and resource-intensive, often requiring the same tests to be executed repeatedly.

To mitigate these challenges, it’s beneficial to complement Conventional Testing with automated testing strategies. Automated testing can address some of these limitations by providing faster execution, consistent results, and broader test coverage. For insights into effective testing strategies, consider exploring Testsigma’s guide on automated web application testing.

Test Strategies for Conventional Software

Developing effective test strategies for conventional software is key to ensuring the quality and reliability of the final product. Here’s a guide to formulating robust test strategies for conventional (manual) software testing:

  1. Comprehensive Test Planning: Start with a detailed test plan that outlines the scope of testing, objectives, and methodologies. The plan should consider different aspects of the software, including functional, usability, and performance testing. It’s crucial to align the test plan with the overall project goals and user expectations.
  2. Prioritize Test Cases: Given the time-intensive nature of manual testing, it’s important to prioritize test cases based on factors like criticality, user impact, and risk. Focus on testing the most crucial functionalities first, especially those that directly affect the user experience or system stability.
  3. Employ Exploratory Testing: Encourage exploratory testing where testers have the freedom to experiment and explore different scenarios beyond predefined test cases. This approach can uncover unexpected issues and provide deep insights into the software’s behavior.
  4. Iterative Testing Approach: Implement an iterative testing approach, especially in agile development environments. Test early and often, starting with the basic functionalities and gradually expanding the scope as the software evolves.
  5. Manual Test Case Optimization: Regularly review and update the test cases to ensure they remain effective and relevant. Eliminate redundant tests and refine existing ones for better coverage and efficiency.
  6. Cross-functional Collaboration: Foster strong collaboration between testers, developers, and other stakeholders. Regular communication helps in clarifying requirements, addressing issues swiftly, and ensuring a shared understanding of the project objectives.
  7. Risk-based Testing: Focus on risk-based testing where testing efforts are directed towards areas of the software that pose the highest risk in terms of failure or impact on users. This ensures efficient use of resources and maximum mitigation of potential issues.
  8. Usability and Accessibility Testing: Pay special attention to usability and accessibility testing. Manually test the software from an end-user’s perspective to ensure it is intuitive, user-friendly, and accessible to all users, including those with disabilities.
  9. Documentation and Reporting: Maintain thorough documentation of test cases, results, defects, and other relevant information. Effective reporting helps in tracking progress, making informed decisions, and facilitating knowledge transfer.
  10. Leverage Feedback Loops: Utilize feedback from users and stakeholders to continuously improve the testing process. User feedback, in particular, can be invaluable in identifying areas for enhancement in the software.

By implementing these strategies, testers can ensure a comprehensive and effective testing process for conventional software. Alongside these manual strategies, it’s beneficial to explore automated testing options for certain repetitive or time-consuming tasks. For insights into how automated testing can complement manual efforts, visit Testsigma’s guide on QA automation tools.

Challenges Associated With Conventional Testing

While Conventional Testing is crucial in software development, it comes with its own set of challenges. Addressing these challenges is key to optimizing the testing process and ensuring software quality. Here are some of the common challenges associated with Conventional Testing:

  1. Resource Intensive: Conventional Testing often requires significant human resources. Assembling and maintaining a team of skilled testers can be costly, especially for large-scale projects where extensive manual testing is required.
  2. Scalability Issues: Scaling manual testing efforts to match the pace and volume of software development can be challenging. As software complexity grows, the manual workload increases, making it difficult to keep up without compromising on testing quality or speed.
  3. Maintaining Consistency: Ensuring consistency in test execution and results is a major challenge in manual testing. Different testers might have varying interpretations and approaches, leading to inconsistent outcomes and making it hard to reproduce bugs.
  4. Time Constraints: Manual testing is time-consuming, and in fast-paced development environments, meeting tight deadlines can be a significant challenge. Balancing thorough testing with the need to deliver software quickly is often a tricky proposition.
  5. Error Proneness: Human error is an inherent risk in manual testing. Even experienced testers can overlook issues, especially when dealing with repetitive tasks or complex test scenarios.
  6. Difficulty in Regression Testing: Performing comprehensive regression testing manually is laborious and prone to errors. Each time the software is updated, testers have to repeat a large set of test cases, which is not only time-consuming but also monotonous.
  7. Limited Test Coverage: Achieving complete test coverage is difficult with Conventional Testing. There’s always a risk of missing out on testing certain scenarios, which could lead to undiscovered bugs.
  8. Adapting to Rapid Changes: In agile and iterative development models, requirements can change frequently. Adapting the manual testing process to these rapid changes can be challenging, requiring constant updates to test plans and cases.
  9. Measuring Test Effectiveness: Quantifying the effectiveness of manual testing efforts and demonstrating ROI can be difficult. Unlike automated testing, where results and metrics are more easily tracked, manual testing requires more qualitative assessment methods.
  10. Integration with Modern Development Practices: Integrating manual testing processes with modern development practices and tools can be challenging, especially in organizations transitioning towards more agile and DevOps-centric approaches.

To mitigate these challenges, it’s essential to balance manual testing with automated testing where appropriate, and continuously refine testing processes. 



Limitations of Conventional Testing

Conventional Testing, while valuable, has its limitations that can impact the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the software testing process. Recognizing these limitations is crucial for developing a balanced and comprehensive testing strategy. Here are some key limitations associated with Conventional Testing:

  1. Inadequate for Large-Scale Projects: Manual testing can be impractical for large-scale projects with complex requirements. The sheer volume of testing required in such cases can make manual testing a bottleneck, slowing down the development process.
  2. Limited Speed and Efficiency: The manual nature of Conventional Testing inherently limits its speed. Automated tests can execute multiple test cases simultaneously at a much faster rate, a feat difficult to achieve with manual testing.
  3. Difficulty in Testing High-Volume Data: Manual testing is not suitable for scenarios that require testing with high volumes of data. Automation can handle such tests more effectively, especially where data-driven testing is crucial.
  4. Challenges in Repetitive Tasks: Performing repetitive tests, such as regression tests, can be tedious and error-prone in manual testing. This can lead to tester fatigue and increased chances of missing out on critical defects.
  5. Less Suitable for Non-Functional Testing: While manual testing is effective for functional testing, it may not be the best choice for certain types of non-functional testing like load or stress testing, where automated tools can simulate thousands of users or transactions.
  6. Difficulty in Maintaining Documentation: Manual testing requires extensive documentation for test cases, results, and defects. Maintaining and updating this documentation can be cumbersome and time-consuming.
  7. Reliance on Human Skill and Experience: The effectiveness of Conventional Testing heavily relies on the skill and experience of the testers. Inconsistencies in tester capabilities can lead to variations in testing quality.
  8. Lack of Continuous Integration and Delivery Compatibility: Integrating manual testing into continuous integration and delivery pipelines can be challenging, as it lacks the speed and immediacy provided by automated testing.
  9. Inability to Perform Certain Types of Testing: Some types of testing, such as API testing at scale or complex back-end testing, may be difficult or impossible to perform manually with the same effectiveness as automated testing.
  10. Risk of Subjectivity: Manual testing can introduce subjectivity, as different testers may interpret and execute test cases differently, leading to inconsistent results.

Understanding these limitations is key to determining when and how to incorporate Conventional Testing within a broader testing strategy that also includes automated testing techniques. For insights into balancing manual and automated testing, exploring resources such as Testsigma’s end-to-end testing guide can provide a comprehensive perspective.

Conclusion

Conventional Testing, rooted in manual methodologies, continues to play a vital role in software quality assurance. It brings the indispensable elements of human intuition and flexibility, crucial for a nuanced understanding of user experiences and intricate software functionalities. However, its challenges, including time constraints and scalability issues, highlight the need for a balanced approach in the contemporary, fast-paced world of software development.

The future of effective software testing lies in harmonizing the strengths of Conventional Testing with the efficiency of automated methods. This synergy ensures comprehensive coverage, quicker testing cycles, and ultimately, the delivery of high-quality software products. Embracing continuous learning and adapting to emerging tools and practices will be key for professionals striving to maintain software excellence in this dynamic landscape.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the difference between conventional and unconventional testing?

Conventional Testing:

  • Traditional approach; involves manual testing of software.
  • Focuses on testing software features and functionality.
  • Follows a structured process within the software development life cycle.
  • Emphasizes functionality and user interaction.

Unconventional Testing:

  • Often refers to more modern or less traditional testing methods.
  • May include innovative, automated, or non-standard testing approaches.
  • Focuses on newer aspects like user experience, security, and performance.
  • Adapts to rapid changes in software development methodologies.

2. What is the difference between Cloud Testing Vs. Conventional Testing?

Cloud Testing:

  • Testing of applications using cloud computing resources.
  • Offers scalability, flexibility, and reduced cost for testing.
  • Enables testing in a variety of network environments.
  • Facilitates performance and load testing with cloud resources.

Conventional Testing:

  • Typically conducted on-premise or in a controlled environment.
  • Relies on physical resources and manual testing methods.
  • May not offer the same scalability and flexibility as cloud testing.
  • Focuses primarily on the application’s functionality and user interface.

3. Difference Between Object-Oriented Testing and Conventional Testing

Object-Oriented Testing:

  • Tailored to test object-oriented software with classes and objects.
  • Focuses on testing class hierarchy, inheritance, and polymorphism.
  • Involves testing encapsulation, data abstraction, and modularity.
  • Suitable for applications developed using object-oriented programming languages.

Conventional Testing:

  • Applicable to procedural and structural programming models.
  • Involves testing individual functions and procedures.
  • Focuses on testing the software from a functional and user perspective.
  • Emphasizes on the inputs, processing, and outputs of software modules.
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