Automated UI Testing : Definition, Examples, and Best Practices

Be it color, navigation, responsiveness, images, or typography, everything comes down to UI test automation. Testing these UI elements on the website and mobile application determines the user experience. This guide covers the intricacies of UI test automation with multiple examples and best practices you can follow. Also, learn how Testsigma assists the UI testing process with product screenshots.

Lucrative images, ads, and visuals have always been the first and foremost approach to attracting customer attention. Even in the online world, businesses are focusing on building websites and applications with interesting and smooth interfaces. And the idea seems definitive when you learn that almost 42% of users cite poor UI functionality as the reason not to return the website. Clearly, good UI is important. And it does not come without better UI test automation.

Be it color, navigation, responsiveness, images, or typography, testing these elements on the website and mobile application determines the user experience. This guide covers the intricacies of UI test automation with multiple examples and best practices you can follow.

Defining UI Test Automation

UI test automation is defined as automating the UI testing process using automation tools and frameworks. Here, the practice of UI testing is validating the interaction of users with the interface of the application. It verifies that the design and aesthetics of the software align with customer specifications and expectations. UI of the software includes navigation, UI workflows, and webpage element placement, such as buttons, images, input fields, and more. And all of this you can automate using the right set of tools that minimize the time, cost, and manual efforts in testing the application’s UI. You can further re-use the test scripts for regression testing without spending extra time on building new test cases.

The benefits of this are tremendous; by automating UI testing, software development teams can efficiently identify and address UI-related defects, enhance application quality, and increase the speed of the testing process. We will list more benefits of UI test automation below.

Benefits of UI Test Automation

UI automation testing can greatly improve software quality and increase customer satisfaction. Here are some of the key benefits for you to follow:

  • Automating UI assists in providing quick and actionable feedback to every team involved in the project.
  • Automation increases the possibility of defect detection at an early stage as it catches UI issues firsthand.
  • The approach ensures that the application maintains a consistent user interface and behavior across different test runs and environments.
  • It will surely improve the testing and defect resolution process by 2x to 5x faster.
  • Automated UI tests can cover a wide range of test scenarios and use cases, providing comprehensive test coverage.
  • Following a proper automation approach helps to direct the resources and testers in the right direction, preferably on more complex testing activities.
  • The ability of UI automation to integrate seamlessly with continuous integration pipelines enables faster and more reliable software releases.
  • Automation allows for running tests more frequently, ensuring that the application is continuously validated throughout its development lifecycle.
  • Adopting an automated UI testing approach reduces the potential for human errors.
  • UI automation will prove useful for your business in building better collaboration between testers, developers, and other stakeholders, facilitating a more efficient testing process.

How to Get Started With UI Test Automation?

If you have been approaching UI testing manually, it can be overwhelming to transition to automation. Where do you begin? What prerequisites should you focus on? How do you define and create test cases? Let us walk you through the process of getting started with automated UI testing.

  • Initiate the automation process with application analysis. Understand the UI aspect of the software and identify all the areas that have an impact on the interface. Determine the use cases of application’s UI to target high-quality and necessary test elements for your users. Don’t forget to document everything.
  • Now comes the part of selecting an automation tool that aligns exactly with your needs. There are some tools that offer extensive libraries and plug-ins that might fit your requirements. Some other tools, such as Testsigma, provide easy test case creation with a no-code approach. Whatever matches with your testing approach should be your choice. Also, make sure that your final option fits well with the skill set of the team.
  • Develop a test strategy to include test case creation, test data management, tool usage, results reporting and analysis, and defect management for the entire team to properly follow. It will help in the smooth flow of communication between team members, all the while ensuring an efficient testing process.
  • Build test scripts based on the strategy you outlined in the last step. If done rightly, these automated test scripts verify the UI part of the application, including the functionality related to it. Effective creation of test scripts will ensure proper bug reporting and resolution, which you can perform directly with the testing tool. Testsigma allows for integrations with multiple defect management platforms, thereby assisting you to easily complete the delivery pipeline.

Check out our exclusive guide on popular automated UI testing tools with comprehensive details about all the tools.

Automated UI Testing and Its Challenges

While UI automated tests are extremely useful, it also comes with its fair share of challenges.

  • Selecting the right tool is a huge challenge and requires extensive research and knowledge.
  • Modern applications have complex and quite exhaustive interfaces, which can become an issue while testing.
  • As UI and software scale, they get UI upgrades. Changing and maintaining test scripts to include these changes for future tests can be challenging.
  • Often, budget and skill gaps can add to the issue.
  • It can be a challenge for businesses that are just starting with automated UI testing.

Developing an Automated UI Test (explained with Testsigma)

Let’s consider a simple example of a sign-up with a few UI elements. We will show you how to automate UI tests for such web pages with the help of the test automation tool Testsigma. Please note that the tool can execute much more complex tests than this one.

We have to validate the UI elements on the below page.

ave to validate the UI elements on the below page.

Testsigma demo page

The page has several test cases, such as:

  • Verify that text alignment is proper
  • Check if the input fields are displaying correctly
  • Ensure that the ‘Sign Up’ button is clickable
  • Check if the ‘Privacy Policy’ and ‘Terms of Conditions’ links are clickable
  • Verify that the ‘Sign In’ option is clickable
  • Make sure that the input field is accepting valid credentials
  • Ensure that the user gets an error message when entering an invalid input
  • Check that the error message is correct and has proper alignment on the page

You can identify more tests on the page. These are some of the basic ones we have listed down.

When it comes to automating GUI testing, Testsigma is the tool that offers a no-code approach using NLP-based testing. You can easily create test cases in simple English, which further makes their maintenance effortless. 

Follow the below steps to automate your UI tests with Testsigma:

Test Scenario: To check the sign up page on Testsigma. We will validate if the ‘Sign Up’ button is clickable after entering valid email address in the input field.

  1. Log into your Testsigma account and go to Test Development

Testsigma Test Development

  1. Click on Create button on the right top panel to create a new test case with name and URL.

Testsigma Test Case Creation

  1. Develop the test steps using the appropriate NLPs from the multiple options available in drop down. Alternatively, you can also build the steps using record and playback option.
  2. After you are done creating the test steps, click on Run. You will receive a screenshot and a video as well, which you can analyze in case your test fails.

Run the Test Case

  1. Now, verify that you received an email from Testsigma to confirm your sign up with a login code.
  2. Repeat the same steps with an invalid email address to verify if an error message is shown to the user.

UI Test Automation Best Practices

And before we come to the conclusion of this guide, here are some of the best practices to take your UI automation testing to the next level:

  • Start the testing process only after you have clearly defined all the UI requirements and use cases to automate.
  • Like any other testing approach, your automated UI testing will benefit from selecting the right tool.
  • Utilize reliable and unique identifiers (IDs, names, CSS selectors, etc.) to locate UI elements while creating test scripts.
  • Execute data-driven testing for the test scenario with different sets of test data, covering various use cases and edge cases.
  • Focus only on the real use cases (both positive and negative) for testing rather than trying to cover all the edge cases to achieve 100% test coverage.
  • Integrate automated UI tests into your CI/CD pipeline to ensure that tests are automatically triggered with each code change, allowing for early detection of issues.
  • Lastly, follow this GUI checklist to avoid missing out on any testing point.

While this list is not comprehensive, you will surely witness positive results upon following these techniques.

Key Takeaways

UI test verifies the visuals of your system. It checks all the elements on the site that users interact with and highlights issues that might make customers to never return. Automating these test to save time and manual effort is UI test automation. In this guide, you learned:

  • To define automated UI tests with their benefits and challenges
  • How to employ test automation using Testsigma with images and examples
  • What you can need to know to select the right tool
  • To do more with your UI tests and the tools

Frequently Asked Questions