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Behavior Testing : What it is, Why & How to Automate?

In this comprehensive guide to behavior testing, you we lay down practical techniques and explore top tools to help you deliver great user experiences.
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Imagine you’re a pilot about to embark on a journey. Before takeoff, you trust that every component of the plane behaves as expected, has been rigorously tested and validated to ensure your safety. Similarly, behavior testing in software development serves as the meticulous quality check before the software release.

In this blog, we will discuss why behavior testing is pivotal in the development cycle. And we’ll not only delve into the ‘what’ and ‘why’ but also talk about the ‘how,’ specifically, how automation is reshaping the landscape of software testing.

So, let’s start with the basics of “what is behavioral testing.”

Table Of Contents

What is Behaviour Testing?

Behavior testing or behavioral testing is a type of testing that focuses on testing the external behavior of a software application. It is a type of functional testing. 

It helps ensure that software systems meet the expectations and requirements of end-users, making it a valuable part of the software development and testing process. Behavior testing is also known as black-box testing.

Behavior testing

Why Should We Perform Behavior Testing?

Behavior testing focuses on assessing the external functionality of a system. This testing is performed without prior knowledge of the internal workings of the application. It aims to understand the expected responses of the system when specific inputs are provided to the application under test.

Techniques Used in Behavior Testing

Some of the techniques used in behavior testing/black box testing are as follows,

  • Boundary Value Analysis,
  • Equivalence Class,
  • Domain Tests,
  • Decision Tables,
  • Orthogonal Arrays,
  • State Models,
  • All-pairs testing,
  • Exploratory Testing.

We will discuss these testing techniques in detail in the below sections.

What Influence Does Behavior Testing Have on the Entire Testing Scenario?

Behavior testing plays a vital role in the entire testing process by providing valuable insights into the external behavior and functionality of the application. Let’s see how behavior testing influences in the below section,

Assures High-Quality

Behavior testing helps ensure the quality and reliability of the software by verifying that it functions as expected. That is how it contributes to the overall software quality.

Find Hidden Bugs

It helps identify bugs, errors, and inconsistencies in the application. This early detection allows developers to fix bugs, reducing the cost and effort of addressing issues in the later stages of development.

Leveraging AI in Testing

To rapidly deliver high-quality products to customers, software companies have adopted new methods and tools, including the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in robotics process automation (RPA). This helps reshape business goals, focusing on quality, speed, and cost-effectiveness. 

Behavior testing aligns with Agile and DevOps techniques by fulfilling testing objectives. However, it’s important to note that test automation remains underutilized in many businesses. So, start automating your tests.


Simulate Various User Scenarios

In software testing, AI can simulate user behaviors based on various factors like location and device, using these simulations to create intelligent test suites. Additionally, it can analyze user activities on social media platforms, identify faults, and make informed decisions about test coverage and suite optimization.

Helps with Critical Tasks

Maintaining test cases can be complex and time-consuming due to the complex structure of test cases. Maintaining testing tools is necessary yet time-consuming. AI automation testing can reduce the need for human involvement in tool maintenance and execution, allowing testers to focus on exploratory testing and expedite the process.

AI Capabilities

When software is updated, it can sometimes break UI tests because certain elements are no longer recognized. Predictive self-healing tackles this issue. Apart from running tests, QA engineers also have to maintain tests, which can be tedious. Using an AI testing framework that has self-healing capability will update the test suites automatically whenever there is a change in the UI. This helps the QA team to save time and effort on maintenance.

Visual Testing

Visual validation is another perk of AI-powered automated testing tools. Let’s see how this helps expedite the software testing process. 

Testsigma, the AI-driven test automation platform, supports visual testing, where it uses a base image to compare with the current images. It helps detect even the slightest visual bugs or visual differences in the software application using image recognition, ensuring that the UI is as expected.

Visual Testing with Testsigma

Cloud-Based Testing

Cloud-based virtualization helps address the complexity of testing on various devices, screen sizes, OS, browsers, and configurations. AI-driven automated testing tools help teams test their products on the cloud, reducing manual efforts, time, and costs.

What Type of Errors Can Be Identified Using Behavior Testing?

Behavioral testing helps uncover a range of issues in a software application by examining its external behavior. If you’re wondering what types of errors will be identified using behavior testing, take a look at the list below.

Functional Errors

You can identify the discrepancies between the expected and actual behavior of the software. For example, a button that is supposed to submit a form might not work as intended.

Input Validation Errors

Behavior testing can reveal problems with how the application handles different types of inputs. This includes issues like accepting invalid data or failing to handle special characters.

Boundary Errors

These occur when the software fails to handle values at the edges of acceptable ranges. For instance, a system may not correctly process the highest or lowest allowed values.

Usability Issues

Behavior testing can uncover usability problems, such as confusing user interfaces or unintuitive navigation paths that may hinder user interaction.

Performance Issues

Although not the primary focus of behavior testing, it can sometimes reveal performance-related issues, like slow response times or resource-intensive operations.

Security Vulnerabilities 

Though it doesn’t specialize in identifying security-related issues, behavior testing may inadvertently expose certain security weaknesses, such as authentication bypass or data leakage.

Compatibility Issues 

It may help identify problems with how the application behaves across different browsers, devices, or operating systems.

Error Handling

You can check how the application responds to unexpected scenarios or error conditions. For example, it may not show clear error messages to users.

Concurrency Issues 

Behavior testing may reveal problems related to how the application handles multiple users simultaneously.

Accessibility Issues

It helps testers to identify accessibility challenges, like the lack of support for screen readers or keyboard navigation.

Error Identification Using Behavior Testing

Behavior testing techniques are strategies and approaches used to evaluate the external functionality and behavior of a system. Here are some commonly used behavior testing techniques:

Equivalence Partitioning

The equivalence partitioning testing technique involves dividing the input data into different classes or partitions, such as valid and invalid data, assuming that the system will behave the same for both inputs.

Equivalence Partitioning Testing

Example – For a login form, if the password requires at least 8 characters, you might test one case with a 6-character password (invalid) and another with a 10-character password (valid).

Equivalence Partitioning Example

Boundary Value Analysis

It focuses on testing the boundaries of input ranges, as errors often occur at the edges of these ranges. Test cases are designed for values at the lower and upper boundaries and just above and below them.

Example – If an input field accepts values from 1 to 100, the test data can be 0, 1, 2, 99, 100, and 101.

State Transition Testing

State transition testing is particularly useful for systems that have different states or modes. This technique verifies if the system transitions correctly from one state to another based on specific inputs. 

Example: For an ATM, you’d test the transitions between states like idle, card inserted, pin entered, transaction selected, etc.

State Transition Testing

Exploratory Testing

Testers explore the system without specific test cases, focusing on learning the system, understanding its behavior, and finding potential issues.

Example: A tester might explore a newly developed app by using various features, trying different inputs, and observing how the app responds.

Error Guessing

Testers use their intuition and experience to anticipate potential errors and then design test cases to check if these errors occur.

Example: In an e-commerce checkout process, an experienced tester might deliberately enter invalid credit card information to see how the system handles it.

Decision Table Testing

This technique is used for complex systems with multiple variables and conditions. It creates a table of possible combinations of conditions and their corresponding outcomes to ensure all scenarios are covered.

Usability Testing

While not strictly a behavior testing technique, it assesses how easily and effectively users can interact with the system, which is a crucial aspect of its overall behavior. Remote usability testing is the new trend among businesses.

Example: Here, testers navigate through the app and check if it is easy to use for the end-user.

All-pairs Testing

All-pairs testing, also known as pairwise testing, ensures that every pair of input combinations is tested. This helps cover a large number of scenarios with fewer test cases.

Domain Tests

Domain testing involves selecting test cases based on the domain of possible input values. It ensures that the software handles all types of valid and invalid inputs correctly.

Orthogonal Arrays

Orthogonal array testing is a statistical method that helps select a small, representative subset of test cases that cover the maximum number of combinations of variables.

Using Testsigma, testers can create test scenarios based on different test case design techniques like equivalence classes and boundary value analysis. The platform provides an intuitive interface for defining input ranges and expected outcomes.

Create Different Test Data with Testsigma

How to Conduct Behaviour Testing?

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to automate behavior testing,

Test Objectives

Define clear and concise test objectives and goals for behavioral testing.

Select a Testing Framework

Why stop at manual testing when automated testing offers a quantum leap in efficiency and precision? Automated behavior testing helps catch bugs early, iterate faster, and deliver a seamless user experience.

Choose an automated testing tool that supports various types of testing. So you don’t have to use different tools for different testing. You can automate behavioral testing using behavioral testing software. Testsigma supports various types of functional testing.


Define Test Scenarios

Clearly define the scenarios you want to test. Use techniques like Equivalence Class, Boundary Value Analysis, etc., to identify critical scenarios.

Create Test Scripts

Using the selected testing framework, write scripts that automate the execution of the defined test scenarios. These scripts will then simulate user interactions with the application.

Create Test Data

Prepare the necessary test data to use during the automated tests. Ensure it covers various scenarios, including both valid and invalid inputs.

Execute Tests

Execute the automated tests and monitor the results to identify any failures or unexpected behavior.

Generate Reports and Logs

Create test reports using the test results and forward them to the development team so they can work on bug fixing.

Maintain and Update Tests

Review and update the test cases regularly to account for changes in the application’s behavior or user interface.

By following the above steps, you can effectively automate behavior testing and incorporate it into your software development process to ensure that your application behaves as intended.

How to Automate Behaviour Testing with Testsigma

Automated Behavior Testing

Testsigma is a powerful AI-powered, low-code, cloud-based test automation platform that makes test creation, execution, and maintenance easy and efficient. It supports various types of testing, including behavior testing. To test behavior, follow the below steps.

Let’s take a sample and see how quickly you can automate behavioral tests using Testsigma.

Sample Page – 

Sample Webpage

Test Scenario – The user should be able to log in and use the application. 

Step 1 – Log in to Testsigma Cloud. Navigate to Create New – Create Test Case, or use Create Project to create a new project.

Testsigma

Step 2 – Create test steps using the appropriate NLPs from the drop-down and proceed. Alternatively, you can use the Record button to record user interactions to create test steps. 

Step 3 – Once the test steps are created, click Run to execute the test cases.

Step 4 – After the test execution, you will get the test case results along with what failed and details.

Testsigma

Testsigma offers a free trial and two paid plans – pro and enterprise.

Benefits of Automating Behavior Testing with Testsigma

Automating behavior testing with Testsigma offers several benefits to software development and testing teams. Let’s take a look at the top advantages of automating testing,

Accelerates Testing

Testsigma makes your testing 5x faster, which helps you ship products at an 8x faster rate to the market.

Low-code/No-code Test Automation

Testsigma supports scriptless testing. That is, testers can create and execute tests without writing code. It makes it accessible to everyone on the team, including those without programming knowledge.

Natural Language Processing (NLP)

Using Testsigma, you can create test cases using simple English, as it supports NLP-based testing. This allows non-technical team members, like stakeholders or product owners, to contribute to the test automation process.

Test Case Reusability

Testsigma allows for easy reuse of test cases. It is particularly beneficial for behavior testing, as similar test scenarios can be applied to different parts of the application.

Parallel Execution

Testsigma allows for parallel testing, which helps save time by running multiple tests simultaneously.

AI capabilities 

It leverages AI to provide suggestions for improving your tests, making them more robust and effective. That is self-healing capability, in-built test case review management, etc.

Automated Regression Testing

Behavior testing often involves repeating tests to ensure that new changes do not negatively impact existing functionality. Testsigma enables automated regression testing to efficiently cover these scenarios.

Cross-Browser Testing

Testsigma supports cross-browser testing, allowing testers to verify that the application’s behavior remains consistent across different browsers, screen sizes, and devices. It supports over 3000+ real devices/tablets and 1000+ browser/OS combos.

Third-party app Integration

Testsigma integrates with popular CI/CD tools, product management, collaboration, and bug-tracking tools. For example, Jira, Jenkins, CircleCI, Travis CI, Azure, etc. This allows teams to seamlessly incorporate automated testing into their continuous integration and deployment pipelines.

Code-Based Testing

It also supports script-based testing, where testers can create custom test scripts using Java to test scenarios that might require coding.

Custom Test Report

Testsigma provides comprehensive test reporting and analytics. This allows teams to track test results, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions for improvement. Testers can also create custom reports in various formats.

Advantages of Conducting Behavioral Tests

Conducting behavioral tests offers several significant advantages in the development and quality assurance process of software and systems. Here are some key benefits,

Identifying Issues Early

Behavioral tests allow testers to detect functional issues and bugs in the early stages of development. It helps in preventing costly and time-consuming fixes later in the development cycle.

Improved Software Quality

By testing behavior, it’s possible to ensure that your application meets the specified requirements and functions as intended. This leads to the creation of high-quality software products.

Enhanced User Experience

Behavioral tests focus on how users interact with the software. By addressing user-centric scenarios, you can improve the overall user experience and satisfaction.

Reduced Risk of Failures

Conducting behavioral tests helps reduce the risk of software failures, crashes, and malfunctions when it’s deployed in real-world environments.

Increased Confidence in Releases

Thorough behavioral testing provides stakeholders, including developers, product owners, and end-users, with confidence that the software will perform reliably and consistently.

Efficient Bug Tracking and Reporting

Through behavioral tests, it’s easier to identify and track specific functionalities or scenarios that may be causing issues. This simplifies the bug-reporting process, making it more efficient to resolve issues.

Savings in Time and Costs

Early detection and rectification of issues in the development cycle can save significant time and resources that would otherwise be spent on troubleshooting and fixing problems later.

Regression Testing Efficiency

Behavioral tests serve as a baseline for regression testing. When new features are added, or changes are made, these tests can quickly confirm if existing functionalities remain intact.

Facilitates Collaboration

Clear behavioral tests provide a common ground for developers, testers, and stakeholders to understand and agree upon the expected behavior of the software.

Continuous Improvement

Analyzing the results of behavioral tests can provide valuable insights into areas for improvement, both in terms of functionality and user experience.

Customer Satisfaction

When software behaves as expected and meets user needs, it leads to higher levels of customer satisfaction, which can translate into positive reviews, referrals, and customer loyalty.

Competitive Advantage

By delivering a reliable and user-friendly product, companies can gain a competitive edge in the market, attracting and retaining customers over competitors with less rigorously tested software.

Security Testing

Safety is paramount when it comes to software products. In today’s competitive landscape, data breaches can be disastrous. Security testing is crucial for ensuring applications are robust and secure. This approach helps identify and fix potential vulnerabilities.

Helps with Software Design and Architecture

Behavioral testing helps understand the software architecture by revealing design flaws. Difficulty in testing code may indicate complex dependencies, potentially leading to performance issues and technical debt. Testing code for ease of evaluation can help with architectural challenges.

User-Friendly Evaluation

Tests written in plain, human-readable language eliminate the need for programming skills. Business Analysts can actively participate in creating and reviewing automated test cases, focusing on improvement suggestions. This approach shifts attention from technical implementation to business requirements.

Performance Testing

Evaluating a system’s ability to handle any type of load is a critical aspect of behavioral testing. It checks the application’s performance under normal and peak load scenarios, ensuring it works effectively.

Yes, behavior testing is related to the Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) framework, but they are not the same thing.

Behavior testing is a type of software testing where the behavior of an application is verified by defining specific inputs and observing the actual outputs. It focuses on evaluating how a system behaves in response to various scenarios.

Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) is a specific software development approach that emerged from Test-Driven Development (TDD). BDD emphasizes collaboration among the team, where test scripts are written in natural language so it is accessible to both technical and non-technical users. It focuses on the product’s behavior and user acceptance criteria.

Conclusion

Behavior testing stands as a crucial pillar in the realm of software testing. It plays a crucial role in ensuring that software meets user expectations, functions reliably, and adheres to industry standards. It’s a critical component of the software development process that ultimately leads to higher quality, more reliable products. Remember, it’s not just about meeting requirements; it’s about exceeding user expectations. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is behavioral testing black box testing?