Suppose an e-commerce website has top-notch functional features and runs on the best possible technology of today. It also allows users to browse multiple products and complete their shopping experience. But the interface is confusing, lacks proper structure, and has an inconsistent layout. Would you navigate that site? We think not!
The visual layout takes precedence in attracting traffic despite functional aspects being critical to a site’s success. Nearly 94% of your website’s first impressions are design related, and almost 50% of consumers believe website design to be crucial.
Visual Layout testing comes to the rescue here. Multiple Visual Layout testing tools help identify design issues and fill those gaps before your users uncover them and leave you stranded.
Table Of Contents
- 1 What is Visual Layout Testing?
- 2 Functional Testing vs Visual Testing
- 3 Top 10 Most Popular Visual GUI Testing Tools
- 4 CubicTest
- 5 Visual Layout Testing Tools: Key Features
- 6 Why is Visual Layout Testing Important?
- 7 Types of Visual Layout Testing
- 8 What are Visual Layout Testing Tools?
- 9 Working of Automated Visual Layout Testing
- 10 Tips to Select the Right Visual Layout Testing Tool
- 11 The Takeaway
What is Visual Layout Testing?
Visual Layout testing, also called Visual GUI testing, is the process of analyzing and verifying that the software’s user interface (UI) appears proper to all the users on different devices. Basically, Visual testing checks if all the elements on the webpage (buttons, menus, text, color, images, and more) display in the right size, shape, and position.
Besides verifying the appearance, the testing process also ensures that these elements function properly across multiple devices, browsers, and operating systems.
You can perform all these tests using Visual Layout tools that help detect issues by comparing screenshots of before-after scenarios. Here, we discuss the top 10 popular Visual test tools that easily and quickly examine your website’s appearance.
Functional Testing vs Visual Testing
When QA performs Functional testing, why do visual issues still exist? Because visual defects are rendering issues, whereas Functional testing checks for functional behavior without concerning design elements.
But does Functional testing overlook appearance? Usually, one webpage will have more than hundreds of elements. While Functional testing can analyze their shape, size, color, and position, the resulting test code will exceed hundreds of lines. That’s why the best way to ensure a clear, smooth, and appealing-looking website is to perform Visual testing separately from other testing processes.
Top 10 Most Popular Visual GUI Testing Tools
Let’s explore some of the most popular Visual layout testing tools:
A popular cloud-based and AI-powered test automation tool, Testsigma supports online and mobile application testing along with API testing. The tool is a codeless testing solution that can run multiple test cases in parallel on different OS and browser versions in real time.
- It offers integration options with several third-party tools, such as multiple CI/CD platforms, bug-tracking software, and collaboration tools.
- Testsigma also consists of in-built Test Labs like BrowserStack, LambdaTest, Kobiton, and Saucelabs.
- For Visual testing, Testsigma provides the option to enable the ‘Visual Testing’ for that particular test step, which starts execution from the next step. That is because the tool requires a snapshot or baseline image to commence Visual testing.
- The tool uses this base image and compares it with future images (changed/updated versions of the original) to identify UI issues. You can explore more about how to use Testsigma for your GUI testing here.
AnnualBasic: $0 / month for basic apps
Pro: $349 / month for fast-growing startups
Enterprise: Contact for a custom offer
MonthlyBasic: $0 / month for basic apps
Pro: $349 / month for fast-growing startups
Enterprise: Contact for a custom offer
Ranorex is a powerful GUI testing automation framework that analyzes web-based, desktop, and mobile applications.
- You can easily integrate the tool with numerous third-party software, such as Jenkins, Jira, TestRail, and many DevOps tools, to automate bug tracking and accelerate product release cycles. It does not have its own scripting language but uses VB.NET and C#.
- Ranorex supports functional UI testing using easy-to-use low-code/no-code automation tools and a full IDE for endless extensibility.
- The tool boasts of providing high-quality deliverables with faster feedback on testing and unmatched technical support to users.
Studio: €3470 with one year of maintenance and support
Enterprise: €5750 with one year of maintenance and support
Runtime: €830 with one year of maintenance and support
Telerik is a modern UI automation testing tool that empowers QAs to build feature-rich experiences for examining web, mobile, and desktop applications. If your application runs on Kendo UI, Telerik is the best go-to option to check for the user interface and its functioning.
- Telerik Test Studio supports codeless GUI testing but also allows you to convert these codless tests into coded cases.
- Both QA and developers can perform the tests when the other experiences roadblocks or issues.
- The tool further enables integration with third-party libraries.
DevCraft UI: $1299 per developer
DevCraft Complete: $1499 per developer
DevCraft Ultimate: $2199 per developer
An intelligent UI automation testing tool, Maveryx is known for performing functional UI, regression, data-driven, and codeless testing capabilities for desktop and Web technologies.
- It goes beyond just the capture-replay process and offers innovative and intelligent technology to analyze the application’s UI at runtime; you do not require code instrumentation, GUI capture, maps, and object repositories to conduct any of the GUI tests for your application.
- Maveryx is extremely flexible and scalable with its integration features as it combines with usable CI/CD tools for delivering on-time quality releases.
- It is also available for custom extensions based on your project requirement.
Personal: €1.000/year for one subscription
Business: €2.000/year for 10 subscriptions
Enterprise: Request a Quote on their website for unlimited subscriptions
AyeSpy is a Visual Regression testing tool that catches UI regression defects with high precision.
- AyeSpy also utilizes image comparison methods to identify UI issues. As you modify your site with new web elements or delete the existing ones, AyeSpy captures new images to compare against a baseline image. The tool reports any difference in appearance, which developers can then resolve as per requirement.
- The tool boasts high performance, with under 40 visual comparisons running in under 60 seconds.
Usually, Postman is the tool that is commonly popular for testing APIs. It is useful in making HTTP calls and running scripts simultaneously. But you can leverage the same features to run and automate your UI testing.
- The tool assists QA in checking performance, accessibility, and website appearance.
- Under the performance aspect, it checks for response time, page speed, and page speed. Accessibility helps to determine if the application is mobile-friendly and easily accessible to differently-abled users.
- It even checks for page structure and webpage functionality.
Overall, Postman helps QA identify UI issues related to improving the user experience tremendously.
Open-source software for front-end testing, Cypress is a powerful testing automation tool that you can run on Windows, Linux, and macOS.
- One benefit of Cypress is that you can run the log command UI alongside the front-end UAT.
- Users often compare Cypress to Selenium as it is extremely developer-friendly and offers complete control over test automation from top to bottom. However, keep in mind that Cypress doe not use Selenium. Rather, it has its own architecture.
- The tool undertakes end-to-end UI testing where you can configure Cypress in your system and run required commands to verify web elements.
Team: $75/month for 10 users
Business: $300/month for 40 users
Enterprise: Request a quote on their website
Rapise is a product of Inflectra that enables you to test your desktop, web, and mobile applications in a single, easy-to-use package.
- The tool is extremely powerful and lets you record and play automated test cases; you can edit the recorded tests in a spreadsheet-based editor offered by Rapise.
- Highly extensible and codeless, the tool allows for keywords and data-driven testing capabilities and integrates with several third-party platforms.
- For Visual testing, Rapise supports Analog recording and Object-based recording to identify web elements on the page. You can learn more about the process here.
Pricing details:30 days free trial available
Monthly: Ranges from $299 for one user to $13,999 for 100 users
Annual: Ranges from $3239 for one user to $151,199 for 100 users
Fixed: Ranges from $2499 for one user to $99,999 for 100 users
Enterprise: Contact the company
A commercial GUI testing automation tool, Squish is relatively new to the market and assists QA in performing efficient and agile GUI automation.
- The tool proves quite useful in automating tests of multi-technology applications, data-driven testing, distributed-batch testing, image-based testing, and visual verifications.
- Squish is also popular among its users for supporting fully-integrated Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) and testing.
- It is further compatible with Gherkin, allowing you to create, record, maintain, and debug BDD GUI tests.
Small Professional: $2000/year
Large Professional: $4000/year
CubicTest is an open-source Eclipse plug-in that allows users to test applications built on Eclipse. It is mainly used to verify and validate web-based applications or online websites.
- Like many of its counterparts, CubicTest is codeless, supporting verification and testing of code using the Selenium and the Watir tools.
- For UI testing, CubicTest allows checking on the web page progression and the state transitions.
- You can use this Eclipse plug-in for test-driven development of web applications as it replaces test scripts with GUI for model testing of the UAT.
Visual Layout Testing Tools: Key Features
These features of Visual Layout testing ensure consistency and ease of use for your application. As this testing checks for the website appearance, here are some of the key features of an ideal Visual GUI testing tool:
- Consistency: Promises a compatible, clean, and organized site structure for easy navigation.
- Quick Turn Around Time: Offers rapid and automated testing process.
- No Coding Necessary: Test scripts are not necessary to execute the test cases.
- Continuous Regression: Every new commit goes through Visual Regression testing to ensure existing elements do not break.
- Device Testing: Performs Cross-browser and Responsive testing to ensure overall compatibility of the website.
Why is Visual Layout Testing Important?
Visual bugs drive away users and block the revenue!
Broken elements on any webpage hamper smooth browsing for users. If you have a subscription button or a Buy Now option, you would want your users to click on them. But if these elements are broken or overlapping, your users will simply leave your website without taking action.
For instance, look at the example below.
If this was on your page, do you reckon your traffic and subsequent revenue would be impacted? For sure!
There are many more reasons why Visual Layout testing is essential for businesses:
- It verifies that website appearance is as per user expectations.
- It helps to identify and resolve UI issues before the product launch.
- The process helps to highlight possible overlaps or broken elements on the webpage, which often bypass functional testing.
- Visual GUI testing ensures that your users receive the best UI experience without getting lost on the website.
Types of Visual Layout Testing
There are mainly two types of Visual Layout testing methods that encompass all the different ways of detecting and resolving visual issues on a website:
Manual Visual Testing
This type of Visual testing is exactly how it sounds: a tester goes through the entire site or webpage, checking for visual issues. They analyze graphical elements on the page and confirm that the layout aligns with the documented requirements.
While manual Visual testing is fairly accurate, it is time-consuming and laborious. In some instances, the tester can overlook a few issues if they appear correct but are misplaced. Here is when Automated Visual testing emerges as a solution.
Automated Visual Testing
This type of testing is easy to execute and requires UI tools. Often, testers run test cases to verify visual elements on a webpage pixel-by-pixel. You can employ any of the above-discussed tools to run your visual test cases to assist you in delivering pixel-perfect visual results.
Automated Visual testing is accurate to pixel, faster than manual testing, and comparatively effortless. Testsigma offers GUI testing by capturing snapshots which you can use to compare before-after scenarios and catch visual bugs.
What are Visual Layout Testing Tools?
Visual Layout testing tools work on methods that identify pixel differences and visual mismatches on web pages. They detect the issues by comparing screenshots of the current page with a baseline image. Using these tools, you can determine UX and UI changes, including color, shape, size, and position of the web elements.
Here are all the website appearance issues you can uncover with automated testing tools:
- Text and image alignment
- Position, size, and shape of GUI web elements
- Overlapping images, text, or interactive CTAs
- Menu bars and usability validations
- Pop-ups and error messages
- Breadcrumbs and navigation issues
- Visual inconsistencies
Working of Automated Visual Layout Testing
A Visual Test tool generates, compares, and analyzes browser snapshots to identify any change in pixels. Most often than not, these tools make use of screenshots to verify how the development and deployment of the application design differ through image comparison algorithms.
Common Steps in Visual Testing
- Developers write codes that mimic user functions, such as typing into a text box, clicking on the menu, and more.
- These scripts will have recording commands to capture screenshots at appropriate points. These snapshots will act as baseline images against which QA will compare future visual changes.
- Subsequently, the QA will run automated test cases for Visual testing and capture the screenshot. Each of these images is compared to the baseline image.
- If there are any pixel changes or element mismatches/overlaps, the test is termed a fail.
Tips to Select the Right Visual Layout Testing Tool
This part is tricky. With so many Visual testing tools in the market with their advantages and disadvantages, how do you decide which is perfect for your business? The selection of the tool will always depend on your purpose of testing. Here are some of the points to look at before finalizing a GUI testing tool:
- Check if the tool supports Cross-browser and Cross-device testing.
- Ensure that the tool offers integration support with other testing frameworks and software your QA team uses.
- Look for Visual layout testing tools that can identify minute pixel differences and eliminate false positives.
- Check if your choice of tool requires coding or not based on your QA team’s requirements and skills.
- See if the tool supports screenshot comparison testing technique as it is a must when performing Visual testing.
- Go for open-source tools if you prefer extensibility for your testing purpose.
- Check your budget if you are thinking about adopting a commercial tool.
GUI automation testing is taking over the world; no business wants to spend time and money on manually testing their products when capable test automation tools are available in the market. And here we have a list of 10 Visual layout testing tools that will accelerate your GUI testing to the next level.
Some of the mentions here are open-source and have been around for quite some time now, while others are commercial tools. Our tool, Testsigma, is one of the best GUI testing tools in the market that supports Visual testing through an image comparison process. But it can do a lot more than just compare a few images. You can go here to see Testsigma in action and decide for yourself.