UI Testing / Visual Testing
Definition, Types, and Advantages
UI Testing and Visual Testing are critical components of market research. Integrating crowd participants for testing is an emerging trend that offers researchers a diverse set of perspectives and real-world testing conditions to ensure that the UI is user-friendly and functions correctly.
UI Testing or Visual Testing refers to the process of assessing the user interface (UI) and its functionality to ensure it is consistent, error-free, and meets the expectations of the end-users.
What is UI Testing / Visual Testing?
UI testing or user interface testing, also known as visual testing, is done to check how smoothly the interface of a website/application works. In short, it is done to improve the user experience of a given application, software, or website. It pertains to validating the user interface with fewer sites or application abandonment. Users tend to leave a website or uninstall an application when they experience poor interface or navigation or find the visuals unacceptable.
Visual testing aims to ensure the visual elements of the application or website, like colors, fonts, images, layouts, header, and footer, are how they should be. It also ensures the website is responsive on all screen sizes and browsers. Furthermore, the application should be accessible on all devices and operating systems. These are a few aspects visual testing considers.
How is UI Testing / Visual Testing done?
UI / Visual testing is performed by a Quality Analyst (QA) or other human testers. Tests are run on various browsers, and snapshots are taken to compare, generate and analyze the pixel differences. The QA first runs the developer’s code to check the user interface of the site or application. They also use a browser automation tool replicating the actions – as if a user is accessing a website/application. Such actions include typing text into a field, navigating the website menu, scrolling down to the website footer, etc.
- After a developer’s code is run, snapshots are taken that act as a prototype to which all other changes are compared.
- A QA runs a developer’s code again in the background. This time any change that is identified will automatically be captured.
- Each captured screenshot is compared to the baseline image for that particular code and software.
- If any difference is identified between the images, the test is considered failed.
- After the test run is complete, the report is generated. This report specifies all the differences between the prototype and final images.
- A developer’s job is to identify the differences caused due to incorrect codes or bugs. Once the developer fixes them, the code is run again.
- If the differences are fixed, the test no longer fails. The developer now has to update the differences so that visual tests run in the future can be compared to new prototype images.
Benefits of UI / Visual Testing
UI / Visual Testing is a critical component of ensuring that user-facing applications are of high quality and provide a positive user experience. By understanding the benefits of UI / Visual Testing, companies can better appreciate the value of investing in this process and how it can improve the overall quality of their applications.
- Improved Quality: UI / Visual Testing helps to improve the quality of software products by detecting defects and issues early in the development cycle, which helps to prevent costly rework and delays later on.
- Enhanced User Experience: UI / Visual Testing can help to ensure that the software product provides an intuitive and pleasant user experience, which is critical for user adoption and satisfaction.
- Cost Savings: UI / Visual Testing can help to reduce the cost of software development by detecting defects early in the development process, which helps to prevent costly rework and delays later on.
- Time Savings: UI / Visual Testing can help to save time during the software development process by detecting defects and issues early on, which helps to prevent delays and reduce the time required for rework.
- Increased Efficiency: UI / Visual Testing can help to increase the efficiency of the software development process by automating repetitive and time-consuming testing tasks, freeing up testers to focus on more complex and critical aspects of the testing process.
- Enhanced Customer Satisfaction: UI / Visual Testing can help to enhance customer satisfaction by ensuring that software products meet customer needs and expectations, and provide an intuitive and pleasant user experience.
- Compliance with Standards and Regulations: UI / Visual Testing can help to ensure compliance with industry standards and regulations by detecting and addressing potential compliance issues early in the development process.
Limitations of UI Testing / Visual Testing
- Not a holistic approach
Visual testing does not take into consideration the functional aspect of the website/application. It only looks at the upper layer, i.e., the visual appearance. Everything that goes behind the functionality of any website, like non-GUI-related issues – software-related issues are neglected.
- Requires human interference
Even with automated UI/visual testing, human interference is required. The need to run the test and fix the bugs requires human testers and developers. Developers with skills and knowledge to fix the website design and testers to compare the screenshots with baseline screenshots are needed to make visual testing work.
- Not for all applications/website
Any website/application that doesn’t have much GUI needs does not require visual testing. For instance, an e-commerce website may benefit most from such testing, while a government website may not benefit a lot from it.
Types of UI Testing / Visual Testing
There are various types of UI and Visual Testing. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages, and the choice of the testing method depends on the research goals, budget, and the time frame of the study. In this section, we will discuss the most common types of UI Testing and Visual Testing for market research.
- Manual Testing:
Manual Testing is the most traditional form of UI Testing, where testers manually evaluate the user interface of an application or website. The tester uses a checklist or a set of instructions to identify UI issues such as broken links, UI layout, and spelling mistakes. Manual Testing can be time-consuming and labor-intensive, but it provides a detailed analysis of the user interface and the user experience.
- Automated Testing:
Automated Testing involves the use of software tools to test the UI/UX of an application or website. Automated Testing is faster and more efficient than manual testing, and it can be used to test large datasets. The software tools can simulate user interaction with the UI and identify issues such as broken links, incorrect data inputs, and other UI errors. Automated Testing is more expensive than manual testing, but it provides accurate and reliable results.
- Visual Regression Testing:
Visual Regression Testing is a type of UI Testing that focuses on the visual aspects of the user interface. The tester compares the visual elements of the UI between two versions of the application or website to identify any differences. Visual Regression Testing is crucial in identifying any visual inconsistencies that may affect the user experience.
- Cross-browser Testing:
Cross-browser Testing is a type of UI Testing that focuses on testing the user interface on multiple web browsers. The tester evaluates the UI’s consistency and functionality on different web browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer. Cross-browser Testing ensures that the UI works seamlessly on all web browsers, providing a positive user experience.
- Responsive Testing:
Responsive Testing is a type of UI Testing that focuses on evaluating the UI’s responsiveness on different devices such as desktops, tablets, and mobile phones. The tester evaluates the UI’s layout and functionality on different screen sizes and resolutions. Responsive Testing ensures that the UI is responsive and user-friendly on all devices.
Manual vs. Automated UI Testing / Visual Testing
Both manual and automated UI / Visual testing have their pros and cons. While in some circumstances, manual testing is preferable, automated testing is helpful in other cases. Here are the pros and cons of each type:
- Pros of manual UI testing
- Some inconsistencies are identified immediately without running a developer’s code.
- Start-ups and small businesses can easily use human testers to identify the most obvious defects.
- Hiring manual testers is easier than setting up automated software tools.
- Cons of manual UI testing
- Human testers are subject to errors.
- Manual testing is time-consuming and inconvenient, wherein many applications/websites are to be tested at once.
- Human testers fail to identify the visual defects that cannot be seen with the naked eye.
- The cost of hiring multiple human testers may surpass the cost of buying automated UI testing software.
- Pros of manual UI testing
- Automated testing tools are less time-consuming and work with more consistency.
- Such tools save time as no bugs go undetected through them.
- These tools are helpful in the case of large-scale operations wherein a lot of websites/applications are to be tested at once.
- Cons of automated UI testing
- Automated UI testing tools require maintenance, which requires human testers’ involvement for various stages.
- These tools are subject to providing false negatives (showing a defect when not there) and false positives that can lead to unnecessary chaos in testing.
- Automated visual testing tools work on a specific environment, involving using a particular OS, drivers, and third-party devices that become challenging to set up and maintain.
- The cost of buying a visual testing tool can be high on the pocket of many new businesses and start-ups.
Integrating crowd participants for manual UI Testing / Visual Testing
In recent years, Crowd Testing has emerged as a popular method for manual UI Testing and Visual Testing. Crowd Testing involves engaging a large number of people from diverse backgrounds and locations to test the user interface and user experience of applications and websites. Here we will discuss the concept of Crowd Testing, its benefits, selecting appropriate Crowd Testing platforms, best practices for Crowd Testing, and incentivizing Crowd participants.
- Definition of Crowd Testing:
Crowd Testing is a method of software testing that involves a large group of people from diverse backgrounds and locations to test the software application or website. The goal of Crowd Testing is to identify issues and improve the quality of the software application or website by leveraging the diversity and creativity of the crowd.
- Benefits of Crowd Testing:
The benefits of Crowd Testing include a large pool of testers, diversity of testing environments, quick feedback, cost-effectiveness, and the ability to identify issues in real-world scenarios.
- Selecting Appropriate Crowd Testing Platforms:
There are some Crowd Testing platforms available in the market, and selecting the appropriate platform is essential to the success of Crowd Testing. Factors to consider while selecting a Crowd Testing platform include the size of the crowd, the diversity of the crowd, the platform’s reputation, and the platform’s pricing.
- Best Practices for Crowd Testing:
Best practices for Crowd Testing include creating a detailed testing plan, providing clear instructions to the crowd, selecting appropriate test cases, defining metrics to measure the success of the testing, and providing feedback to the crowd.
- Incentivizing Crowd Participants:
Incentivizing Crowd participants is essential to ensure the success of Crowd Testing. Incentives can include monetary rewards, gamification, and recognition for high-performing testers. Providing incentives can motivate testers to provide quality feedback and increase their engagement in the testing process.
Utilize the resonio Market Research Tool for Efficient UI Testing!
Online surveys are a powerful tool for UI testing, allowing you to gather feedback from a broad user base. If you want to optimize your user interface, you can use the resonio market research tool to achieve even better results.
Maximize Your Effectiveness! Refine your UI tests with the resonio market research tool and gain valuable insights into the user experience of your user interface.Learn more about resonio’s Market Research Tool!
How to use online surveys for UI Testing?
Online surveys are a valuable tool for manual user interface (UI) testing, as they provide a quick and easy way to collect feedback from a large number of users (e.g. the crowd). Here are some tips for using online surveys effectively in UI testing:
- Define your objectives:
Before creating an online survey, it’s important to define your objectives. What do you want to test? What specific aspects of your UI do you want feedback on? Defining your objectives will help you create a survey that is focused and effective.
- Keep it simple:
When creating your survey, keep it simple and straightforward. Avoid using technical jargon or complex questions that may confuse or frustrate users. Make sure your questions are easy to understand and answer.
- Use a mix of question types:
Use a mix of question types, such as multiple choice, rating scales, and open-ended questions. This will help you gather both quantitative and qualitative feedback on your UI.
- Test with a diverse group:
To get a well-rounded view of your UI, test it with a diverse group of users. Try to include users with different backgrounds, ages, and levels of experience.
- Analyze and act on the feedback:
Once you’ve collected feedback from your online survey, analyze the results and use them to make improvements to your UI. Look for patterns or common issues that arise in the feedback, and prioritize any changes based on their potential impact on the user experience.
Overall, online surveys are a valuable tool for UI testing. They provide a quick and easy way to collect feedback from a large group of users, and can help you identify areas for improvement in your UI. By following these tips, you can create effective online surveys that will provide valuable insights into the user experience of your UI.
Popular Tools for automated UI Testing / Visual Testing
In the case of automated UI / Visual testing, tools are used to identify the detects. Here are some of the popular testing tools that make visual/UI testing smooth:
- Selenium is an open-source UI automation testing tool used to fix various visual-related defects of your website/application. This tool also helps users to write UI tests and run them. Thereafter, UI tests act as a replica of a user and interact with the browser. Screenshots are taken wherever the tool identifies discrepancies.
- Cypress is another UI testing automation tool. Compatible with Windows, Linux, and MacOS, this open-source software writes, runs, and debugs the visual defects of your app and website. It tests the apps directly in the browser with its powerful API. With no need to install extra drivers of third-party requirements, Cypress can be used directly after installation.
- Puppeteer uses the Node.js library to automate application and website testing. It is useful for not only visual but functional testing as well. It uses headless Chrome without the need for any browser extensions to run the test.
- Appium is also a popular open-source visual testing automation tool for testing mobile applications. It can write test scripts using its high-quality Java API in multiple lineages and other dev tools.
Best Practices for UI / Visual Testing in Market Research
UI Testing and Visual Testing are crucial components of market research. To ensure the accuracy and consistency of results, it is essential to follow best practices for UI Testing and Visual Testing. In this section, we will discuss the best practices for UI and Visual Testing.
- Establishing Test Objectives and Criteria:
It is crucial to establish clear test objectives and criteria before starting the testing process. This helps in identifying the critical areas that need to be tested and ensures that the testing is aligned with the research objectives.
- Selecting Appropriate Testing Methods:
Selecting appropriate testing methods is essential to ensure the effectiveness of UI Testing and Visual Testing. Different testing methods such as manual testing, automated testing, visual regression testing, cross-browser testing, and responsive testing can be used depending on the research requirements.
- Using Reliable Testing Tools:
Using reliable testing tools is crucial to ensure the accuracy and consistency of test results. There are several UI Testing and Visual Testing tools available in the market, and selecting the appropriate tools based on the research requirements can help in achieving the desired outcomes.
- Integrating Testing into the Development Process:
Integrating testing into the development process helps in identifying and fixing issues early in the development cycle. This saves time and costs and ensures that the user interface and user experience meet the requirements.
- Conducting Regular Testing:
Conducting regular UI Testing and Visual Testing helps in identifying and fixing issues before they become critical. Regular testing also helps in ensuring the consistency and accuracy of the user interface and user experience.
In conclusion, UI testing and visual testing play an important role in the development of digital products. While UI testing ensures that the functionality of the user interface meets the desired requirements, visual testing ensures that the visual elements of the interface are free from defects and errors. Both types of testing can help improve the user experience and increase customer satisfaction. Automated testing tools have made it easier and more efficient to perform these tests, allowing developers to catch issues early in the development process and save time and resources. By implementing UI testing and visual testing in their development process, companies can ensure that their digital products meet the highest standards of quality and usability.Learn about further Applications and Uses of Online Surveys
What is UI Testing?
UI testing, also known as visual testing, is a type of software testing that focuses on ensuring the graphical user interface of an application or website is functioning as intended.
What are the different types of UI Testing?
There are several types of testing methods, including functional testing, usability testing, performance testing, compatibility testing, and security testing.
What is functional testing in Visual Testing?
Functional testing in Visual testing is focused on ensuring that all functions of an application or website are working correctly. This includes testing buttons, links, menus, forms, and other interactive elements.
What is usability testing in UI Testing?
Usability testing in UI testing is focused on ensuring that the user interface of an application or website is user-friendly and easy to navigate. This includes testing the layout, design, and ease of use of the interface.
What is performance testing in Visual Testing?
Performance testing in Visual testing is focused on ensuring that the application or website is performing well under normal and peak loads. This includes testing load times, response times, and overall system performance.