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GUI Testing


During the software testing life cycle, the team of testers executes the process of testing during each phase of software development. Likewise, GUI testing or Graphical User Interface testing is executed by the team to ensure the accuracy of GUI as well as to detect any issues or defects in it. Therefore, with our aim to make this process comprehensible for you, we are here offering an elaborated discussion on GUI Testing. However, before we move on to discussing GUI testing, it is vital for us to comprehend the importance of GUI in software computing.

Defining Graphical User Interface GUI:

Developed by Alan Kay, Douglas Engelbart, and a group of researchers at Xerox PARC in 1981, Graphical User Interface (GUI) enables designers and developers to use icons or other visual indicators to interact with electronic devices, rather than using only text via the command line.

The systems developed with GUI offer great ease of learning and usage, as the developers are not required to memorize the command line interface. This convenience and ease of use have increased the popularity of GUI operating systems and made it a dominant operating system used by end users. This popularity of GUI operating systems has reached such a great height that nearly all digital interfaces are GUI.

After understanding the significance of Graphical User Interface (GUI), let us delve into our discussion of GUI testing.

What is GUI Testing?

Graphical User Interface GUI testing is a process of testing an application’s visual elements, such as images, texts, buttons, etc., to validate their expected performance as well as their functional accuracy. By testing the graphical user interface, the team can validate various graphical icons and visual indicators, like the radio button, check box, text box, list box, menu, dialog box, bars, among other things.

Performed manually or with the assistance of automation tools, the GUI tests are focused on testing the functionality as well as elements of the graphical user interface, which are visible to the user to ensure that it meets the requested specifications. This goal is achieved through the use of a variety of test cases and test scripts.

For a comparison between the graphical user interface and user interface, click here.

Features of GUI Testing:

Clarity about GUI testing can further be achieved by understanding its various features. Hence, following are some critical features of GUI testing and other aspects related to it.

  1. The process of GUI testing is more difficult than command in line interface testing.
  2. Majority of testing tools used for GUI testing are primarily focused on regression testing.
  3. It also confirms the appearance elements, such as the font and images, conforms to their design specifications.
  4. Manual tests performed for GUI testing are time consuming and resource intensive.
  5. Automated testing can be more challenging for GUI as the user interface can change often.
  6. It is performed from the perspective of the user rather than the developer or tester.
  7. Assists the team in gathering necessary information, which allows them to decide whether an application is ready for deployment or not.

Guidelines for GUI Testing:

While performing GUI testing, the team of testers should consider some important guidelines, which can further help them to validate the accuracy of the various visual indicators. These guidelines offer great assistance to the team and enable them to make various necessary changes. These guidelines are:

  1. It is crucial for the team to check the elements of GUI, like size, font, length, width, and more.
  2. Ensure error messages are being displayed accurately.
  3. Validate the font size and readability of font.
  4. Check the alignment of the text.
  5. Quality and clarity of images.
  6. The images should be aligned properly.
  7. The positioning of all the GUI elements should be checked for different screen resolution.
  8. Verify usability conditions, navigation, data integrity, etc.

Different Ways of GUI Testing:

There are mainly three important GUI testing techniques, which are used by software testers around the world to validate the accuracy as well as the quality of graphical user interface elements. These three techniques are:
  1. Manual Based Testing: Testers checked all the graphics with the prerequisites in business document manually. For example, a test can check the multiplication (33X5) manually.
  2. Record & Replay: This is an automated GUI testing tool; all the tasks are recorded during the test. The recorded steps or tasks are executed with expected behavior. Now, this can be repeated several times with various data sets.
  3. Model Based Testing: This type of testing acts as a graphic description (just like science models). Such testing predicts the system's behavior and this technique generates the test cases efficiently. Charts and decision tables are some of the model-based techniques.

Elements of GUI Testing:

A GUI testing is a combined device and technology, which presents a stage of the user interaction and tasks gathering for the information to be produced. A progression of elements acclimating a visual dialect that can represent all the information stored on PCs. It's simpler and more gullible for the user to use the computer even with limited computer skills. The most widely recognized blend of such components in GUIs is the WIMP ("window, symbol, menu, pointing device"). The interaction of WIMP controls the position of the mouse, icons, all available commands, and all the other actions that have been performed with the pointer.

Checklist Of GUI Testing:

  • The Elements of GUI like size, font, Length, width and so on must check.
  • Check the correct display of error messages.
  • Font size and readability of fonts.
  • Alignment of text.
  • Quality and clarity of images.
  • Alignment of images should be proper.
  • Positioning of all the GUI elements for different resolution.

Advantages of GUI Testing:

By implementing the process of GUI testing during the early stages of software development life cycle (SDLC), the team can enjoy several advantages, such as an increase in the speed of development, improvement in quality, and reduction of the risks at the end of the cycle. Apart from these, there are other advantages of GUI testing, like:

  • Tests the user interface from the users perspective.
  • Efficiently reduces the number of risks towards the end of development life cycle.
  • Offers developers and testers ease of use and learning.
  • Helps validate the compliance of various icons and elements with their design specifications.
  • Increases the reliability and improves quality of the product.

Disadvantages of GUI Testing:

  • Though the advantages offered by GUI testing are numerous, there are still few drawbacks of this testing, which require acknowledgment. Hence, here are the disadvantages/drawbacks of GUI testing.
  • It requires more memory resources, which leads the system to perform slowly.
  • The process of testing is time consuming and may require extra software for running GUIs.
  • Since the interface of an application changes frequently, the team might have to refactor recorded test script to improve its accuracy.
  • Limited access or no access to the source code makes the process of testing difficult.

GUI Testing Tools:

Automation testing plays an extremely significant role in GUI testing. It enhances its effectiveness and improves its reliability. With the assistance of various paid and open source tools, the team of testers is able to efficiently test the software’s graphical user interface elements and icons, which further improves the quality and visual appearance of the product. Therefore, listed below are some of the important GUI testing tools:

  1. Abbot Java.
  2. TestComplete.
  3. RAPISE.
  4. Test Studio.
  5. AutoIT.
  6. SilkTest.
  7. EggPlant.
  8. FitNesse.
  9. Squish.
  10. Test Partner.
  11. Ascential Test.
  12. iMacros.
  13. Tricentis Tosca TestSuite.
  14. Selenium.

Check out our detailed list of best automated GUI testing tools and choose the most reliable and effective tool for GUI testing.

Conclusion:

GUI testing is one of the important testings in all software testing. GUI interacts with ease by using the various features with the user and makes the software success. This testing evaluates various design elements like layouts, colors, fonts, buttons, icons, captions and content. Manual testing is error-prone, repetitive and sometimes boring. However, the mostly automation GUI is preferably used for the accuracy. In the era of technology and graphics, graphical user interface testing is glory in the software testing.