February 15, 2013 by Roman Ožana

What Is UI Testing and Why Is It Important?

UI testing is the process of testing the user interface of something. This means testing to see how your application, website, or software interacts with a user.

Basically, UI testing checks to see how your application or software responds to the following:

  • usability
  • consistency
  • accessibility
  • compatibility

In simple terms, it’s checking to see how your program handles mouse and keyboard input, as well as whether it displays text, images, boxes/menus, icons, toolbars, and other interactive elements.

The Basics

UI testing centers on two basic concepts: usability and errors. It’s important to think of this type of testing as the answer to the following questions:

  1. Are all the functions of your application or software understandable and easy to use?
  2. Can a user navigate through your program without encountering bugs or crashing it?

There are different methods that are employed for UI testing, including human/manual testing and automated testing. Typically, usability testing checks to make sure that all the functions of a program are easy to navigate, while error checking will test out a variety of parameters and possible interactions that can occur during use.

Testomato‘s service is meant to help developers automate error checking on an application’s user interface. It’s an easy way to create simple test cases based on parameters and other important interactions set by your team.

Usually, user interface testing is always applied to final products, but this type of testing should also be included in your overall development. Since changes are ongoing throughout the development process, it’s important to adjust your user interface according to programming changes, as well as any feedback you may receive as a result of UI testing.

Minor problems, such as a missing button or a typo, could cause issues in the overall scheme of things. For example, a missing button or an empty page might prevent users from logging into an application.

While UI issues are relatively easy to fix in early development, sometimes they can be overlooked by the human eye. They also, more often than not, end up being embarrassing and can be expensive to fix later on.

So what’s so important about UI testing?  

As a developer, you might spend a lot of time creating products with strong technical features and solid functionality, but sometimes it’s easy to forget about the people who will ultimately be the judges of all your hard work – your users.

Here are the cold hard facts. The average user is not concerned about the underlying structure of your product, since they will only see its final result or purpose. He or she doesn’t really care how much strategy, critical thinking, or effort went into making it – the average user is normally concerned about one thing: what your product will do for them. 

Specifically, what it can do for them and how it could possibly make their lives easier. This means that if some confusion about usability or a malfunction due to error interferes with a user’s experience with your application or software – no amount of technical brilliance can save you.

The success of your product will ultimately rely on user interaction and not much else.

It’s harsh, but even if your application passes unit testing and fulfills all the specifications and requirements needed to pass acceptance testing – all of this will be irrelevant if a user is unable to access your application.

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