How to actually Test UIs

how to actually test UIs

User Interface (UI) testing is an important element of the software testing cycle. To validate whether applications have the desired functionalities and that they are user-friendly, QA professionals should test all interface components. This not only improves the software quality but also ensures end users are comfortable when using the application.


Is there any Definition of UI Testing?


User Interface or UI testing, also known as GUI testing, is the process of testing the visual elements of an application to validate whether they accurately meet the expected performance and functionality. By testing the GUI, the tester can validate that UI functions are free from defects.

It involves testing all visual indicators and graphical icons, including menus, radio buttons,text boxes, fonts etc. UI testing is performed manually or with an automated testing tool. Regardless of the method used, the goal is to ensure all UI elements meet the requested specifications.

The main aspects checked in UI testing includes:

  1. Visual Design
  2. Functionality
  3. Usability
  4. Performance
  5. Compliance
The Need for UI Testing


UI testing is centered around two main things.

  1. Checking How the Application handles user actions:
    Checking how the application handles user actions carried out using the keyboard, mouse, and other input devices.
  2. Checking whether visual elements: Checking whether visual elements are displayed and working correctly.

It is only by doing this that organizations can ensure that application meets their functional requirements and that end-users will successfully adopt them. For this reason, UI testing plays a significant role before an application is released to production.


UI Testing Checklist: Essential Test Cases


Like most types of software testing, the scope of GUI testing can be very broad. In this section, we put together essential test cases that can help QA professionals test their interfaces thoroughly. The test cases cover different UI aspects, including images, color standards, page content, navigation, usability, and more. Use this checklist to ensure your UI test is more exhaustive.

  1. Data type errors – Ensure only valid data can be entered for specific data types such as currency and dates
  2. Field widths – If a certain text box permits a specified amount of characters, then make it clear on the user interface that the data entered shouldn’t exceed the character limit.
  3. Navigation elements – Verify all navigation buttons on the page are working correctly, and that they redirect users to the right page or screen.
  4. Progress bars – When displaying screens that take time to render results, a progress bar should be used to show the user that a process is still running.
  5. Type-ahead – If your UI uses drop-down lists, ensure you include type ahead. In a drop-down menu with hundreds of items, typing the first letter should skip the list to items beginning with that letter such that users will not have to check through a long list.
  6. Table Scrolling – If data in your tables extends to another page, then the scroll function should allow users to scroll the data but keep all headers intact
  7. Error logging – When the system experience a fatal error, ensure the application writes the error details to an event viewer or log file for later review.
  8. Menu items – Ensure the application only display valid menus items that are available at a particular state.
  9. Working Shortcuts – For applications that supports shortcuts, verify whether they work correctly, no matter the browser, platform, or device being used.
  10. Confirm action buttons – Ensure the UI has a working confirm button every time the user wants to save or delete an item.

Now we understand the use case why UI testing is important and what things you need to check while UI testing, now it’s time to see the tools which professionals and big companies like Netflix, Slack, Adobe uses.

Tools for UI testing
1. Storybook

For isolating components from their context to simplify testing.


2. Chromatic

To catch visual bugs and verify component composition/integration.

3. Testing Library

To verify interactions and application logic.

4. Axe

To audit accessibility

5. Cypress

To verify user flows across multiple components

6. Github Actions

For continuous Integration

There are a plethora of other tools as well which can harness your UI testing experience. Do explore and make your UI more robust. Learn more about UI testing? Check out these articles as well.

UI testing for beginners

UI testing a detailed Guide

UI testing a comprehensive guide

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