Creating a user interface (UI) testing framework can be difficult, especially when automation is involved. There are some things automation can’t account for, like user experience or usability, but that doesn’t mean you can’t include automation or thefollowing best practices in your tests.
Most UI test first-timers feel that testing tools are practically useless because they’re difficult to learn. However, when you get past the learning curve, your testing tools will simplify your life.
There’s no denying that UI test automation serves an essential purpose, but you can’t solely rely on it. High-level tests require human eyes, which account for 10% of your testing scope. The other 90% belongs to low-level tests, which require faster tests and even faster feedback.
Low-level tests are also executed early in the QA automation pipeline, meaning you can automate these tests to catch bugs quickly, saving you costs. Finally, low-level tests are stable and require less tweaking, leading to more accurate results from automation.
Cross-browser support is important, but you could choose the wrong testing tool if you base it solely on this feature. The reality is that cross-browser support is limited, and testing everything on every browser isn’t always the best solution, so think about what you need to test instead.
For example, do you want a tool that simplifies the testing process or tests for mobile capacity and desktop support? You want to avoid complicating the testing process, so opt for splitting functional testing from visual testing to correctly evaluate the need for cross-browser support.
It’s common practice for developers to find a bug and immediately fix it, but there’s some problems with this approach. If you don’t write a test, you may not be able to duplicate it at a later date. Not all tests will allow you to reproduce the bug systematically every single time.
By creating a test, the bug is fixed forever. As long as the successful test can be used as a proven track record for the work you’ve done, you can duplicate it forever. When writing the test, make sure it fails at the beginning. As a rule, a problem flow must have a broken test to work.
When testing UI, you define key points, called deterministic events, that the app must pass through. Depending on how you define these events, you usually have to sit through long waiting times. Some programmers solve this problem by sleeping/pausing the test.
Besides known waiting times (like setInterval vs setTimeout), it’s unpredictable how long the sleeping time will take. It’s actually better to avoid sleeping tests because they make your test brittle and slow. Why wait for these events to happen when you can make your key point active?
Several test runners have test timeouts. While they’re helpful when you want to terminate a test, you have to open the browser when the test starts and when it ends. This can be cumbersome, especially when you’re running multiple tests, so a 10-minute timeout is a good solution.
However, if you feel that the timeout is too long, you could avoid closing the browser when the test ends to avoid the test timeout. You could also take screenshots, assert frequently, use test.skip or test.only, or run the test serially. Also, consider keeping your test code simple.
UI testing may take a bit of getting used to, but once you set up a framework, you’ll have yourself a stable and reliable solution. Creating and running testing scenarios can be challenging, but also fun if you use a tool that helps you reach your goals.
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