16 Jun Manual testing
Software testing techniques have evolved over the years. Recently, we have seen an increase in automated testing (covered elsewhere on this site). While automated testing has become increasingly popular, manual testing will always be required.
Manual Testing Techniques
Most software applications utilize what is called a Graphical User Interface (GUI). This is simply another way of saying that the user sees the output of the computer program in the form of text and graphics on the screen of a device (computer, tablet, or phone).
Manual testing plays a critical role in software testing. Automated tests, while a very useful and valuable part of the software testing process, will never fully replace manual testing. An automated test program can’t have what is called the User Experience (UX).
Creating a satisfying user experience is an important objective for any software application. The testing process is meant to not only verify that the data is correct, but also to ensure that the overall experience is pleasing to the user.
The GUI should be easy to navigate, visually pleasing, and intuitive to use. These observations and opinions can only be obtained when you manually test an application.
Here are some typical manual tests you will perform:
- verify the correctness of displays (titles, graphics, data in correct format)
- test the navigation functions (going from page to page and field to field)
- verify field values (correct spelling of text fields, correct formatting/calculations of numeric fields)
- ensure that the application follows user specifications for appearance and functionality
Manual Testing vs. Automated Testing
Automated tests are just programs. You test software using software – the program only detects errors that you have pre-programmed into the automated test suite.
Unlike a human tester, the program cannot observe unexpected events that may occur during the software testing process. Because the automated test suite is just a “dumb” program, some otherwise obvious errors, easily detected by a skilled software tester, may be missed.
For these reasons, manual testing, and the need for skilled manual testers, will always be needed to ensure delivery of quality software applications.