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User Interface Testing: A Complete Guide

December 28, 2021
Prathitha IyengarPrathitha Iyengar
Prathitha Iyengar

Exponential growth in smartphone, tablet, laptop, and computer usage has made the web and app development industry competitive in recent years. As a result, easy-to-use, affordable, stable, and visually appealing software development has increased, but it can be successful only after rigorous software testing for customer satisfaction and demands. Thus, User Interface Testing is essential while developing web and mobile software applications. The article is a complete guide with checklists and examples for user interface testing.

Check out: How Artificial Intelligence is Revolutionizing UI Testing

1. What is UI Testing?

User Interface testing, also known as UI testing or GUI testing, tests the application’s visual elements to validate proper functionality and expected performance. It ensures that UI functions and application components have no defects, such as icons, radio buttons, text boxes, toolbars, color, fonts, checkboxes, windows, and menus. The primary aspects of UI testing are functionality, performance, usability, compliance, and visual design of the software application to make sure the application works successfully and satisfactorily.

2. Why is UI testing important?

UI testing checks how the application handles user actions using input devices like keyboard and mouse and whether the visual elements are working and displayed correctly. In addition, it ensures the efficient and accurate performance of the software application’s UI so that end-users adopt it quickly and successfully.

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A faulty UI does not meet user expectations. It is the only way to interact with users, and malfunctioning UI may damage the brand or product adoption. Therefore, it is vital for organizations developing software applications to carry out UI testing before releasing it to production.

3. Types of UI tests

UI testing has different types based on various functional and non-functional testing strategies meeting specific standards of user interface testing. Some examples of software testing methodologies are:

The GUI testing has different approaches:

Manual testing:

It creates graphical models describing systems’ behavior. It generates highly efficient test cases to understand the system performance in detail. The model-based testing follows steps discussed below:

  • Model building for the system
  • System input determination
  • Verification of the expected output
  • Test execution
  • Checking and validating system output vs. the expected output.
Read: A Comparative Guide to Automation and Manual Testing

4. How to test the user interface?

The user interface testing generally focuses on the functionality and performance of the application’s graphical user interface. First, commonly occurring UI defects should be tested and improved, such as button alignment issues, incomplete fields, resizing issues, overlapping of fields, browsing issues, inconsistent space between textboxes or labels, misaligned data pages, and so forth. Then a more profound performance and visual experience of the user interface is checked to ensure the expected performance of the application.

5. Benefits of UI Testing

Other than ensuring accurate working of the application’s UI, UI testing offers various benefits, as discussed below:

  • Cost reduction: automated testing is inexpensive compared to manual testing.
  • Opportunity cost reduction: Automated UI testing removes human errors and makes performance potentially more valuable and creative than manual testing.
  • Speed: UI test automation is faster in orders of magnitude than human testers.
  • Reproducibility and consistency: Automated UI testing provides consistency and reproducibility compared to manual human testing.
Also check: Chrome - DevTools - A Complete Guide

6. Best Practices for UI Testing

Though there is no ideal user interface testing method available, some of the best practices for UI testing are as follows:

  • TUI testing is valuable, but one should never rely entirely on UI testing. Testers should always tally the input and output of the UI testing.
  • The tester should investigate particular test cases required in different browsers instead of applying all possible tests in all target browsers.
  • The naming convention is necessary to make specific tests easier to understand and track immediately whenever required.
Read: A Complete Guide to Web App Testing

7. Checklist for your first test

UI component functionality and its design are multi-faceted. It needs attention to detail, good judgment, and defined scopes. For example, a tester should have a checklist to ensure all aspects of the frontend interface are covered in the testing, such as fonts, color schemes, hyperlinks, Ui components, alignment, content, and expected behavior of the UI.

  • Positioning, length, size, alignment, and width of all UI elements
  • Data entry in fields for numbers, texts, special and invalid characters
  • Software functionality execution
  • Data type errors
  • Navigation elements
  • Table scrolling
  • Progress bars
  • Error logging
  • Shortcuts and menu items
  • Action buttons
See: The Ultimate Checklist for Mobile App Testing

8. Tools and Frameworks for UI Testing

UI testing is carried out using automated tools and frameworks. UI testing tools are Selenium, QTP, Ranorex, and Cucumber. Whereas Ui testing framework examples include Serenity, Robot Framework, Cypress,, Sahi, and so forth. 

Learn how HeadSpin helps simulate load while UI testing in this webinar session.

Conclusively, UI testing has become crucial for today’s software development, and thus one needs to follow specific guidelines while carrying out UI testing. The article has covered all the essential points necessary to start UI testing successfully.


1. What role does exploratory testing play in web UI testing?

Exploratory testing in web UI testing assists in identifying hidden test cases as the UI might behave differently in different machines. A tester can leverage the automation while managing the testing challenges for running the cases on multiple data. Further, exploratory testing offers flexible and open opportunities for the testers.

2. What is the difference between UI testing and GUI testing?

UI testing takes into consideration the look, feel, and ease of use of an application, primarily to meet the customer's demands. On the other hand, GUI testing is the process of allying up a software's functionalities against business requirements to evaluate if they were satisfied. 

Besides, in UI testing, the command line interface with every means of interaction is tested, while in GUI testing, the graphic interface with which the user engages is focused on.

3. What are broken UI elements?

These refer to certain dysfunctional components like buttons, text fields, or links that do not function. The broken user elements are one of the commonest bugs found in UI testing, which can negatively impact a web app's functionality and crash an entire mobile or web app. 

4. What are the key differences between UI testing and UX testing?

UI testing is a testing type that helps testers ensure that all the fields, labels, buttons, and other items on the screen function as desired. It involves checking screens with controls, like toolbars, colors, fonts, sizes, icons, and others, and how these respond to the user input.

On the other hand, UX testing is a process of testing the various sides of the user experience to determine the most efficient way for a project and its elements to interact with the users.

User Interface Testing: A Complete Guide

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