GUI Software Testing

In order to understand the importance of GUI software testing, you should first know what GUI, or graphical user interface means. When you sit down at your computer and boot it up, you become the user, and the means by which your computer interacts with you is called an interface. In early computers the way a computer interacted with you was strictly textual. Today computer interfaces are designed to be graphical.

GUI Testing


In order for any GUI application to be deemed successful it has to interact (interface) with you, the user, in a correct manner. Obviously any application which behaves incorrectly or responds with an invalid user interaction is going to be a serious problem. Your UI (user interface) applications, Desktop applications, .NET applications, Java and Windows applications have to be GUI tested before you ever get to interface with your computer. GUI testing makes software much easier to use and today’s developers are dedicating a larger portion of code to implementing them. Graphical User Interface, or GUI’s can make up as much as 60 percent of an application’s total code.

What Happens During GUI Testing?

Graphical User Interface testing is designed to test an applications user interface and to check if a particular application is functioning correctly. Applications will be tested to see how they handle keyboard and mouse events. Different GUI components such as toolbars, menu bars, images, buttons, edit fields and list controls are tested to see how they react to user input, and if they perform how they are supposed to perform. GUI software testing can be performed manually or automated.

Manuel GUI Testing

Most GUI software testing is manual and use record-playback techniques. During a test a designer interacts with the GUI, generating keyboard and mouse events. The tool will record the user events, captures the GUI sessions screens and stores the session. Later the tester will playback the recorded sessions to re-create the events with other inputs. This takes a great deal of time and relies on the ability of the tester to make interesting interactions.

A popular alternative has been to release beta copies of different software titles and let users do part of the testing and find the problems. Microsoft did this with Windows 95 when they released nearly 400,000 beta copies of the software.

Manual testing tends to be prone to errors and often test scenarios get left out. Manually keeping up can be very difficult when you have to test each and every feature. In order to speed up the development of software applications they are tested early in the development cycle and it improves the quality and reduces risks towards the end of the development cycle. Manual testing would not be able to keep up.

Automated GUI Testing

Every software company tests its software, and most prefer automated GUI software testing. During the development phase source code often changes daily and automated testing is needed to keep up. Every software application is tested to make sure they are functioning correctly. Here are some benefits of automated GUI testing.

  • Ability to find regression errors.
  • Detecting differences in behavior between different platforms like Mac/Java, different web browsers and different operating systems.
  • Allowing human GUI testers to get back to their normal work instead of running tests that should be done automatically.
  • Covering for application areas that didn’t have test units.
  • The ability to use the same tool and scripts for performance tests that are used for your automated GUI testing.

A Little Knowledge

Now that you have a little knowledge about Graphical User Interface, you can understand the importance GUI software testing to developers. Whether you use automated GUI testing or manual testing, it is vital to development of software.

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