UI Testing: A Beginner’s Guide & Checklist

Jan 6, 2023 | Test Automation Insights

a beginner's guide to ui testing

To understand UI testing, you first have to understand the user interface. A user interface is the part of a software that users will interact with, and this part of an app can make or break it in terms of its viability with users. The design of user interface, or UI, as well as its functionality, is so important that developers will focus a great deal of their testing on ensuring that the UI is meeting critical standards.

What Is UI Testing?

To determine if a UI is performing as expected and is accessible for a variety of users, it is important to conduct UI testing. UI testing is the process by which a developer will test the visual elements of a software in order to verify that these elements are in good working order according to the requirements for its functionality and performance. These types of tests will make sure that your software is bug-free before it is accessible by your end user.

Some common features that will be included in testing for user interfaces are:

  • Visual design
  • Performance
  • Compliance
  • Usability
  • Functionality

Automated UI Testing

UI testing can be conducted one of two ways: manually or through automated software. 

Manual UI testing means that you not only create the parameters for testing, but you go through the testing process yourself. For instance, if you wanted to test that a search bar had a functioning search feature, you would have to go to the search bar yourself and try to search something with it. This process can be tedious when you are working with a variety of elements and scenarios, especially if you are testing across browsers or devices and testing the same elements repeatedly.

That is where automated UI testing can be so helpful. By using automated testing, you can simply input the parameters for your test to the automated software and have the tests run while you move on to other tasks. This style of testing saves you time and hassle, and it bypasses the possible errors that can occur with human-conducted testing. In short, automated testing ensures accuracy, speed, and efficiency.

Graphic User Interfaces vs. Command Line Interfaces

User interfaces can exist in different forms. Namely, users can either interact with a graphic user interface (GUI) or a command line interface (CLI). 

There are several differences between the two that define them in the eyes of the users. For graphic user interface, the name is indicative of the interaction that the user will have with it. That is, users interact with graphics—or visual elements—and the information on the page is presented in text, videos, images, etc. 

CLIs are not as intuitive as GUIs. This is because there is no visual selection of elements on a CLI. In fact, CLIs rely on written commands in order to function. With a CLI, the user interacts with a terminal or console window that allows them to input commands and receive a response from the system. 

UI Testing Framework

Most automated UI testing frameworks follow the same basic process:

  • Initial consultation: The first step of the process is to identify what is being tested and determine whether UI testing is necessary. 
  • UI test case planning: Once you have this in place, you will then need to create a plan for testing that will allow you to determine what elements of your user interface must be tested. 
  • Strategy planning: This stage of the process will allow you to prioritize what elements will be tested first and what types of testing need to be conducted before others.
  • UI testing framework development: At this stage, you develop a framework for your user interface testing to allow you to proceed with the actual testing stage.
  • Test script: This is the step of the process where you conduct the actual tests. With automated testing, this step requires very little active effort on your part.
  • UI test execution: At this point, Ranorex Studio will lead you through the testing process and run the tests without your manual input, thus allowing you to generate the information that you need without any additional effort on your part.
  • Analysis: Once the testing has been completed, the results will be presented to you for you to review. This is a critical part of the testing process as it will allow you to identify any bugs that need to be addressed before the software development process can continue.
  • Test report: Ranorex Studio’s test reports are built for efficiency. That is why, when your test run has identified a bug, it will present you with a screenshot to easily allow you to retrace the failure, or you can additionally view the recording of the test to help you determine what happened without having to run the test over again. 

UI Testing Checklist

Whether you choose a manual or automated UI testing framework, be sure you test the following aspects of your software.

Functionality Testing

In order to make sure that your user interface is working properly, it is essential that you test the functionality. Functionality testing looks at the functional specifications of a software and performs tests that will validate the system against these requirements. 

Responsive Design Testing

Responsive design testing sees that your app is able to adapt to different screen sizes without compromising the actual usability of the software. This style of testing ensures that all visual elements will resize and rescale depending on the viewport.

Cross-Platform Compatibility

Cross-platform compatibility seeks to make sure that software is optimized for mobile, tablet, and desktop users. More than this, this type of testing makes sure that all of your visual elements are consistent and function identically across platforms.


Scalability is your software’s ability to handle increasing workloads. That is, it defines how much traffic your software is capable of handling and how increasing workloads affects usability. Checking for scalability in your UI testing ensures that you are prepared for exceptional workloads and helps you to ensure that your app can handle its expected traffic without failing.

Mobile Friendliness

Given the number of users that exclusively or primarily use their phones for accessing websites and applications, it is important that your software is equipped to work smoothly on mobile platforms and allows mobile users to access all necessary elements to make their experience seamless.

Image Quality & Placement

Image resolution needs to be enough to maintain the clarity of the image, but images with too high of a resolution and size will cause a slow loading speed, which can affect the user experience and lead users away from your application. Furthermore, the placement of images needs to be consistent across platforms and devices. 

Copy Accuracy

There are a number of factors of a software program’s copy that need to be checked, including:

  • Spelling and grammar
  • Font size consistency
  • Spacing
  • Formatting

Loading Speed

Loading speed is one of the pillars of UI testing. With slow enough speeds, users will navigate away from your software, and this could ultimately kill your user experience all together. You must determine the threshold for maintaining your users’ attention while keeping the visual elements of your UI high quality.

Benefits of Automated UI Testing

There are several benefits of automated UI testing, including:

  • Long-term cost efficiency: Automated testing is ultimately more cost effective than manual testing.
  • Easy maintenance: Automated testing allows you to reduce maintenance by allowing the program to run tests for you.
  • Integration: Ranorex Studio has several program integrations to make your testing process easier.
  • Smooth input of large data: Larger, more complicated tests can be easily run with automated testing.
  • Simple software: Ranorex Studio’s drag-and-drop functionality allows you to run tests without the need for coding. 
  • Intuitive test reports: Ranorex Studio’s test reports allow you to easily identify bugs and repair vulnerabilities without rerunning tests.

Try Our UI Automation Testing Tools 

Automated testing is the ideal solution for your UI testing. If you would like to start UI testing your software, contact us today for your free trial of Ranorex Studio.


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