July 24, 2017

Combining Web Application Automated Testing & Manual Testing

Scriptless Testing

Stating the obvious: manual testing will never be obsolete.

No matter how AI software continues to evolve, and beat people in Chess and Go, the human side of user experience will never lose its relevance. Real people will always be needed to give it a try and express their subjective, first-hand opinion on how things work.

With that said, using manual testing for every development stage along the way is time-consuming, error-prone and quite expensive. To test functionality, automated testing is much more suitable; it’s fast, precise, cost-effective and scalable.

The smart approach is to utilize both methods; for example, use automated testing for regression testing, and manual testing for exploratory testing when getting a product or service ready for release.

If you’re looking to integrate manual testing and automated testing to your existing testing environment, here are a few things you should consider.

Before we begin, here’s a quick recap.


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The Difference Between Manual and Web Application Automated Testing




Consistent, reliable, and accurate


Requires coding of test scenarios, as well as adapting testing code every time the application changes

Can utilize non-coding testers. Sometimes can even be outsourced to lower-cost testers

Fast execution


Main cost - purchase of tool, coding, and maintenance of tests

Main cost - human hours

Allows repeated runs at no or minimal additional cost

Starts from scratch, requiring the same human effort and time in each run

Easy to replicate across different browsers and customer environments

Has to be redone at the same additional cost for each environment

Provides no insights regarding user experience

Allows for a human take on the user experience



What Are Manual Testing Tools Right For?

Manual testing is right for making sure your web application or software is user-friendly. There are various technical terms for this: exploratory testing, usability testing, ad-hoc testing – but they essentially all test the same thing – whether a user will find the product easy to use.

The strength of manual testing is its insight-producing properties. An automated solution will never alert you that your UI is confusing, or that the “Learn More” button is difficult to find because it lacks contrast with the image right above it. An automated testing tool, on the other hand, will mark it as complete, since when the “Learn More” button is clicked it does lead to the right page.


After finishing the development of a feature or entire product, a human tester should then step in. Interference anytime before that is a waste of resources.

Advantages of Web Application Automated Testing 

Automated testing is right for basically everything that we, humans, are bad at repetitive, precise, rigorous, and technical tasks at scale. (If we were good at these, computers would never have been invented!) Repeated execution and regression testing were made specifically for automation.

An automated, software-based solution will always do a better job at repeated and regression testing than a human. Even if a human can do a perfect, error-free job, they provide no added-value over the machine. So the question is, why bother?

Without getting into the monetary implications of automation, in general, any task that can be carried by a machine, should. Cutting a piece of fiberglass according to specific measurements – there’s simply no reason for a person to do this anymore. The same logic applies to execution and repeated testing.

Why You Should Integrate Web Application Automated Testing Into Your Manual Operation

The reasons why you should integrate automated testing are quite obvious: it will speed up and ‘clean’ the testing process, boost productivity and on the whole, improve the quality of your product. Once you get over the initial hurdles of implementing an automated working environment (see below) you’ll benefit from all the advantages it has to offer.

The Hurdles of Implementing Web Application Automated Testing

Implementing a new work environment is always a laborious task for any organization, large and small. Implementing automated testing is no different. Here are the main stages of implementation, which highlight the high levels of complexity and effort:

Setting Up the Testing Framework

This isn’t a plug & play kind of installation. Testing framework installation requires the work of professionals with unique expertise. You’ll probably go with an open-source solution, Selenium being the most popular choice. Open source carries the FREE tag, but it’s a misleading tag nonetheless. You aren’t paying for the actual framework, but it’ll cost you down the road in hiring, training, and maintenance, as elaborated below.

Staff Training

Whether you’re going to train your existing staff (if you have engineers on board) or you’re going to hire engineers to run your automated testing operation, you’re looking at a costly training session since a Selenium framework is highly complex.

Even if you have in-house engineers on your development team, managing testing environments require a completely different set of skills.

Overseeing Two Teams of Engineers

After you’re done with training, you’ll face the real work of managing two teams – and coordinating between them. The crux of agile DevOps lies in seamless communication between the development and QA testing teams.

Maintaining a Testing Lab

Most testing automation solutions don’t provide an execution environment. This means you’ll need to have a separate execution platform to run your tests. That’s another platform to manage, pay for, and maintain.

Transition to Web Application Automated Testing With Perfecto

Explore Perfecto Scriptless, the codeless UI test automation tool for web apps. 

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