Manual testing is the most primitive and yet essential part of the software development process. People considered manual testing to be the easiest mode of testing. However, there are certain factors that you must consider before performing manual testing. In case you overlook even a small feature, you might end up messing up the entire testing process. So, in this article, we are going to discuss the basics of manual testing. Additionally, we will also discuss certain methodologies related to manual testing such as black box, white box, etc. In the latter part of the article, we will also refresh our concept of manual testing by discussing the various tools that will help us to perform this test effectively and efficiently. As manual testing consists of various steps, you must be aware of certain tips and tricks that can help you in this lengthy process.
What is Manual Testing
In this process, the software tester manually checks the entire application for any bugs, errors, or flaws that might be present in the main framework. In simple words, the goal of a manual tester is to break the system and test it in various scenarios to ensure that it is working perfectly.
Before the tester performs the testing, he has to record the desired behavior of the application. After completing the process of manual testing, he will get the expected behavior of the application. Then, the tester has to compare the expected results with the desired results. In case he finds any form of irregularities in the result, he has to report it as a bug. A tester can use various methods of testing to ensure the application is ready for its public release. This means that he can use both functional and non-functional methods of testing.
Stages of Manual testing
The software has to go through various stages of testing to ensure that it is completely functional. Initially, the various testable units are tested separately. Then, it is integrated as one single unit and then, the entire software is tested again. Additionally, the functioning of the system is also tested to ensure that the entire system is functioning as per the requirements.
After all the above methods of testing are completed, the software is handed over to the users. Then the users perform the User Acceptance Testing before the application is finally accepted or rejected.
In this mode of testing, the tester has to test every single unit of the application. In simple words, the unit is a small testable part of a software or web application. Here you have to use the white box method of testing and integrate it with a special programming language. This testing is highly essential before you hand over the software to the quality assessment team.
There are various benefits of unit testing. For instance, unit testing makes the code reusable and creates a more modular approach to software testing. Thus, unit testing makes problem detection and software debugging a lot easier.
You have to perform integration testing after you take all the different models of this application and combine them. Integration testing is essential to verify the functionality, efficiency, and reliability of the software. This is a very critical path of software testing. For instance, various models are dependent on each other as input on one module provides an output on the other module. Thus, integration testing helps to verify the seamless synchronization among all the models of the software application.
This is the next step in software testing. In this step, you need to verify the nature of the system and how it reacts with the software that you want to run on it. The reaction of every system to a particular software will vary. These differences are created due to different system specifications and operating systems. So, you must ensure that the system functions as per your requirements. This will help you to guarantee the smooth and efficient functioning of your application.
User Acceptance Testing popularly known as acceptance testing is highly essential to ensure that the product is ready for public release. In this testing, the company has to create scenarios from the Real World to test out the efficiency of the application. All the testers involved with acceptance testing have various roles and privileges in the process.
Methods of Manual Testing
This article has the aims to be the perfect beginner’s guide to manual testing. Thus, it is very essential to describe the various methods in which you can conduct manual testing.
Black Box Testing
This method is very easy to understand. In black-box testing, the manual tester does not have any knowledge about the structure or main framework of the application. Instead, he finds various scenarios to test the functional and non-functional areas of the application. In the present software market, there are various techniques for black-box testing that can help you with your hunt to find bugs and errors in the software application.
White Box Testing
This is just the opposite of black-box testing. In white-box testing, the tester performs his research to learn more about the coding and framework of the application. The other name for White Box testing is transparent testing. You can mainly use it to conduct the unit testing of the web application. The various forms of white box testing are flow testing branch testing data flow control and stream testing.
Additionally, the testers must remember that white box testing is more used by developers compared to testers. So, we recommend that new manual testers focus on black-box testing instead. However, in the latter half of your career, you must ensure to learn about white box testing as it will be highly beneficial in improving your knowledge about the software industry.
Grey Box Testing
Grey box testing is a mixture of white box and black box testing. The main aim of this process is to find the errors that might arise due to structural fault for improper usage of the app. Major companies use grey box testing when they notice a critical error in the web application.
Manual Software Testing Process
Manual testing is a long and complex process. Thus, you have to divide it into various steps to ensure proper and systematic conduction of the testing process. The first step in the testing process is to find out the business motive or the target audience for the web application. The next step is to create a strategy or a checklist that you will follow in the testing process. In all the major companies this checklist is created by the test manager or the QA manager.
After you have completed creating the test list, it is time to generate the test scenarios manually. Then, the software comes to the QA team for the testing process. The QA team performs these test scenarios manually and marks the software based on the results. The usual marking scheme is ‘Pass/Fail’. Whenever you get a fail result, you have to generate an error and report the issue to the development team. Then, the developer has to fix the bug and the tester will reset it thereafter. This entire cycle continues until you complete all the tests and the software is ready for production.
After this discussion, many testers might think that manual testing is a troublesome and lengthy process. However, various tools can help you out by taking care of all the complexities.
Important Manual Testing Techniques
Exploratory testing is one of the major advantages of manual testing. In this process, the tester experiments with the application to get himself familiar with the various features and functions that the software has. He has to try out every feature of the application so that he becomes aware of all the areas that need to be tested.
Cross Browser Testing
Cross browser testing means checking how the website is responding on various browsers & OS. Why this is essential is because you do not have control over what device or OS your customer will visit your website from and that is why you need to make sure your website works seamlessly on all popular browsers & OS.
We recommend you to use LambdaTest, a cloud-based cross browser testing platform. LambdaTest offers a combination of 2000+ browsers & OS to perform web application testing. LambdaTest is supportive of small and growing testers with its reasonably priced plans along with certain free ones as well. Additionally, they allow you to test the web application on newly released devices to get the best results. LambdaTest has various features that allow you to integrate your manual testing process with its highly advanced test automation engine. This process allows you to keep track of all the activities that are taking place in your testing environment. Thus, we recommend all companies and testers to check out for an Ultimate testing solution.
Usability is a vague concept, as every tester has a different definition for it. Some of the areas that you need to test to verify the usability of the application include the intuitiveness, simplicity, and the ability of the application to guide the user. Additionally, you must remember to avoid the various common mistakes that you can make while performing usability testing.
Various companies use regression testing techniques to complete integration and unit testing. The main aim of this process is to verify the smooth functioning of the existing features in the web application. This is essential because you can affect these features due to a bug fix, addition of new features, or an update in the core framework of the app. You must remember that regression testing might take a long period depending on the size of the application. Thus, as a tester, you must know how to perform regression testing efficiently.
Smoke testing is the final barrier that the application has to cross before you can hand it over to the users for acceptance testing. In this process, you have to ensure that all the features are working perfectly. In smoke testing, the major focus remains on the big functionalities of the application. Thus, we recommend that smoke testing should not take longer than 30 minutes.
Thus, we can conclude that manual testing is a very simple and reliable testing process. Additionally, we can also state that modern automation testing can never replace manual testing in certain areas. For example, Artificial Intelligence can never substitute the importance of human instinct. Certain visual elements need testing with the help of an experienced manual tester’s eye. Lastly, we would recommend our readers to check out LambdaTest as it is the best application to synchronize your Automation Testing along with manual testing. LambdaTest has been supporting the manual testing industry for several years now.