In the Google Play Store, Android’s official application store, there are over 2.87 million Android applications. Automation testing of UI is a technique for testing Android applications for UI bugs. With such a large number of applications, users have numerous options on a single application type, excluding third-party hosting, which is common but not available on the Google Play Store.

Android UI testing is a part of automated testing, which is why we can’t help but skip it when we have so much competition. Its basic objective is to see how the application works when the user interacts with it, but also how the end user perceives it. For an application to remain viable on the market, both of these scenarios are necessary.

Android UI testing can be done in two ways:

  • Through the  use of manual labor 
  • Through automating design processes

There are several situations in automated UI testing in Android where manual testing and automated testing should be combined. This article particularly focuses on what UI testing and what are some of the best practices one must follow in order to benefit the maximum from it. 

Come, let us now have a look at it. 

What exactly is UI testing?

As part of the user interface testing process, features of any software that will be used by a user are tested. It normally involves testing the visual components to ensure that they meet the specifications, both in terms of functionality and performance, as well as to ensure that they meet the specifications. This process involves testing all visual indicators, including menus, radio buttons, checkboxes, text boxes, toolbars, typefaces, colors,and other visual components. UI elements should be tested manually or with an automated tool, regardless of the method used.

During UI testing, the following aspects are examined:

  • An overview of visual design functionality
  • Its usability
  • Assurance of performance and compliance

A primary concern when testing UI is how the application handles user inputs with keyboards, mice, and other input devices. Secondly, check whether all visual elements are properly presented and functional. As a result, UI testing is crucial before releasing an application to production to ensure that the application meets its functional requirements and that end users will adopt it successfully.

UI Testing Methodologies

There are three primary types of UI testing approaches:

  1. Manual Testing

It is the responsibility of the manual tester to ensure that the program runs properly and that the graphical elements meet the defined criteria by performing a series of tasks in manual testing. It is time-consuming and has poor test coverage, so manual testing has significant drawbacks. Furthermore, under this approach, testing quality is determined by the knowledge and capabilities of the testing team.

  1. Playback and recording testing

With the help of automated technologies, automated UI testing can also be called record-and-replay testing. Using an automated UI testing tool, all tasks, activities, and interactions with an application are recorded and replicated, followed by the same steps and compared to the expected behavior. Additional testing can be performed by repeating the replay step using different data sets.

  1. Model-Based Testing

A graphical model is used to represent the behavior of a system in this testing approach. As a result, the tester can construct very efficient test cases since he or she has a better understanding of the system. Inputs and outputs are determined in the models, which are then used to execute the tests. A model-based testing procedure is as follows:

  • Create a system model.
  • Make sure the output is what you expect.
  • Implementation of tests
  • Analyze the inputs to the system.
  • Verify that the system output matches the expected output.
  • In addition to allowing greater automation, model-based approaches cover a greater number of system states, improving test coverage.

9 Best Practices For UI Testing

Here are the best practices that you as a tester should follow in order to benefit the maximum from UI testing. 

  • Make sure that you are conducting a test on Real Devices

It is important to understand that UI testing is primarily concerned with the visual appearance of the device. The application can be tested using an emulator. However, when it is launched on a real device, there are a few different challenges. Automated UI testing in Android should always be conducted on a real device and all challenges must be explored before an end user.

  • Comments should be avoided

If commenting on functions and other code is a requirement for a programmer are not clear, then they are not enough. It is a standard practice in testing and development, and the requirement for comments shouldn’t arise if the function speaks for itself. By practicing search for Android UI tests, you will improve your professional skills as a tester and help your teammates. Also, avoiding comments indicates you will need to write simpler tests in order to convert complex tests to simpler ones. Even though you will not be required to have zero comments in your code, this ability will prove useful in the field. You should always keep in mind that comments should only be used when the complexity of the code requires them.

  1. Manual testing should never be ignored

A manual test may be viewed as requiring lower capabilities, requiring hiring time, and being time consuming. We have found that automation is the winner when comparing manual and itself. In our personal experience, manual testing cannot be replaced, but repetitive tasks require manual effort.

  • UI testing for Android should take into account frameworks

As part of Android UI testing tools, frameworks are extensively useful. A framework must apply some logic to the program before it goes through the backend and system for processing. It provides a structure that can satisfy most of the requirements of a developer or tester.

  • Test the usability of the website

A usability test involves testing your application with real users. The best part of this is that the product is made for the end user, and you will get an honest opinion from them. During the test, the engineers tend to look at problems and challenges from a technical perspective. End-users may think differently, so many times a model would be better than another page for them to see.

  • Include Data-Driven Tests

When data-driven tests are conducted, the last set of data is added to the test script, which then executes the test repeatedly with different types of data. Data-driven tests have replaced what used to be a laborious manual process, pointing out various works more quickly and without the need for manual input.

  • Independent testing should be avoided

The dependencies on tests have been an issue for some time now in the argument. In spite of the fact that some testers ignore this fact, opinion dependency hardly brings anything beneficial to the table. They conclude that they need to test complex dependencies among the modules resulting in complex results. Using Android UI testing tools, many miscalculations occur when dealing with dependent tests. There is a possibility that one or more of your test cases could fail when another test case fails, and the results will be an abrupt stop to everything. However, dependent test cases are difficult to read, and you may discover a dependency and then move to the test to understand it.

  1. Don’t aim for 100% OS coverage and consider logic-based scenarios for group testing

Prior to beginning automated UI testing in Android on an application, you can declare some target devices. You must communicate with target devices about the application’s suitability for these devices. Then you should ensure that your application’s user interface functions consistently across all target devices. Do you need to test it on any operating system, though? Sure, cross-browser compatibility testing requires rigorous testing across a wide range of browser-OS combinations. In addition to maintaining the software’s usability and functionality, a tester would also need to check it for any elements that might not show up on certain devices correctly.

Conducting android UI testing tools on an android smartphone application will require you to compile many test cases to test its accuracy and identify any bugs. The problem is that if such tests are performed infrequently, it is difficult to determine the intensity, but it also affects all subsequent tests and overall coverage. Grouping tests in such cases is extremely beneficial.

  1. Test results should be kept on file and when making a list of related checks on the same page, use soft assertions

A test log records everything that occurs during the testing process. If, for instance, the status codes were not 200, what was it? As a result, it is easier to pinpoint the cause of the failure, which makes the repair much faster. In addition to providing useful information for reports, logs also provide useful information for the future. For instance, suppose you wanted to know the duration of time it took for an Android application to respond to a page. After a new version is published, those metrics can be compared to new metrics to judge success.

It is a good practice to design assertions in a way that they will make the test fail if the assertion fails. At first, assertions were intended for unit tests and should only make one assertion per test.However, in UI automation, you might need to verify multiple things at the same time. For example, suppose you have several UI elements you need to verify and two of them have unexpected values. You would notice only one error after execution of a test with classic assertions, and the test would fail as a result. The test did a great job! It caught a bug! But…how are you going to catch the second issue? Right, you’ll need to fix the first problem first. In this case, using the mechanism of soft assertions can reap huge benefits as it can take days or even weeks for all the issues to be detected.

This is why soft assertions are useful. They are used when a condition needs to be asserted but the test may proceed as usual. It is possible to continue executing your test even if one of your assertions fails by using soft assertions. You will receive a summary of all the issues found and a list of failed assertions at the end of the test. Soft assertions can be implemented in many ways. It is recommended to use a powerful assertions framework called AssertJ. 

Conclusion

Thousands of applications are available in stores today, and many more are being developed at the moment. User interface testing has become extremely important in the modern world. It is probably the first thing a user wants, and if he is not a technical person, he will not be impressed with a messed up user interface. Not only visual appearance but also consistency of the android application is covered by the user interface. In order to achieve excellence in Android UI testing, certain practices should be followed and made a habit. They should look the same and work consistently on every target Android device.

You can perform UI testing of your websites and apps using LambdaTest’s scalable cloud grid thanks to the orchestration and execution platform. This provides you with the ability to remotely run websites and mobile apps across a network of 3000+ real devices and OS combinations in a remote environment. In addition to testing mobile apps on cloud-based Android Emulators and iOS Simulators, LambdaTest provides virtual testing solutions for Android and iOS platforms. In addition to automated testing, LambdaTest offers app test automation frameworks such as Appium, Playwright, Espresso, and XCUITest, along with Cypress, Selenium, and Playwright.