The image above illustrates a typical automation testing cycle to support activities and provide a framework for the project team to work towards for successful automated testing:
- Define the scope – Plan which parts of the UI will be tested with automation. Work with the designers to run through user stories and journeys to find what the user should see and experience.
- Write the test – the test should cover all aspects of the journey the user will take through the app or website. Adding in randomisation to the process, via multiple combinations of paths through, can be useful in finding problem areas.
- Execution and Evaluation – running the test and watching it go through the process a few times can give a good perspective on how it will run going forward and help iron out any issues early. Having these tests running either 24/7 or on a schedule frees up a testers time to work on other tests. This makes it an efficient use of time, reducing man-hours and costs, and can give early warnings of issues with a site, such as poor internet connections or tracking when during the day a site is most under pressure.
- Maintenance – Keeping up with the staging or production code, speaking to developers to make sure you’re across any changes to names, id’s and classes etc is important to keep the test running. As is making sure new features are accounted for in the tests as they are put into the code.
Automated testing can help improve the testing process, speeding-up deployments, finding bugs traditional tests can miss, and continue to monitor deployed sites, finding potential issues before your users notice. Automation testing should always be considered for a robust QA process; it may not be needed in every case, but if a test is needed to be repetitive and used often, AT is a tool that can save time and money.
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