By dedicating your QA resources to only one of these approaches, you’ll miss many opportunities to improve quality. Using manual and automated testing together will lead to a higher quality, more stable product.

Adobe Experience Manager

Every day, we see hundreds of new apps and products out in the market. A lot of testing takes place before they are released to the public. Automated testing can speed up the process and is often seen as a replacement for manual testing. However, manual testing still has a critical role in the QA process.

Here are some of the reasons manual testing is still important.

Manually Testing Tests from a Human Perspective

Human testers can quickly identify when something looks “off.” Automated test scripts don’t pick up these visual issues. When a tester interacts with software as a user would, they’re able to discover usability issues and user interface glitches. Automated test scripts can’t test for these things.

Exploratory Testing Can Only Be Done Manually

Automated tests only perform the actions that you tell them to. They require planning and preparation to write, which restricts the test to certain boundaries. These boundaries mean there isn’t any room to stray from the written test to truly “explore” the application. Exploratory testing (or ad hoc testing) gives us the opportunity to answer questions like, “what happens if I do this?” It enables us to carve our own path throughout the test with little to no boundaries.

Automated Tests Can Contain Errors and Holes

Just like code can have bugs, automated test scripts can also have bugs. This means that automated testing has the potential to report false positives and false negatives. By including a human touch throughout the testing process, these errors are avoided.

Some Scenarios Are Not Technically Feasible to Automate or Cost Too Much

Let’s take, for example, an iPad app that relies heavily on tap gestures. Automating the “tap” can not only be costly but also may not be the most accurate test compared to a human’s finger touching the user interface. It often makes more sense to manually test certain features. By the time you find a resource to write an automated test, a manual test could be completed with bugs already fixed. Sometimes, it makes more sense to just go the “manual” route.

Manual Testing Helps Us Understand the Whole Problem
Over time, automated testing can save time. It is great for getting quick results on a broad level, but manual testing allows us to understand the problem on a conceptual and emotional level. It connects us with the end-user and introduces us to a level of empathy automated testing doesn’t provide.

So, Why Take a Chance?

Today, testing has a very important part to play in software development. No software can remain the same. Performing the appropriate checks on your software updates is a benefit to the developer and the end user. Although a lot of jobs are needed, manual testing is needed to guarantee a high level of customer experience and quality. A human tester always finds things that cannot be automatically tested. Key to effective manual testing includes knowledge of software requirements, writing excellent test instances and logging comprehensive bug reports.

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