Automated Testing vs. Manual Testing: Striking the Right Balance

How to choose the right testing method for your web app.

Automated Testing vs. Manual Testing: Striking the Right Balance

Manual testing is considered to be more scrupulous and true-to-life, while automated testing is a crucial puzzle of CI/CD process. How to find the right balance between these two approaches and improve the overall quality of delivery? Find out a squeeze of useful info in our new article on testing below.

Pros and Cons of Both Methods

Manual testing includes requirement analysis, test cases creation, conducting and logging bug reports, while automated testing does all the above with the help of pre-scripted tests. Both approaches are perfect in certain test scenarios, so in order to avoid being subjective, let’s look at their pluses and minuses:

Manual testing:

  • True-to-life testing – allows to simulate the real-life environment at best;
  • Meticulous design review – can prove the app is user-friendly and has pixel-perfect UI;
  • Great flexibility – offers the capacity to adapt to the slightest requirement changes;
  • Human factor – high percentage of mistakes and errors;
  • Time and budget consuming – needs a lot of QA engineering resources;
  • Difficult to reuse – written tests are executed manually every testing session, and the execution is dependent on the QA Engineer.

Automated testing:

  • Saves time in large projects – runs prescribed tests quickly and autonomously;
  • Has a great technical tool set – finds data processing and performance bugs;
  • Recording of tests – allows reusing and running the same type of test cases;
  • Transparency – every member of the team can monitor the test results in real-time;
  • Requires additional costs – setting proper test scenarios needs investing in tools or frameworks;
  • Can’t check usability and UX – no insight into how users see a product and whether they like it.

Thus, manual testing is a thorough and meticulous process, while automated testing works perfectly when you need to run a vast number of tests in a short period of time. Here can be custom preferences for each test case, but below we have already drawn up a guide on when it’s better to use one or the other approach.

A Happy Medium Between Testing Approaches

For products that emphasise UI and UX, it’s better to use manual testing with its subjective user-like validation. In other words, manual testing is better when it’s comes to:

  • Exploratory testing: a set of human knowledge, experience, and creativity works here better than prescribed testing;
  • Usability testing: testers’ first-hand experience and observation allows to validate product’s usability and design;
  • Ad-hoc testing: people better generate spontaneous scenarios than scripts do.

When it comes to QA automation tools, they work better when you need to rerun tests frequently or in products with emphasis on data processing and performance:

  • Regression testing: automation saves time when you often introduce minor changes in the code base;
  • Load and performance testing: with automation tools, even a small team of QA engineers can simulate thousands of users, database queries or server requests to test the system performance.

Moreover, using test automation tools can cover the majority of all testing needs, and according to PractiTest, 67% of companies use automation testing. For example, with the help of DogQ automation platform you can effectively replace timely usability testing with automated e2e testing – simulation of user experience – and get your manual tests executed automatically, allowing your QA team to get almost immediate feedback on the introduced changes.

Summing up, manual testing is better when you need to test a small short-term project with little funding or when an extra flexibility in testing is required, while automated software testing has more bonuses for large projects and when it’s needed to unload your QA team. Evaluating your budget, project requirements and mixing up these software testing strategies the right way will help you to achieve great effectiveness and better allocate the project resources. If you want to find out more about possible test automation scenarios, please, click here.