What is Automated User Testing, and Should You Be Doing It?
Automated User Testing – sometimes referred to as Automated UX Testing – is increasing in popularity as ever more complex ways to test UX become available. But what is Automated User Testing? And should you be doing it in your business? Automated UX testing: a definition Automated User Testing is essentially the automation of manual test tasks. Usersnap defines it as “simply when you and your Quality Assurance team use scripted tests that have been prewritten and run automatically.” Recent advances mean that there is now some incredible UX testing software available that has been specifically developed to automate the whole testing process, allowing designers and developers to work with remote participants, gather data and identify where improvements can be made at every step of the design process. What are the benefits of automating user testing? It has long been accepted that UX should form an essential part of the design process. In fact, Creative.onl was writing nearly three years ago about the importance of using a UX specialist to design your website or mobile app. So UX testing as a vital part of the design process is a given. But what about being able to automate this testing? And what are the benefits – to both your business, as well as the end user? 1. A more efficient use of resources Automating any process is usually done to save time. And automating user testing is no exception. Done properly, once it has been set up, automated UX testing should lessen the demands on both people and time, allowing you to reallocate resources to resolving any issues that automated testing throws up. 2. A more cost effective way to test UX response It should follow that if automating a process saves time and human involvement, it ought to save money too. And by and large, that should be the case once the initial investment in the software and setting it up has been taken into account. Don’t forget that the ability of this type of software to, for example, identify bugs very early on in the process can also save much needed expenditure that may have been incurred if it was otherwise overlooked in manual testing. 3. The ability to test a greater number of variables in a shorter amount of time There is no denying that machines can be faster than man. And automating your user testing allows you to run more test case variations in a shorter period of time than you would using manual testing alone. These tests can, for example, cover areas such as multiple browsers, multiple operating systems, screen resolutions, mobile devices and connection speeds. 4. The chance to simulate thousands of virtual users and shorten the development cycleCollaborative design platform, Marvel App, sees automated user testing as an invaluable opportunity to “can simulate hundreds, if not thousands, of virtual users, simultaneously, that is before you let the real ones in. Making sure that your application is durable and shortening your development cycles.” 5. Elimination of human error Unlike people, computers never tire of repeating a task or analysing data, meaning that automating your user testing not only allows you to process high volumes of data, it also helps eliminates human error. Are there any disadvantages to automated user testing? Despite it benefits, automated UX Testing is not necessarily the best solution for everyone. The initial investment in both time and money in setting up the testing software can be prohibitive for smaller companies or smaller projects. And no matter how good the software, it is only as good as the way in which it has been programmed. As Usersnap points out…
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