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Usability testing lags in automation


While levels of test automation have generally increased over the past year user acceptance tests (UATs) and usability tests remain largely manual, according to SmartBear’s “State of Software Quality and Testing 2022 survey.

The test automation specialist had 1,542 respondents for its survey, 15% of which were in the financial sector.

After recovering from a dip in test automation levels in 2021, the survey found an increase of almost 10% in the number of respondents reporting test automation levels of 51% and above. And 89% of testers reported using test automation processes; most commonly, those belonging to larger firms.

Web applications and APIs remain the focus of most testing efforts, with 79% and 70% of teams reporting spending time testing these. Testing across all types of application was seen to increase, with native mobile application testing reaching 30%.

However, the survey found that usability and user accessibility tests – covering the basic functionality of an application and the processes needed to complete actions – were completed fully manually 56% of the time, and only fully automated 14% of the time.

The UI testing market was seen to be very fragmented, with respondents reporting 24 different tools in use, where 9 tools were each in use by at least 10% of respondents. Selenium remained the most used tool at 49%, it was also found to be the most popular test automation framework.

In 2021, respondents reported that learning testing tools was the most time consuming task, but in 2022 they reported that performing manual and exploratory tests was now the most time-consuming. The overall lack of time for testing was reported to be the greatest challenge for 37% of respondents, alongside general organisational priorities.