What Is GUI Testing?
April 6, 2022

What Is GUI Testing?

Test Automation
Functional Testing

GUI testing is a technique that tests the part of the application visible to the user. The GUI (graphical user interface) includes all the screen elements, like text fields, buttons, menus, scroll bars, hyperlinks, images, etc.

In the software development industry, user satisfaction is a top priority, so GUI testing makes sure that user experience is not compromised by identifying the visual and UX defects in an application.

In this blog, learn more about GUI testing and its benefits, notable GUI testing tools, and how to write your first GUI test. 

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What is GUI Testing?

Graphic User Interface (GUI) testing is the process of ensuring the graphical user interface functions properly for a specific application. This includes ensuring the GUI behaves in accordance with established requirements and operates as expected across a wide variety of supported devices and platforms.

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Why Do GUI Testing?

To answer this question let’s think from a user’s perspective. The user’s first level of interaction with the application is the interface.  A user-friendly and error-free graphical user interface leads to a great user experience. Now let’s think the other way. Say we have built a perfect application and all features are working as expected. But there are minor issues with the GUI. For example, a few hyperlinks are broken, textboxes are not working and a few images are also missing.

When users find it difficult to navigate in the application or interface elements are not working, it is most likely that they will not return to the app, or they will look for other options. GUI testing adds to the quality of the product.

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GUI Testing Techniques

GUI testing is done using both manual and automated techniques. Let’s discuss the most commonly used GUI testing approaches:

1. Model-Based Testing

Model-based testing is a graphical approach for testing system behavior. It checks the system requirements of the application. Usually, charts and decision trees are used to depict the system's behavior. A common workflow in model-based testing involves:

  • Creating a model for the system
  •  Determining the inputs for the system
  •  Calculating the expected outputs
  •  Running some tests
  • Comparing the actual and expected output
  • Taking further actions based on the results

Model-based tests can be run manually or automatically.

2. Manual Testing

In manual testing, each screen is manually tested against business requirements. Test cases are defined by the team based on these requirements and all the elements of the UI are tested. In manual testing, the chances of error are high and it is a time-consuming process as well. On the other hand, it can be used to cover all edge cases.

3. Record and Playback

In Record and Playback testing, UI features are tested using automation tools. User actions and behavior is captured in the recording phase and each step is executed during replay. It’s a lightweight testing solution but it can be tedious when the UI is not stable and it’s updating.

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Writing Your First GUI Test

Let’s see how to write a few test cases for GUI testing. In this article, we are going to show an example of testing Linkedin’s sign-in page. Before diving into it, keep in mind that there is no specific template to write GUI test cases. There are various formats available to write GUI test cases and the decision on which approach to take varies from company to company.

gui testing on LinkedIn
  • TC 01: Verify that the textbox with label “Email or Phone” is aligned.
  • TC 02: Verify that the textbox with label “Password” is aligned.
  • TC 03: Verify that “Forgot password” is aligned properly.
  • TC 04: Verify that the button “show” inside Textbox labeled “Password” is working.
  • TC 05: Verify that the button “show” inside Textbox labeled “Password” is working.
  • TC 06: Verify that the button “Sign in” located below “Forgot password” is aligned.
  • TC 07: Verify that the button “Sign in with Apple” is aligned.
  • TC 08: Verify that the label “Join now” is working and opens the sign up page.
  • TC 09: Verify that “Forgot password” opens the password reset page. 
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GUI Testing Tools

There are various GUI testing tools available to you, both open source and paid. Here are a few of them:


Selenium is an open-source automation tool that can be used for GUI testing. Selenium provides a record and playback tool for executing GUI test cases. It supports a variety of programming languages like Python, Java, Javascript, C#, and others. Multiple browser and platform support make it a great choice.


Eggplant is a licensed GUI automation tool developed by Test Plant. It is a two-system model: the first system is a machine on which EggPlant is installed and the other is the machine running the application that is being tested. It supports Mac, Linux, and Windows operating systems. It allows testing the application regardless of the coding language used. 


One unique advantage of using BlazeMeter for GUI testing is the fact that you can use the same script for your performance and functional UI tests. Using the BlazeMeter Chrome Extension, you can record scripts in both Selenium and JMeter in a single session. 


TestComplete is an automation tool used for testing the UI of the web, mobile, and desktop applications. It provides a record and replays function to test UI without writing scripts. TestComplete provides AI-based object recognition technology to test the UI elements. It supports seven languages including JavaScript, Python, VBScript, Jscript, DelphiScript, C#, and C+.


QTP is a powerful functional testing tool that can be used to write UI test cases. All the test cases are written in VB scripting languages. It supports the Windows operating system. In QTP if a test script fails it moves on to the next test case and it reports an error. 

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Use Cases of GUI Testing

GUI testing includes a thorough check of the overall interface. We have prepared a recommended checklist of use cases for completing your GUI testing. Following are the basic use-cases that we recommend you to check:

Use-case 1:

Test the alignment of all the elements present on the screen. Verify the behavior of screen elements by changing the zoom options.

Use-case 2:

Test the text appearing on the screen. All the spellings must be correct and the font used should also be coherent. If abbreviations are used make sure they are correct and consistent.

Use-case 3:

Test all the images appearing on the page. Check the position and size of the images. All the images must be clear and must have good quality.

Use-case 4:

Test that all the hyperlinks are working properly and are aligned.

Use-case 5:

Test that all the required fields are working and error messages are displayed in case of incorrect input.

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Bottom Line

GUI testing is an important phase in SDLC, which significantly improves the user experience. We have discussed different testing approaches. Manual approaches are tedious and prone to error. Usually, automated testing is recommended despite the fact it is costly. GUI testing makes sure that all the GUI requirements are met and enhances the quality of the product.



Related Resources

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