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Manual QA Testing: Is It Still Necessary?

As technology progresses, more and more operations are being automated with the goal of saving resources and promoting efficiency. Another reason why automation has quickly risen to prominence is that it has been shown to be an efficient method of reducing operational gaps by minimizing human errors substantially.

Why do you need mobile app testing?


As technology progresses, more and more operations are being automated with the goal of saving resources and promoting efficiency. Another reason why automation has quickly risen to prominence is that it has been shown to be an efficient method of reducing operational gaps by minimizing human errors substantially.

However, no matter how advanced modern technology is, not everything can be automated totally. Some processes are too sophisticated and intricate to be managed without the use of human judgment and assistance.

Software testing is one such example. IBM defines software testing as the process of evaluating and verifying that a software product or application does what it is supposed to do. Not only is the code and system structure being kept in mind, but also the clients—the human users.

There are two approaches to software testing: automated and manual software testing. However, testers do not choose one over the other, but rather which approach best fits the functionality being tested. Perhaps you’re wondering why manual testing is still required when the process can be automated.

If this context continues to perplex you, you’ve come to the right place. In this section, we will discuss why manual QA software testing is still necessary. But first, let’s define what manual quality assurance is.

What is Manual QA?  


Manual QA is a kind of software testing in which test cases are manually run by QA testers rather than using automated technologies, hence the name. It is a rudimentary technique that requires significantly more time and effort, but it is required for testing complex software attributes and determining automation feasibility.

Despite the availability of automation solutions, manual testing cannot be completely avoided because it is a continuous process that necessitates human verification at regular intervals. This is crucial when the manual testing method compares the product’s behavior to the intended behavior stated earlier in the software development life cycle.

Although an unplanned manual test is conceivable, the overall testing cycle follows a basic process. The first step, like with all types of software testing, is to comprehend the provided requirements before writing and assessing a number of test cases that cover diverse situations or scenarios.

When all of the bases have been covered, the test cases are conducted to not only find flaws but also to discover stress points in the system that can impede users or become potential stress points that hackers can exploit. The bugs and vulnerabilities are then reported and fixed before the system is tested again.

Automated testing approximately follows the same process, albeit faster and more methodical, but it still cannot completely replace manual testing. What is the importance of manual QA testing? Here are five reasons why manual testing is needed.

5 Reasons Manual Testing Is Still Vital

1. Humanistic Point-of-View


One of the key advantages of manual testing over automation is the availability of the user perspective. Seeing as users need to be able to effectively use the software, operating from their perspective is vital in achieving the delivery of a positive user experience.

Human testers, while not fully accurate on a numeric level, are more likely to notice if something is off on the qualitative side. For example, if the color schemes clash, the text is difficult to read, or the buttons are too small and sluggish.

2. Some tasks are better done manually


Some procedures only need to be done a couple of times, and some require complex algorithms or devices in order to be automated. Elaborating on the latter, just because an automated option is available doesn’t mean it’s the best way to achieve the data needed. 

Manual testing is the best method to gather data regarding factors that exist outside the software’s build. This ability to address external factors highlights the necessity and importance of manual testing

To exemplify one of these external factors, evaluating a mobile application requires a human to tap and navigate through the app rather than examine the app’s responsiveness. This is because the app is designed to be used by a human. Applications for monitoring one’s health are yet another example. It is essential to have a human test the app in order to guarantee that it will capture the desired data.

3. Automated tests require more planning

Test scripts do not magically materialize out of thin air. Writing new test scripts requires the use of complicated methods, particularly for units that have several different conditional branches. Some of the existing test scripts can be reused for common functions. When it comes to more manageable projects, manual testing is the method of choice.

There is also the possibility that the test scripts have a bug. False results can be disastrous when they involve features and procedures that are most likely going to be used a lot. 

4. Catch Unexpected Bugs

Some bugs, no matter how many times the code is compiled and checked, inexplicably appear only during certain times or specific scenarios. The freer nature of manual testing makes catching these unexpected bugs and exceptions more plausible. It is acceptable to argue that one of the few advantages of manual testing is the approach’s adaptability and spontaneity. This is because testers can manually fix these issues straight away.

5. No programming knowledge needed

Manual Black Box testing, which is also known as behavioral testing, does not require an in-depth understanding of the structure of the system in order to be conducted. The name “Black Box Testing” comes from the fact that the source code is never examined during the testing phase; instead, the focus is solely on the system’s performance.

When to Opt for Manual Testing?

A fundamental aspect of software testing is that “100% automation is not possible”. These are some of the instances where manual testing is the most effective option.

User Experience Testing

Testing user experience needs the presence of human judgment before you one can properly evaluate it. Automated test cases cannot accurately determine whether a software is easy to use, whether the embedded media follows the requirements, or whether the elements of the software are accessible to people with disabilities.

Ad Hoc Testing

Considering the points above, the less rigid manual approach opens up the possibility of ad hoc or exploratory testing. This subset of software testing is an unstructured method that aims to find possible defects early in the development cycle.

Non-recurring tests

It is a waste of time and effort to automate tasks operations that will only be performed a few times or infrequently because doing so requires a significant amount of time and work. Unless it requires a substantial amount of input or a test case that may be utilized in other projects, it will not be considered.

Find A Helping Hand

To reiterate, “100% automation is not possible” in software testing. Human judgment is still imperative when the product is made to cater to human users. Besides the evaluation of individual units, they have a holistic view of the system, helping determine whether the overall quality of user experience delivered by the system is positive or not.

Manual testing is an integral part in software QA testing as it keeps in mind the end-user’s perspective. In order to implement a thorough and extensive QA testing, there should be a dedicated team of expert testing engineers. Besides gathering your own team of testers, a more cost-effective option is outsourcing from a quality assurance company like Unbugify.

The manual testing services provided by Unbugify cover all parts of the system, including its operational, non-functional, and functional components. If you use Unbugify’s team of competent QA testers, you can save time and money compared to what it would take to put together a manual testing team, and you can also lessen the amount of stress that the development team is under.

Let’s work together and create a plan that works for you. Contact us!