When it comes to functional testing, there are multiple options to choose from. Which option is right for your business will depend on the type of software you want to test, your target audience, and your overall testing goals. With that in mind, let's explore the three possible methods of test book testing.
What is a Test Book?
Functional testing validates software against the functional requirements or specifications. Each company has unique goals they want to achieve with their software, and functional testing is an excellent way to determine whether you're meeting those goals. A test book is simply the list of test cases that will be executed during functional testing. The test cases are designed with your specific software in mind. For example, if shopping giant Amazon wanted to test the functionality of its search function, they (or an external company on its behalf) would develop the test cases from the ground up. The test cases would be specific to the website's design, the available filters, the shopping cart process, and so on.
The key benefit of functional testing is that it helps you close the gap between how your software should work and how it actually works. Sometimes software seems logical to the people who create it but creates confusion for end-users. And sometimes, the software simply doesn't work as intended and needs to be reworked.
The 3 Methods of Test Book Testing
1. Crowd Testing
Crowd testing, sometimes called crowdsourced testing, tests usability, functionality and user-friendliness under real-world conditions.
Crowdsourced testing is a manual approach to software testing. Testers are real professionals who get involved only for the testing process, meaning they get paid by project and performance instead of being full-time employees.
The Benefits of Crowd Testing
- Real-world conditions: It allows you to test the software's functionality using real end-users in real-world conditions. Due to the large number of users, you can test functionality at any time of any day.
- A wealth of testing data: Crowd testers use their real devices and operate different operating systems, browsers, and other native software. This makes the testing data rich, both in terms of diversity of feedback and high coverage.
- Fast, unbiased reporting: Testers give feedback on the go, which means you get a constant stream of valuable feedback. Additionally, while all competent testers must be impartial, crowd testers have a distinct advantage in this area. They have no stake in the success of your software, so their feedback is guaranteed to be honest. Honest feedback is critical when creating highly functional and user-friendly apps.
- Target demographics: You can source crowd testers from a vast range of demographic criteria, including age, gender, profession, income level, hobbies, and more. Crowd testing is an excellent way to see how well your target audience perceives your software. This aspect is extremely important in UX Testing.
In UNGUESS, we have created a vast community of testers (over 20,000 in Italy, our main market, and we can reach over 250,000 worldwide). Since they are highly profiled, we can select professional testers and/ or real users of your product. Our Customer Success Managers (CSM) write the test cases for the test book specifically aimed at testing our clients’ software. Testers submit the bugs they find and the CSM approves them only if they are unique and in scope. Our clients’ Dev team can receive an export of all the bugs, or can use a bug tracking tool integration.
2. Test Automation
In automated functional testing, a computer runs the functional testing for you using tools and scripts. Typically, the software is categorised into distinct areas of functionality, and a script is designed to test the functionality in a series of steps. For each step, pre-selected elements of the UI are interacted with. For example, the automated test software might fill in a text box, select a dropdown option, or push a button. After running the automated test, you can check the results to compare them with what should have happened.
At AppQuality, for example, we have a range of tools we can leverage for our clients’ test automation, depending on their specific software specifications. As for specifics, we often use Robot Framework - a robust open-source automation framework with a rich ecosystem of libraries and tools (we have talked about it here) and Seleniumlibrary (or other libraries). Again, this is just an example as we use different tools and frameworks depending on our clients’ necessities.
The Benefits of Automated Functional Testing
- 24/7: A computer runs automated testing, so you're not restricted by human testers who need to take breaks, sleep, or only work set hours.
- Faster: Without having to rely on people (unless writing the code for the test Automation is necessary), you can execute your tests much quicker. On average, automated testing is 70% faster than manual testing—faster testing results in an early time to market for your application. Warning: with Test Automation you can only find what you are looking for. Nothing out of your path can be found.
- Improves accuracy: When you eliminate humans, you also eliminate human error. Any errors can reduce the accuracy and reliability of your results.
- Cost-efficient: Automated testing is often significantly cheaper than manual testing.
- Ensures consistency: Automated testing can be repeated as you make improvements and tweaks to your software. This promotes consistency across every stage of your functional testing, making it much easier to compare the results of multiple tests objectively.
3. FTE (Full Time Equivalent)
FTE (Full-Time Equivalent) or Third-party Test Factories can mean one of two things in the testing world:
- The company hires a top tester who writes the entire test book and then executes the tests on the application, website, or other software.
- The company writes the test book, and the tester runs the test cases for them.
FTE offers a high level of flexibility and allows companies to engage with the testing process in the way that best suits your company. Many companies don’t have the time or resources (skilled testers) to develop the test cases themselves and benefit from the help of an outside party for a short amount of time. Other companies have a clear idea of the tests they want to run but want an impartial expert tester to execute the test cases.
To learn more about FTE or Third-party Test Factories, see how it works and the possible results, read this article and the case study of buddybank.
The Benefits of Third-party Test Factories in Functional Testing
- Objectivity: Testers are fair and unbiased in reporting their results. This can be difficult to achieve with in-house testing because employees have a vested interest in the software - they might overlook negative aspects of the functionality to appease senior management.
- Specialisation: Testers have formal training and certifications in testing related disciplines. They have a deep knowledge of testing methodologies, best practices, and appropriate tools. They bring a level of professionalism to the table that results in highly accurate, fast, and reliable results.
- Risk reduction: Introducing a third party can help reduce the risks associated with functional software testing. Testers can spot blind spots or errors in your software that you might otherwise miss.
Which Method of Test Book testing should you use?
It is impossible to answer that question out of the blue. It is crucial to understand the context, the goals, the available resources, tools and stage of development.
UNGUESS offers a Crowd testing platform (together with tens of thousands of testers), Test Automation technologies and knowledge and even the Body Rental approach.
If you want to know which method is the most suitable for your product, contact us and schedule a short call with our experts.