Visual testing is the automated process of comparing visible output of an app or website against a baseline image. In its most basic form, Visual Testing compares pixels, although modern approaches use Visual AI to view as a human eye would and avoid false positives. Visual tests can be run on individual components during development, or on a functioning application during end-to-end tests.
Regression testing is the process of re-running tests to ensure that application changes have not introduced software defects.
Visual regression testing is the re-running of visual tests to ensure defects have not been introduced into an application.
While the terms are often interchanged, regression tests are re-run again new builds to ensure application changes have not introduced visual bugs.
In software testing, a test script is a set of steps that execute a test case against an application. The test script is usually coded by an automation engineer or developer using a variety of programming languages using automation frameworks such as Selenium, Cypress, Webdriver IO or even via low-code or no-code test automation solutions. Test script is often used interchangeably with automated test.
A UI test is a set of instructions that is manually run or automatically executed to verify the functionality and appearance of an applications user interface.
Yes, visual testing is a critical component of UI testing, and can even be used to cover functional scenarios as long as the expected result from the UI interaction is rendered in the user interface.
Visual testing helps prevent visual defects that traditional functional testing cannot catch from slipping into production. Visual testing also can test for functional scenarios that are rendered on-screen. This can reduce the time it takes to create tests as well as reduce test case maintenance.
While it’s possible to test for visual elements using traditional functional tests, it’s difficult to maintain those tests due to the number of locators and amount of test code that is required.
Automated Visual Testing uses software to automate the process of comparing visual elements across various screen combinations to uncover defects. There are two common technologies used for automated visual testing: pixel based and AI based referred to as Visual AI. Pixel based comparison can product high false positive rates. This is amplified as browsers often change their rendering algorithms and trigger false positives. Visual AI based testing replicates the human eye and brain to see the images as a human would, but with the efficiency of a computer. Never distracted, never tired, fast, and incredibly accurate.
Snapshot testing is another term used for the first generation of visual testing that compares pixels of an image to a baseline bitmap. Snapshot algorithms scan through each pixel to check if the hex code is the same, if there is any variation, and visual defect is raised. In order to use snapshot testing in a modern app-dev environment, sections of an application must be ignored, or the % of tolerated pixel differences must be altered – both could lead to defects that slip into production.
If you are using Applitools, you are already using our Visual AI in each and every visual test that you run.
Visual testing should be integrated into your existing test scripts and thus your existing CI/CD process. When you implement Applitools, you simply augment your existing test cases with a single line / snippet of test code – and let the AI do the rest. Applitools integrates with your existing testing framework such as Selenium, Webdriver IO, Cypress, TestCafe, and over 50 others.
We recommend using Applitools Ultrafast Grid to run your functional test once, then render all screens captured concurrently across any combination of browsers, viewports, and devices. All captures are then analyzed through our Visual AI engine. All this happens in a matter of seconds.