What is visual testing?

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, sometimes referred to as snapshot testing compares differences in an image by looking at pixel variations.

Modern approaches have incorporated artificial intelligence, known as Visual AI, to view as a human eye would and avoid false positives.

Visual tests can be run on individual components during development with products like Storybook, or on a functioning application during end-to-end tests by integrating with automated testing frameworks like Selenium, Cypress, and WebDriverIO.

Is visual testing considered UI testing?

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.

Why perform visual testing?

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.

Can’t functional tests detect visual bugs?

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.

When should I use visual testing?

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.

Visual testing & Applitools

Applitools is the only visual testing platform that incorporates advanced Visual AI algorithms to detect only meaningful changes. The accuracy of Visual AI allows your visual regression tests to perform both visual & functional testing for all areas in which functionality is rendered in your applications UI. This modern approach to UI testing, will reduce code & locators, allowing you to create and maintain tests faster than ever before.

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I discovered there really are no visual processing settings, percentages or configurations that need to be set up to create tests with Applitools. The algorithm is entirely adaptive, and I can only imagine where they’ll take the technology as AI and machine learning advances even further.
Joe Colantonio
Joe Colantonio testtalks.com and guildconferences.com

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