Manual testing: Concept, Types, and the use in software outsourcing

Manual testing

Severe testing is the fundamental thing to successful software development. Especially, people want to find all bugs and fix them before software development teams release software projects to market. It helps avoid the need for costly retrofits and the risk of unsatisfied customers.

During the custom software development project, automated testing saves money and time. However, testers suffer challenges in underestimating the strength of humans in defining errors (especially when using usability testing for authentic users). This article demonstrates why manual testing still plays a fundamental role in software development. Also, we indicate its benefits, drawbacks and highlight how to write a test case. Hopefully, you will have some ideas about manual testing, especially for firms offering software outsourcing services.

What is manual testing? 

Manual testing refers to a specific type of software testing in which testers will manually execute various test cases without using any automation tools. The benefits of manual testing aim to find the bugs, issues, and defects in the custom software development process. This manual testing is the most primitive concept of all software testing types. It also helps software development teams identify critical bugs in the software application. 

Software development teams must test the test cases manually before using automation testing. Moreover, manual testing requires more effort; however, it is essential to check automation feasibility. Concepts of manual testing do not require a high understanding of any software testing tools. “100% automation is impossible” is one of the software testing principles that software development teams need to consider. It makes manual testing imperative during custom software development projects. 

Related article: Automation testing workshop at Adamo Software

Concepts of manual testing 

In all concepts of manual testing, it is crucial to specify goals before beginning the custom software development as important notice for firms offering software outsourcing services to develop custom apps and web applications. Manual testing is one of the most common testing tools for its advantages. The roles of manual testing and the software development process aim to detect errors and bugs.

Besides, concepts of manual testing focus on error-free software applications. Thus, it starts and ends with a set of functional requirements. During the software testing process, testers usually use test cases. It requires 100% test coverage from time to time.

Manual testing requires an effective plan during custom software development processes since all uncertainty needs to be fixed on time. Testers would restart the testing process once finding any bugs and errors.

Related article: Be careful when choosing the custom software development company

Different types of manual testing

Software development teams use various approaches for manual testing such as white box testing, black-box testing, and gray box testing. Here are the common types of manual testing:

  • White-box testing: Carrying out this type of manual testing, developers can check every line of code before moving into the software testing stage. The code will be visible to the software developers during the testing process. That’s why people call it white box testing.
  • Black box testing: For this type of manual testing, testers will execute it. So they check various functionalities of a website application or the software products regardless of customers’ needs. Besides, the code is invisible during manual testing execution.
  • Gray box testing: Last but not least, gray box testing refers to a combination of white-box testing and black-box testing. A Tester implementing this manual testing type will know both coding and testing. In this case, he/she will be the only one performing the white box and the black box testing for the software development process.
  • Unit testing: Unit testing will validate an individual software component. Generally, software developers implement unit testing instead of quality assurance engineers. The type of manual testing requires detailed and specific knowledge of the software product design and code.
  • Integration testing: comprises two or more integrating software components. People carry out the integration testing once the single components have been tested. Furthermore, people use integration testing to identify defects within the interfaces and the interactions amongst various integrated software components.
  • System testing: As its name suggests, people have to test the whole system. All software components are unit tested and then integrated into a website application. Once this finishes, people will test the entire system to assure the website application or mobile applications meet all requirements.
  • Acceptance testing: User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is a type of manual testing performed by the customers to certify the software system related to the requirements. Testers implement this type of manual testing before moving the software products to the market. The customers execute the Acceptance testing in separating environments, which are similar to the production environment. It also confirms whether the system can meet the requirements or not.

Advantages and disadvantages of manual testing

Advantages of manual testing Disadvantages of manual testing
Manual testing helps identify most of the problems regardless of its look and various issues of the website application. It is time-consuming.
Testers can easily access visual software components such as text, layout, and other elements. So they can detect issues related to UI and UX. It isn’t easy to define the right size and color combination of GUI objects.
It requires a low cost of operation since we don’t use any automation tools or high-level skills. Loading software testing and performance testing is not practical in manual tests.
Manual testing is adaptable, so it is well-suited for people to make unplanned changes to the website application.There are many things to test that running manual testing is quite time-consuming.
People can observe and provide an intuition of manual testing. It is useful when using user-friendliness and distinguished customers. Regression test cases through manual testing are time-consuming.

Related article: Building a successful Agile software development team

How to write test cases in manual testing

One of the most common questions that most testers wonder about is how to write test cases. First of all, everyone has their own rules, so executing other test cases makes them get confused. Testers found challenges in using test cases to meet all requirements without gaps. Here are some principles you might consider when writing test cases in manual testing.

write test cases in manual testing

1. Define the part you are covering with a test case 

Before writing test cases, testers should use a set of requirements to define their scope of work and software elements. For example, you add a label or software components to the test cases and prioritize your test cases.

2. Follow test design techniques in mind 

Design techniques help save time, provide comprehensive test cases, and test website applications deeply and rationally. First of all, people use a black-box test design technique to execute representations from equivalence partitioning. Testers can use design techniques to test based on boundary values.

Then people exercise the combinations of conditions and actions in a decision table. Another design technique is that people use case-testing behaviors. It helps identify test cases that exercise the whole system and define gaps in software applications. Thus, software developers should consider various design techniques to write a suitable test case.

3. Use a requirements traceability matrix for visibility 

For understanding how to write a test case in manual testing, it is essential to visualize test coverage and perceive the relationship between requirements and test cases. People use a table to map and trace requirements with test cases. It is called a requirement traceability matrix for visible testing.

4. Make test cases clear and transparent.

The test case contains all necessary information, relevant artifacts, and GUIs. Thus, testers avoid going through various documents to complete test scenarios. It is essential to group test cases in a logical order. Spontaneously, a test case is easy to understand and implement appropriately. All the stages for each test case can be atomic and in a correct sequence.

5. Review your and your teammate’s test cases 

You should review all test cases from the beginning to ensure that all stages are clear. So it helps identify uncertainness, mistakes, and gaps before testing.

6. Up to date your test cases 

As requirements change, you must consistently update the test cases in your test implementations. During the implementation stage, you might have new ideas, or even add new features. Thus, updating test scenarios helps avoid the paradox and define new bugs. 

Related article: What software development metrics measure performances of the dedicated development team

Distribute test cases amongst testers 

Some testers test different modules of a single web application. So it is essential to divide them into specific areas of application to execute testing. Software development teams might consider distribution test cases among testers. For some custom software development projects, multiple testers will implement the integration of a web application, while for some projects, a single tester can do it.

Best manual testing tools for 2022

  1. Selenium: Selenium is one of the most popular manual testing tools for 2022 for its tremendous benefits. It is a web-based manual testing tool and is available to use. Using the manual testing tool, software development teams don’t need to worry about the budget since it is free of cost. Selenium allows customers to use a portable software manual testing framework as it is easy to work on the web.
  2. Apache JMeter: Every software application underwent a testing process before launching. Especially firms offering software outsourcing services prefer manual testing for their custom software development projects. A complete Java-based application helps in offering quality results. Thus, Apache JMeter is one of the popular manual testing tools.
  3. Loadrunner: This manual testing tool is easy to understand and perform the required tasks. It allows users to have a planned test schedule with a user-friendly interface. Loadrunner works look like a regression testing process since it can analyze various software elements. Thus, it will provide an accurate report on many essential components.
  4. QTP: HP is one of the IT giants offering quality tools for various purposes. QTP, known as UFT software testing, enables regression testing and functional testing. It allows testers to implement all tasks in a quick time.
  5. ALM: As one of the quality tools, ALM comes with a fabulous quality manager to ensure a smooth transition of results. Users need to consider using an appropriate web application to find quick results.
  6. Bugzilla: Last but not least, Bugzilla is one of the best manual testing tools for its versatility. The web-based interface of a manual testing tool offers flexibility to use features with simple concepts. Quality assurance is an essential element for testers since it saves time. Thus, Bugzilla provides accurate results since it helps eliminate bugs and detects.
Related article: How security testing is important for SaaS companies

Manual and automation testing: Which one is better?

Whether you are running automation testing at scale or doing manual testing. Here is a quick comparison between manual and automation testing. Firstly, a bigger problem of manual testing over automation testing is its concentrated attention. Once testers are creating and implementing manually, there are more abilities to deal with complexity and test scenarios.

While automation testing has advanced significantly to handle complex test cases, testers can only use manual testing in some specific projects. In terms of comparing manual and automation testing, manual testing leads to a lower level of risk for false negatives. Since more false negatives will create an extra workload for software development teams to validate whether the error is true or false.

Testers can easily use automation testing for repetitive and high-frequency test cases. However, they have to use manual testing if there are infrequent and high-risk errors or even are subject to change. On some occasions, software development teams would like to use manual testing over automation testing, such as:

  • UX and exploratory testing
  • Complicated test cases are not efficient and sometimes not proper to automate.
  • Manual testing is useful for the test cases that are being validated once in a while.

Closing thoughts

Once developing a custom software development solution, we have to analyze and inspect its features and evaluate the potential for errors and bugs. Before delivering in the market, it is essential for software development teams to identify any bugs and errors. Thus, manual testing is a crucial stage to do that. This manual testing requires creative skills and imagination. So, it allows testers to imagine many scenarios to test a specific application. As in the future, almost all software applications use automation, manual testing still is a basis of software testing. We have just given you some ideas of manual testing such as pros and cons, tools, and highlights on how to write a test case in manual testing. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.


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