What is Manual Testing? Is it Still Relevant in 2023?


Software testing is an extensive process. A software application goes through several stages of testing before being released. Tests might range from functional to non-functional, depending on the needs. QA professionals can do tests in one of the following two ways:

  1. Manually carrying out test cases as specified in the test plan.
  2. Using frameworks like Selenium WebDriver to automate test cases.

Manual testing would seem to be outmoded in today’s technologically advanced environment when automation testing tools and frameworks make life easier for test engineers. This, however, is absolutely false.

Despite all the immense development in test automation, manual testing is still as essential as it was before. This article covers everything you need to know about manual testing.

What does Manual Testing Entail?

Manual testing, as the name implies, is a testing technique in which a QA professional manually reviews a software program to detect bugs and issues. QA professionals do this by following a written test plan that lays out a set of specified test cases.

The QA professional is responsible for analyzing the performance of the web or mobile application from the perspective of the end-user. Actual program behavior is compared to intended program behavior, and any deviation is reported as a bug.

To demonstrate this, let’s consider an example. A developer has built a website and wants to make sure it works. In this situation, the user should be able to input his or her username and password and submit the credentials by clicking the Login button.

When the test is run, however, the Login button does not take the user to the home page. In this situation, the QA professional will file a bug report with the developer.

Manual testing is an important component of any test strategy since it allows QA teams to obtain a better understanding of the end user’s perspective. Because manual testing is done by humans without the use of test automation frameworks, it evaluates software based on the most crucial metric: User Experience.

Manual testing is essential in exploratory testing or test cases that are executed only once or twice. This assists QA professionals in discovering bugs early in the development cycle.

Manual Testing Stages

1. Unit Testing

Unit testing verifies individual components or portions of source code. A unit is the smallest tested component of any software. It focuses on determining how well certain application components work. It helps to detect flaws early in the development process.

A unit test case is as basic as clicking a button on a web page and confirming that it does what it should. Another example is ensuring that a website’s share button allows you to share the correct page link.

2. Integration Testing

After unit testing, integration testing comes next. Multiple units are combined and tested together. Testing a sequence of web pages in a specific order to ensure interoperability, for example, comes under integration testing.

This strategy helps QA teams figure out how the application’s multiple components interact to get the intended result. Integration testing done concurrently with development assists developers to find and fix errors faster.

3. System Testing

As the name implies, system testing comprises testing the software’s integrated modules as a whole. It helps QA professionals determine if the system meets the required criteria. It includes a number of tests, including output validation depending on specific input, user experience testing, and so on.

Teams perform several types of system testing, including regression testing, stress testing, and functional testing, depending on their time and resources.

4. User Interface Testing

UI testing, also known as GUI testing, examines and verifies many parts of software that a user might interact with while using it. This usually entails putting aesthetic aspects to the test to see if they meet the standards for functionality and performance.

Toolbars, fonts, menus, text boxes, radio buttons, checkboxes, colors, and other visual indicators and graphic-based icons are all covered under UI testing. It guarantees that user interface functions are error-free and perform as expected.

In addition to UI elements, UI testing must account for different browsers, browser versions, and devices. People use a variety of browsers, devices, and operating systems to access the internet, which means the UI must render and perform flawlessly on each of them. To put it in another way, every UI testing plan must include cross-browser testing.

With a few clicks on your workstation, you can see how your website or app appears and operates across various browsers, devices, and operating systems.

5. Acceptance Testing

The main goal of acceptance testing is to determine whether the system as a whole is ready for real-world use or not. Internal and external acceptance testing is carried out. Internal acceptability testing is performed by members of the organization (also known as alpha testing).

External testing is done by a small number of end-users (also known as beta testing). This strategy assists teams in determining how well a product satisfies the expectations of its users. It can also detect faults in the last stages of product development before it is released.

Accessibility testing, among other types of acceptance testing, demands special attention. It assures that a website or app features are usable by persons with disabilities, such as vision impairment, hearing loss, and color blindness. They may have an impairment that necessitates the use of assistive technology to operate certain devices.

Types of Manual Testing

1) White Box Testing

White box testing, also known as transparent testing or glass box testing, is a method in which the QA professional is familiar with the application’s core code or structure. Its primary purpose is unit testing.

White box testing also includes techniques such as data flow testing, control flow testing, decision coverage testing, and path testing, to name a few.

2) Black Box Testing

Black box testing is a test approach in which the QA professional has no knowledge of the application’s underlying code or structure.

To evaluate the software application’s functional and nonfunctional behavior, the QA professional interacts with it as if it were an end-user. This aids in the discovery of bugs that are often neglected in the early phases.

3) Gray Box Testing

The gray box testing strategy combines white box and black box testing techniques. The major goal of this approach is to find any faults that may be present due to improper usage or structural flaws.

Manual Testing Techniques

Here’s a step-by-step guide to manual testing:

  • Examine the software requirement specification paper for requirements.
  • Make a detailed test plan.
  • Create test cases that cover all of the document’s requirements.
  • Test cases should be reviewed by the QA lead.
  • Carry out test scenarios and look for bugs.
  • If there are any bugs, report them, and then run the failed tests again to double-check the fixes.


Manual testing is a continuous process that involves human intervention at regular intervals throughout the software development lifecycle. Therefore, it can never be completely eliminated. As a result, finding the correct mix between manual and automated tests is critical for teams.

Despite the fact that the agile approach to software development demands a shift toward test automation, manual testing will always be necessary. In reality, manual testing is a useful technique to evaluate end-user-relevant aesthetic characteristics including how effectively web items render, how easy it is to navigate around an application, and so on.

Finding the ideal platform with a combination of manual and automated services can help QA teams execute the tests they need when they need them.

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