Find out how to choose the most suitable type of testing for a specific project from our overview of main differences between manual and automated testing

Manual Testing

Manual testing is a part of testing process at the stage of quality control (QA) during software development. It is performed by a tester without using automation tools to check the program or site by modeling the user’s actions. It’s like a kind of interaction between a professional tester and software to find the bugs. Thus, during manual testing, it is possible to receive feedback, which is impossible with automated testing. A tester can compare an expected result with a real one and give recommendations.

What Is Automatic Testing

Automated testing plays an important role in checking applications with a large number of functions. It is supposed to use a special software (apart from the tested one) to control the tests and compare the expected actual result of the program’s work.

The area where a script is preferable to a human is tests with precise measurements. For example, checking the exact color of some elements, measuring the location of elements with pixel accuracy, measuring the time of animation to milliseconds, and so on.

Automated testing


The Main Differences of Testing Types 

The main difference between manual and automatic testing refers to a question ‘how the checks are being carried out?’. In case of manual testing, it involves a specialist participation to perform the tests. As for automatic testing, the tool, script and code are used.

The table below shows the main differences between manual and automatic testing.

Testing Specification Manual Automation
Description and Performance  Test cases are run by a QA specialist by hand and applying a software. The test is conducted by automation tools and code.
Test Time and Effort Labor intensive and less efficient. Need more time to carry out a series of tests. More tests in a shorter period of time with a higher effectiveness. Completed series of testing within record period.
Reliability Not accurate due to a human factor. Credible method as it is carried out only by automated tools and codes. 
Cost  More expensive as it requires involvement of professionals to perform the tests. Saving costs in a long run, as once a software is incorporated, it functions over a long period of time.
Approach Helpful when one or two tests are required. Best choice for repeated tests. 

Highly loaded projects from any industry also require automated testing. Manual testing is ideal for small business websites, personal websites, and other small web projects.

Testing Benefits

Manual and automatic testing covers two large areas. Some of these tests are better suited for manual testing, and some — for automated testing. 

Code testing


Pros of Manual Testing

  • User feedback. The tester’s report can be considered as a feedback from a potential user.
  • UI-feedback. Nowadays, user interface plays a huge role, and therefore, it can only be fully tested manually. By the way, do you know which 7 interface elements you should remove from your site?
  • Cost. In the short term, manual testing is cheaper than automated testing tools.
  • Testing in real-time mode. Minor changes can be investigated right away without writing a code or executing it.
  • Possibility of research testing. Its purpose is to check various capabilities of an application. It is important that not beforehand compiled test cases are used, but scenarios played by the ear.

Cons of Manual Testing

  • Human factor. Although UI can only be tested manually, people often tend to be ineffective. Some errors may be left unnoticed.
  • Labour-intensive reuse. It is easier to run a series of standard automatic tests than to test the project manually after making even small changes.
  • Impossibility of load testing. It is impossible to simulate a large number of users manually.

Pros of Automated Testing

  • Load testing possibility. You can simulate a large number of users fairly quickly.
  • Saves time. Manual testing of large applications is a long and time consuming process, while scripts are written only once.
  • Reusable. A test scenario written once can be used in the future when the project is updated again.

Cons of Automated Testing

  • Costly. Tools for automated testing, as well as training on how to use them are expensive, so you need to carefully consider your budget.
  • UI testing. Automated testing cannot fully cover the requirements for user interface.
  • No “human review”. There may be errors that only a man will notice.

Manual test


Checklist “How to Choose the Test”

How do you know which test is best for your request? What helps you make the right decision? In order to solve this dilemma, we recommend that you create a short checklist. You can use the list below. The answers can be “Yes” or “No”.

Question Manual Automated
Do you need repeated testing? No Yes
Is your app at the development stage? Yes No
Do you need to test the app load and its possibilities? No Yes
Is it a short-term project? Yes No
Do you need to test UI | UX (colors, text, fonts, sizes, pictures, front and background colors, design)? Yes No

After you finish this questionnaire, compare the number of “Yes” answers for each method. Testing with the most positive answers will definitely be the one you need.

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