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Posted May 24, 2023

The Top UI Testing Tools of 2024

Learn the key features and limitations of popular UI testing tools to help you choose the right tool for your development team.

You know that validating your website's UI is important to ensure users get a seamless and bug-free experience. But with all the UI testing tools on the market, choosing one is tough.

To make things easier, start with your company's objectives and needs. Do you have a tight budget? Does your website update regularly or consist of dynamic or static HTML elements? Clarifying such points first should help narrow down which tool fits your team's workflow.

This guide helps point you in the right direction by exploring six popular UI testing tools available on the market. The tools have been selected for their exceptional UI coverage, fast test execution speed, broad browser support, and ease of implementation.

1. Sauce Labs

Sauce Labs' comprehensive testing capabilities, all on a single platform, make it a popular choice among developers. Its capabilities include functional and nonfunctional tests such as cross-browser testing, mobile app testing, test orchestration, low-code testing, performance testing, API testing, visual testing, and test automation. Sauce Labs also includes error monitoring and reporting capabilities. The ability to perform all types of tests on one platform streamlines the testing process by reducing test duplication, especially if you're writing applications on multiple platforms.

Key features of Sauce Labs

  • Sauce Orchestrate is the industry's only test orchestration solution for both web and mobile application testing. Its transformational approach to test automation helps to optimize CI/CD pipelines and reduce CI costs.

  • Sauce Mobile includes robust functionality for testing mobile applications on every browser, device, and operating system, including 1,700+ mobile emulators & simulators and 7,500+ iOS and Android real devices. Sauce Mobile also includes beta testing and app management and error monitoring and reporting capabilities.

  • Sauce Labs is the most secure test automation platform on the market, with SOC 2 Type 2, ISO 27001, and ISO 27701 certifications.

  • In addition to supporting test scripts from popular test automation frameworks like Selenium, Appium, and XCUITest, Sauce Labs' saucectl CLI makes setting up, writing, and running tests easier and faster for developers during early pipeline testing. It supports Cypress, Playwright, Cucumber.js-Playwright, TestCafe, Replay, and Espresso to provide the flexibility to test the way you want, along with Sauce Labs insights, at scale.

  • It allows developers and testers to execute both functional and nonfunctional tests from a single platform in the cloud, eliminating the need to maintain physical or on-premises test infrastructure.

  • It lets you quickly test individual UI components in isolation for faster feedback during the software testing lifecycle. For example, if you have a user registration page, you can validate crucial components such as the submit button. You can also check HTML element responsiveness on different screen sizes—for example, whether the submit button adjusts to your iPhone screen correctly.

  • It drastically simplifies cross-browser testing with Sauce IDE. With it being built on Selenium Grid, developers can record a test and need only a single click to replay tests on any browser.

  • It integrates with the industry's best tools for CI/CD, automated testing, test creation, team collaboration, and more.

  • Sauce Connect Proxy provides security via a built-in HTTP proxy server in local environments or a company firewall. It works by opening up a virtual machine for test runs and is immediately destroyed once the proxy tunnel is closed.

  • It offers a low-code option that uses natural language processing to autonomously create test cases, scripts, and data. It automatically detects changes in your code and self-heals (e.g., updates functions or parameters with proper attributes) to ensure long-term usage of your test cases.

Who should use Sauce Labs?

Sauce Labs is best for companies looking to test multiple mediums including mobile, websites, and APIs. It's also great for companies that want to implement both functional and non-functional test methodologies such as end-to-end testing, performance testing, and more. Sauce Labs is an efficient and convenient option because it provides all these features on a single platform.

It's not recommended for companies with a very limited budget that cannot afford to pay for a comprehensive testing tool.

2. Selenium

Selenium is an open source browser automation tool that enables developers to validate HTML elements across multiple browsers and platforms. Tests can be written using a wide variety of programming languages such as Java, Python, Ruby, C#, JavaScript, Perl, and PHP. 

In addition, Selenium is easy for entry-level developers to pick up. You can learn to write basic tests with the automation tool in 30 days, in no small part because of the sheer amount of courses, documents, and the like that are readily available online. For example, Udemy offers over 1,900 Selenium courses.

Key features of Selenium

  • Selenium WebDriver, a web framework that automates test runs on local and remote machines, drives your browser tests. It can run on different browser versions, run parallel tests in different environments, and enable cross-platform testing.

  • Selenium Grid enables running parallel tests on multiple machines. It lets developers execute tests on remote machines via the IP address of your desired server. Grid works by routing commands sent by the client machine to remote browser instances.

  • Page Object Model (POM), a design pattern used in Selenium, acts as a repository of web elements that can be reused for different tests. POM makes elements reusable by parsing locators (e.g., `XPath`, `CSSelector`, `ID`) of web elements, storing them in a class, and calling them from your code.

  • Locators such as `ID`, `XPath`, `CSSelector`, and `name` makes every element in the DOM easily accessible, whether you're running a static or dynamic web page. However, for dynamic websites that change without warning, take note that test cases will require a lot of maintenance if you're using Selenium locators to pinpoint HTML elements.

  • It's open source, so you don't have to pay for the tool.

  • Its quick learning curve and readily available online resources make it easy for QA teams to pick up.

Who should use Selenium?

Selenium is best for companies with a limited budget that need a free and reliable software testing tool. It works well with static or dynamic websites and is a common choice for startups and midsized companies.

Take note that using Selenium requires testers who know the basics of programming, don't mind maintaining their codebase often, and plan to test website UIs only. If you want a low-maintenance testing tool, plan on testing more than websites, or don't have sufficient programming knowledge, Selenium might not meet your needs.

3. Katalon Studio

Katalon Studio is an automated UI testing tool that validates HTML elements on websites, mobile and desktop devices, and APIs. Built on Selenium's core framework, it shares many of the same functionalities, such as locating web elements based on keywords and POM.

Katalon Studio lets you perform codeless testing using a record and playback. It's capable of recording data from an existing test case, editing test cases while recording, and merging duplicate objects after the test run. However, you can also write test scripts using Groovy.

Key features of Katalon Studio

  • It provides a built-in data-driven testing functionality that generates test results in PDF, HTML, Excel, or CSV format.

  • Object Spy offers intelligent object capturing by highlighting elements and displaying all critical values (e.g., XPath, CSS, attributes, image) associated with them.

  • It offers versatile element handling. For example, all UI tools handle web content inside browsers. However, Katalon can test Windows pop-ups and embedded objects such as flash and media. You can also start tests from any step in your test case.

  • Installing Katalon is easy. Instead of having to configure prerequisites to get the tool working manually, you simply bundle the necessary components, such as Java, Android SDK, and web drivers.

  • Test scripts can be written in Groovy only, but you can export tests from C#, Java, Ruby, Python, and Robot Framework.

Who should use Katalon Studio?

Katalon Studio is best for companies that require a cost-effective testing platform that can handle a variety of testing mediums, such as websites, mobile, desktop, and APIs.

However, it's important to note that Katalon Studio supports Groovy only, so your developers need to have at least some experience in Java or C# to use the tool effectively. If tool performance is important to you, Katalon might also not be the best choice as users report lag, problems with text and object verification in iframes, and more.

4. LambdaTest

LambdaTest is a cross-browser testing tool that performs exploratory and automated tests on browsers and mobile apps. It leverages an on-premise Selenium Grid called LambdaTest that lets developers execute tests in parallel behind their firewall.

LambdaTest also comes with integrated debugging, locally hosted web testing, and geolocation testing in more than fifty-three countries. A few use cases include regional protocols (e.g., a website is blocked in a specific country), search engine results, and geolocation-based UI functionality (e.g., verifying specific advertisements exist for people in a different country).

Key Features of LambdaTest

  • HyperExecute, which uses a single YAML, allows you to group and distribute browser tests across different environments. It also cuts down feedback time by automatically reordering test failures to appear faster.

  • On-premise Selenium Grid provides test infrastructures and pre-tested browsers for enhanced security. The servers are maintained by LambdaTest and can be scaled to size.

  • Test At Scale (TAS) increases visibility by displaying test cases impacted by recent code check-ins. This directly cuts down job times and reduces overall test durations.

  • LT Browser, a Chromium-based tool, enables developers to build, test, and debug mobile web interfaces on desktops. Developers can create their own device resolution, interact with different viewports, and test multiple devices.

  • Functionality such as geofencing, geotargeting, geoblocking, and more lets you perform geolocation testing.

Who should use LambdaTest?

LambdaTest is best for companies with a limited budget that require cross-platform and cross-browser testing for both web and mobile applications. Businesses with a global presence that require geolocation testing to ensure a consistent user experience across different regions will also benefit from it.

However, companies that want to do non-functional testing such as load testing and performance testing may not find LambdaTest suited to their needs as the tool focuses on cross-browser and cross-device testing.

5. Cypress

Cypress is an open source UI testing tool that uses JavaScript to write scripts that execute on run loops. This means developers can access code running on the page and can interact with things on the browser, such as document, window, and debugger.

Cypress lets you perform unique commands as required for your test case. For example, stubs allow you to replace a function and record its behavior and usage. It also allows you to expose data stores so you can alter the state of your application from your code.

The automation tool itself is tailored to front end developers and, therefore, supports JavaScript only. While Cypress was originally intended to execute solely end-to-end tests, you can also use it for component, integration, and unit tests.

Key features of Cypress

  • Its unique architecture executes Cypress tests on a run loop, which allows for real-time interaction with your application.

  • Its wait times automatically detect dynamic UI elements that take longer than usual to load into the DOM. It means developers don't have to worry about manually adding wait commands into their code.

  • It intercepts HTTP requests before they come in. Developers can mock HTTP requests and feed data into the server to allow them to run tests in environments where they have no control over the data.

  • Browser caching acts as a shortcut by restoring saved sessions during tests. For example, if you consistently get errors on a specific step during your test case, you don't have to rerun prior steps to replicate the error.

  • It's free to use.

Who should use Cypress?

Cypress is best for companies with a limited budget that need a free and reliable software testing tool. It's specifically designed for website testing, making it a favorable option for companies that focus solely on testing website UIs.

Cypress is also a good choice for companies that prioritize speed and efficiency in their software testing process. Its fast test execution and real-time reloading allow for quick debugging and faster feedback on test results.

However, since Cypress is tailored to front end developers, it's important to note that it supports JavaScript only, so your developers will need to be comfortable with it.

Cypress is not the best choice for companies that want to test everything but websites or whose quality assurance team doesn't know JavaScript.

6. Tosca

Tosca is an end-to-end UI testing tool that uses an entirely codeless approach for web, mobile, API, and exploratory testing. Its model-based approach to automated testing means that, instead of writing a test automation framework, Tosca scans your application's UI or API to create a model that business owners or non-technical staff can read.

It also offers a risk-optimization feature that prioritizes testing business-critical functionality from high risk to low risk. Through a combination of AI and human input, this feature helps you prioritize testing key features such as functionality that log your customer's data or functions that operate on complex code and may fail.

Key features of Tosca

  • Vision AI enables fully codeless testing via mockup or UI description. This enables non-technical testers to identify trigger points such as types (e.g., buttons, fields, dropdown nav bars, etc.), element positions, and more.

  • Its model-based approach separates the technical information of your application so it's business readable. For example, if you're validating a product listing on an e-commerce platform, the test parses individual components such as price or product name in plain English instead of HTML elements from the DOM. Since modules and components can be used across multiple tests, they have high reusability.

  • Risk optimization lets you prioritize features such as user stories and requirements based on how important the functionality is for the business. It also allows you to calculate how critical a certain functionality is and autogenerates tests based on their risk profile. For example, if your form submission is too slow, Tosca may create a performance test case for it.

  • Tosca's model-based approach automatically updates tests if your application changes. For example, if the UI's DOM underwent a recent change, such as an added field or button or a design shift, developers can update modules that act as a repository for web elements. This change synchronizes with all impacted test cases in the test suite.

  • You need to contact Tricentis, the company that developed Tosca, for pricing. However, users report steep prices.

Who should use Tosca?

Tosca is best for companies that have a large budget and don't have a quality assurance team with programming knowledge. It's the most expensive option on this list, but it can execute functional testing without the need for writing code, offering a codeless solution for automating your testing procedures.

Tosca is also a great choice for companies with high-risk functionality such as access to bank accounts, medical records, or business data. Tosca's risk-based prioritization lets you identify key systems that need improved testing efficiency and coverage.

However, small and mid-sized companies or startups with a limited budget may find Tosca's prices to be too high for their needs. Companies with a relatively simple technology stack or an application with fewer functionalities may not need the extensive features provided by Tosca. They could opt for a simpler and more affordable automation testing tool.

Which UI Testing Tool is Best for You?

With an abundance of UI testing tools available on the market, it's important to choose the right one for your company's needs, whether startup or corporate. This roundup gave you an overview of six popular UI testing tools that can help you boost test coverage and cut down on potential bugs before the website hits production.

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